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The Funhouse (1981)

 -  Horror  -  13 March 1981 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 7,135 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.

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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 ...
...
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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

Plot Keywords:

night | house | carnival | mask | murder | See more »

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carnival of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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| (cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An accident occurred during filming when a carnival ride carrying several passengers was left on for about twenty minutes to half an hour. The ride, one which has several octopus arms that spin around with rotating carriages, normally only runs for about four minutes per joyride. Thrillseekers vomited and yelled out real screams as the ride continued way past its end time. When stopped, the riders could not walk and were somewhat twisted in their musculature. An ambulance was called but no one was seriously injured. See more »

Quotes

Amy Harper: Listen, how would you like to go to the movies instead of the carnival?
Buzz Klemmet: The movies? What for?
Amy Harper: It's the same carnival that went through Fairfield County, where they had all that trouble.
Buzz Klemmet: Terrific. Maybe we'll get a little action. Come on. You're not afraid to go, are you?
Amy Harper: No, I just don't feel like it. Besides, I promised my father we were going to the movies.
Buzz Klemmet: Forget about your old man. He's trying to bum your evening.
Amy Harper: How can you say that? You don't even know my father.
Buzz Klemmet: Hey, loosen up, will ya?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead Teenager Movie (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Is Just Awful
21 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who could fail to make a good horror movie out of a carnival? It has all the perfect ingredients: freaks, sleazy carnies, creepy fun houses...

The answer, unfortunately for viewers of The Funhouse, is Tobe Hooper.

The film, which follows a group of dim-witted teenagers trapped in a fun house, suffers from bad writing, poor character development, and general unbelievability. For starters, the film goes nowhere for the first forty-five to fifty minutes. If this time had been used for character development, it wouldn't be so bad, but instead it just follows the characters as they meander through the carnival.

Furthermore, when things finally get going, none of the characters are worth caring about. Their behavior is too stupid for the viewer to be invested in them, particularly when they just stand around when they should be running.

This issue is particularly striking in the case of the heroine. She does little if anything to protect herself. For the viewer to invest themselves in a protagonist, whether it be Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween or Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street, they have to make some effort to defend themselves, or at least act independently. Our heroine just stands around screaming.

The only thing saving this film from a one star rating is its at times inspired use of atmosphere. The carnival comes across as genuinely sleazy, with shifty carnies and the occasional mad person walking about. Furthermore, the ending is truly eerie. However, this is not enough to save a boring, badly made film.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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