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The Funhouse (1981) – Carnival tomfoolery

I jumped into The Funhouse hoping it would be a classical clown slasher. Instead, I got something completely different. But with that said, what I got can arguably be considered something even better. Slasher movies not relying on shock factor and excessive nudity are rare. It was even rarer in the 80s. But is it a fun house? Or does it simply become a house? Let’s find out!

A classical teenage clique of rowdy teens goes to a carnival. One of the girls has an annoying little brother that sneaks out to the carnival as well. As dumb teenagers do, they decide to sneak into the funhouse after it’s closed and spend the night. Little brother sees this and then hijinks ensue. But there are no clowns, instead, there’s a monster, creative death scenes, and generally fantastic production value.

What truly stands out to me when I watched this movie was the way it all just clicked. The music choice is great, the visuals are corny but well-made, and the animatronics are just pure orgasmic pleasure! The characters albeit generic are portrayed by very decent actors that are not as heavily reliant on showing naked bodies (even though there are a few sexy scenes). Instead, they are greatly portrayed as your typical American 80s teenager. The villains work extremely well managing to balance goofy and scary archetypes. The animatronics are the true masterpieces of this movie. I might be partial since I do have a love for good animatronic horror (looking at you FNAF).

If you enjoy creative slasher movies with great aesthetics and good death scenes then this is for you. The Funhouse wasn’t a clown horror movie as I had hoped it’d be, but instead, it was a great slasher with great production value. This is probably the most enjoyable flick of this edition of Spooktober!

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