The Funhouse (2 stars)

The Funhouse

(15) 96min (Arrow DVD rental/retail)


Originally released between his scary telly version of Salem’s Lot and the cursed Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper’s extras-free 1981 take on the teens-in-peril sub-genre takes so long to build up to very little that you begin to pray for a monstrous mutant to show up and dispatch someone in a grotesque manner.
And so he does, this time in the shape of Frankensteinface whose mask houses many horrors as he skulks around a carnival awaiting fresh prey and they arrive in the form of a quartet of kids (one of whom bears a disturbing resemblance to The League of Gentlemen’s demented Edward). Ultimately a tame affair, the underlying message seems to be that if you remain chaste you might be saved, but if you smoke pot and sleep around, you’re done for. Minimal extras.