This film is great. Not a cult classic, gonna win Oscars way, but in a way that will make you laugh and thoroughly entertain you. The sets were uncommonly colourful, the characters were funny (but not sophisticated) and there was plenty of good ol’ gore to go around. Director Andy Palmer has created a truly unique horror film with Funhouse Massacre.
The film focuses on six psychopaths who each have their own backstory and personalities, and have escaped from a mental facility and taken over a funhouse on the day of its opening. With inspiration coming from real life serial killers, we have ‘Animal the Cannibal’ (E.E. Bell), ‘Dr Suave’ (Sebastian Siegel), ‘The Taxidermist’ (Clint Howard), ‘Rocco the Clown’ (Mars Crain), ‘Mental Manny’ (Jere Burns), and ‘Dollface’ (Candice De Visser). Each with their own area of speciality, the gore factor is really raised in this film with some creative and disgusting deaths, it’s like something out of your worst nightmare.
Don’t expect serious acting here, a little bit rigid and with clumsy dialogue, but this is easily overlooked by some great comedic moments. My favourite was when the killers were examining their new playground, complaining about how everything is wrong compared to the real environments they had killed in. The Taxidermist claims ‘these aren’t even taxidermy tools!’ at one point, just proving how ridiculous this film is. With a dim-witted cop (Ben Begley), who dismisses 911 calls that night due to the amount of prank callers from the Funhouse he was getting, people start dying. Everyone assumes it’s all part of the act and carry on, some even filming the murder to post on Instagram. Whether this is making a point of how gullible people are (or how stupid), the dramatic irony created was so intense it had me shouting at the screen.
I think the fact that this is a funhouse has tapped into a very natural and understandable fear people experience in them. If you’ve ever been in a funhouse, you can’t deny that at some point you’ve been genuinely terrified of dying, or jumped so many times you lost count (or is that just me?). Next time I’m in one, I’m probably gonna remember this film and shit myself. What’s also clever about the funhouse setting is the variety of themes and stories it can touch upon, from a murdering dentist to crazy clowns, this offers a diverse range of ideas and can also become unsettling as you go from one room to the next never knowing what to expect.
Whilst this may not be the best indie horror out there, it certainly does well creating its own subgenre as ludicrously colourful yet imaginative film. Everything in this film has been crafted expertly, from the sets to the amazing SFX makeup (done by Robert Kurtzman), that it deserves recognition in its own right. This film is great for people who don’t like gore, because even though it is gory it doesn’t dwell on this like some films such as Hostel or Saw, or will quickly change to the next scene or you’ll be distracted by neon paint. A perfect Halloween film.
Check out the the trailer here, if you’ve seen this film comment your thoughts below!