MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,306 this week

The Funhouse (1981)

 -  Horror  -  13 March 1981 (USA)
5.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 7,207 users  
Reviews: 130 user | 113 critic

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 23 Aug 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 07 Nov 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 28 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 29 Sep 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Funhouse" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Funhouse (1981)

The Funhouse (1981) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Funhouse.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Eaten Alive (1977)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A psychotic redneck who owns a dilapidated hotel in rural East Texas kills various people who upset him or his business, and he feeds their bodies to a large crocodile that he keeps as a pet in the swamp beside his hotel.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones
The Dark (1979)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

An alien mutilator stalks and kills human prey during the night.

Directors: John 'Bud' Cardos, Tobe Hooper
Stars: William Devane, Cathy Lee Crosby, Richard Jaeckel
Night Terrors (1993)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

A young girl travels to Cairo to visit her father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the ... See full summary »

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Robert Englund, Zoe Trilling, Alona Kimhi
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A young man finds out that his parents had been used in an atomic-weapons experiment shortly before he was born, and that the results have had some unexpected effects on him.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Brad Dourif, Cynthia Bain, Jon Cypher
Mortuary I (2005)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A family moves to a small town in California where they plan on starting a new life while running a long-abandoned funeral home. The locals fear the place, which is suspected to be on haunted ground.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dan Byrd, Denise Crosby, Rocky Marquette
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A historic Hollywood hotel houses a supernatural evil. It's been subdued for decades - but when renovations start, a series of murders take place. It's up to our heroine to solve the mystery.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Angela Bettis, Brent Roam, Marco Rodríguez
Djinn (2013)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An Emirati couple return home from a trip and discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Razane Jammal, Ahd, Aiysha Hart
The Mangler (1995)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A laundry folding machine is possessed by a demon from Hell.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Venom (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

International terrorists attempt to kidnap a wealthy couples child. Their plan comes unstuck when, a deadly Black Mamba sent by mistake instead of a harmless snake, escapes, and the ... See full summary »

Directors: Piers Haggard, Tobe Hooper
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson
Eggshells (1969)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Ron Barnhart, Pamela Craig, Allen Danziger
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Claire Craft, Helen Leary, Theo Morrison
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shawn Carson ...
Jeanne Austin ...
...
...
Largo Woodruff ...
Liz
Miles Chapin ...
David Carson ...
Sonia Zomina ...
Ralph Morino ...
Truck Driver (as Ralph Marino)
...
Herb Robins ...
Mona Agar ...
Strip Show Dancer
Wayne Doba ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Two young couples on a double date go to a mysterious carnival. As a prank they decide to spend the night in the funhouse. When they witness a brutal murder, they suddenly find themselves in horrific danger. Written by Sean V. Taylor <st52@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something is alive in the funhouse...something that has the form of a human, but not the face...something that feeds off the flesh and blood of young innocents... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carnival of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Kevin Conway agreed to be in the movie on the condition that he get to play all three barkers. See more »

Quotes

Funhouse: [to the freak] Hit yerself, you ugly thing!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The sets are cool.
5 September 2003 | by (Haddonfield, IL) – See all my reviews

The production of this film included the use of a real vintage carnival from the 40s/50s. For anyone interested in the appeal of a traveling carnival, this film has some great sets. "The Funhouse" also features some great Rick Baker/Craig Reardon effects in the form of the movie's "villain", a deformed albino with fangs and claws.

But the rest of the production is sorely lacking. Tobe Hooper does his best with the material, but he's not too good at smoothing over the obvious lack of logic inherent in the film. For instance, the plot concerns a small group of four teenagers who decide on a lark to "spend the night in the funhouse" of the traveling carnival they're visiting...the same carnival that was around "when those two girls were found dead in the woods some time ago". Now, why on Earth would anybody in their right minds find the idea of staying in a carnival funhouse overnight exciting? Where will they sleep? What will they do the next day? Won't they get hungry? Thirsty? Have to brush their teeth? Use the bathroom?

Not only that, but the attractions in this carnival are most definitely not of the transportable variety. The titular dark ride seems so immense that our teen protagonists find it impossible to navigate their way out of the funhouse when danger rears its ugly head. Here's an idea: maybe follow the metal tracks in the floor until you are standing at the exit? In fact, the funhouse is built like a permanent fixture, with at least two floors and what appears to be a sub-basement! How would the carnies ever be able to dismantle this thing and move it in one day?

This flick also suffers another blow by giving us nobody to root for. The teenage "protagonists" are wholly unlikeable. They smoke pot like they're sipping soda out of a can, they steal money from strangers, they are stupid enough to want to spend the night in a carnival attraction, and they commit the unpardonable horror movie sin of fornication--all except for the female lead, of course, although she isn't even interesting enough to be engaging. The dialogue in the film is flat, and it has no success in establishing any characterizations on behalf of the would-be victims. I wasn't even paying attention to most of the film's first reel.

"The Funhouse" is also one of those movies where the villains seem to know exactly where their victims will be standing, like directly on top of a trap door that is conveniently deployed right on cue. The machinery of the funhouse also knows exactly how to deposit dead bodies so that they will stop exactly in front of our screaming victims.

Suspension of disbelief aside, "The Funhouse" stirs up some uncomfortable feelings when the filmmakers use their "monster" to get scares out of the audience, then tell us he's simply deformed. In reality, he is one of the only sympathetic characters in the movie, and the film's climax is the only portion that packs a wallop: the script pits the only two characters in the film worth caring about against one another.

Hooper throws in some sly references to "Texas Chain Saw Massacre", even if it does involve the gratuitous and illogical use of swinging hooks (haw haw), but by the time the movie delivers any real shudders, it's too late. Ironically, Dean Koontz was hired to write a movie tie-in novel for "The Funhouse", which was published under the psuedonym Owen West. Koontz fleshed out the story considerably, adding some great touches that the filmmakers would have been wise to exploit in their own movie. Too bad, because Koontz's treatment may have given Hooper a bigger, sharper hook on which to hang this film.


14 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Carnival Horror Movies rduke72
So did the kid actually get to see that girl naked in the shower? jonathanstatsny
I wish Carnivals still existed chaoslex
100 Things I Learned From The Funhouse judasrising666666
based on Dean Koontz book? general_razor_cs-1
When was your first time? happyhaunt2005
Discuss The Funhouse (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?