Four teenagers, Amy Harper, Buzz Klemmet, Richie Atterbury and Liz Duncan, travel to the carnival which has just come to town, for some fun. As the night begins to come to an end, Liz suggests they stay the night in the fun house. They all agree and decide to take the last ride before the attraction shuts down. As they stay in the fun house, the four witness and horrific murder against a psychic reader by a very big man in a Frankenstein mask, also Richie takes some of the money earned by the man who runs the fun house. The owner is furious about the missing money and sends his son, Gunther, who killed the reader, to take care of the thieves. Now the four are locked in the fun house, being stalked and killed one by one. —IMDb
Though he has worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for more than two decades, producer-writer-director Tobe Hooper’s significant contributions can all be traced to just two films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Poltergeist (1982). Though produced under very different circumstances — the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular — both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper’s career as one might have expected. The filmmaker’s current viability, such as it is, has resulted from a canny shift to creating, producing and directing genre projects for the small screen. A popular artist who once helped set trends in entertainment evolved over time into a smooth craftsman striving to ride the wave of his genre’s acceptance into the mainstream.
The Austin, Texas native was first bitten by the… read more
In many ways, this film is a sort of variation on Hooper's earlier masterpiece: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Here, the mechanics of Massacre's cannibal family are relocated to the underbelly of a travelling carnival. The Funhouse is a modest masterpiece in its own right, taking visual cues that range from Carpenter to Welles. Hooper displays a masterful understanding of atmosphere and aesthetic technique.