The Funhouse

The Funhouse ★★★★½

A criminally underappreciated genre classic, The Funhouse's relative anonymity is especially bizarre considering its high-profile pedigree. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is undeniably Tobe Hooper's most impacting film, but, for my money, The Funhouse is his best. It's a Universal monster movie for the '80s, lovingly crafted and subversive of the already firmly established slasher tropes (this final girl smokes dope and bares her breasts without any puritanical consequences). The cast, populated by nobodies, have a relaxed, natural chemistry, not unlike a Linklater hang-out movie. Behind the camera, Hooper is at the top of his game: this, unlike the raw, seat-of-your-pants movie that made his name, is an extremely polished film, employing stunning crane shots, an elaborate funhouse set and a high-pitched final reel edited into a hellish crescendo.

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