The Funhouse wasn’t really anything that stood out to me growing up. The VHS cover didn’t stand out enough for me to want to see it. It was only in the last two decades that I learned more about the movie. What I learned got me interested in seeing the movie, but it wasn’t until it was added to Shudder that I really had a chance to finally see it. I finally understand why I’ve seen so much love for The Funhouse online.
Tobe Hooper being the director is one of the key things that I would always see when anyone mentioned the movie. Larry Block being the writer is something that I’ve not seen mentioned as much. I heard more about the novelization being ghost written by Dean Koontz than I have about Block being the writer of the movie. Between this and Lifeforce Hooper really got to do some fancy camera work. A lot of the camerawork that I saw in this fit right in with what he would do in Poltergeist, which he would direct right after The Funhouse.
Elizabeth Berridge is pretty great as the lead. I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything aside from this. Cooper Huckabee has the kind of face that makes me swear that I’ve seen him in several things. After looking him up online I couldn’t place anything that I had seen. The rest of the cast is Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin, Kevin Conway, Sylvia Miles, Wayne Doba, and William Finley. I also want to mention Shawn Carson as the annoying little brother. He was so annoying that I thought this movie would break the rule of not killing kids, which didn’t happen to my surprise.
The practical effects are pretty amazing. Those for The Monster look amazing even now. The way that they cover it up before the reveal is even outstanding. There are other effects that look good, but those specific ones are the standouts. The music by John Beal is really good. It blends the horror music with carnival music in interesting ways.
The Funhouse is a fun nontraditional slasher made by a master of horror starting a string of great movies. I’m honestly pretty glad that I was finally able to watch the movie. Shudder continues to just be the best way to get a wide swath of horror and genre movies. I give The Funhouse 9 carnival tents out of 10.