The Funhouse

The Funhouse ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Locke watches Arrow Video #3

Is Tobe Hooper really that shocked he can't get out of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre's shadow, when he follows it up with absolute stinkers like The Funhouse? The Funhouse is basically a watered down, studio safe version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and it is truly awful.

You would expect a director to mature, and streamline after his début - especially when you start with a classic like this man did. Instead The Funhouse is a clunky, over long, predictable, incredibly stupid and amateurish feeling movie where it feels like Hooper stuck a camera in a neatly dressed set and figured the movie would just work itself out.

Every now and then a sequence will feel genuinely inspired, Hooper himself seems to realise this too and so he begins to just keep redressing that idea until a sequence has been repeated so often the audience roll their eyes in boredom. Not every slasher needs to be a gorefest but the carnage never starts in The Funhouse and that is just dull.

It also doesn't help that as Hooper shot the film in 2.35:1 with a soft focus, so the Bluray has massive, intrusive black bars and much of the film blurs out all the detail. Arrow have done their best to clean up what they have, and they do a lovely job considering - especially as there seems to be a fair amount of print damage - but it's hardly a film to show off your set with.

And what about the monster? The monster is the heart of all good horror films... and that fails perhaps more than any other aspect of the film. Gunther takes off his Frankenstein costume...to reveal his "true" face, which looks as fake - if not more so - than the costume he just removed. The idea is good, and pretty original, but the execution is awful. Just like everything in this film.

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