Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I netflixed this movie before I decided to make it "watch horror movies" week, but yay! It's a horror movie so it fit. One of the bloggers I read, Stacie Ponder, does a monthly film club at her Final Girl blog, and this month she chose The Funhouse.
So. About the only thing I knew about this movie was that Elizabeth Berridge is in it. Who is that, you ask? What? Are you stoopid??? Sigh. She was Mrs. Amadeus in the movie Amadeus. Why do I know her name? I really couldn't tell you. Maybe cuz she's cute? Odd name? The cute kind of lisp she has? I DO NOT KNOW THE WORKINGS OF MY OWN BRAIN. All I know is that I'd never seen the movie but I knew Mrs Amadeus was in it. And that it was an '80's horror movie. Which can be iffy, especially if you didn't see them in the ignorance of youth.
And unfortunately, this movie? UGH. I didn't give a crap about the characters. There was little to no real tension in the movie. It wasn't funny and it had the problem common to most horror movies with stoopid teenagers in them -- the teenagers look like they're 30. Now, the worst case of this was in the dreadful Slaughter High. I think they really were 30 in that movie. Now, the same can be said of Halloween, the Greatest Horror Movie of All Time. Jamie Lee does NOT look like a teenager at all. But she's a good actress and it's a good character and therefore it doesn't matter so much that she's too old. Shit, Stockard Channing was pushing 30 when she played Rizzo in Grease, and damn, do I not care, I love Rizzo that much. But when the characters are bad and the movie is bad (I'm looking again at you, Slaughter High!) then it's much more noticeable and annoying.
I guess the novelty of this movie is the whole "real freak at the freak show" vibe. I've never really cared much for "freak" movies, so that didn't really draw me in. And about 45 minutes in I realized just how tired I was and how much I didn't care about anything regarding the movie, so I bailed. I forwarded through it just to see how it all came out in the end. The funny thing is that I bailed before any of the stoopid teenagers got killed, which is basically the main reason for watching a slasher movie. I mean, really, it is.
Oh, and I didn't even mention the creepy opening scene. Mrs. Amadeus (technically, I suppose that should be Mrs. Mozart, but shut up, it's already stuck in my brain) is taking a shower and her creepy brother, her little brother, puts on a mask and grabs a rubber knife from his wall and then goes into the bathroom, pulls back the shower curtain and pretends to stab her. Uh, yeah. For one, it was a total ripoff of the beginning of Halloween, the way they shot it so that you're seeing everything from his point of view, and he puts the mask on like, over the camera and you're seeing through the eyes of the mask. For another, it was just kinda squicky. Maybe it was the way it was shot, I dunno, but the little brother pretending to stab his sister while she's all nekkid and wet is just icky. Icky AND squicky!! So, points for aping both Pyscho and Halloween and not doing a very good job of it.
I should mention that they tried to make you think it was someone else with the mask. You don't know who's picking up the knife or putting on the mask and walking towards the bathroom to make with the stabby-stabby. Now. Knowing that Mrs Amadeus is like the main character, it's pretty obvious that she's not about to die, so any tension they might've built up is non-existent here. Plus, I assumed it was a stoopid boyfriend or something, so when it turned out to be a little boy, yah, squicky. I suppose if I hadn't known that the girl we were watching shower was the main character, it could've worked, but still. I've seen so many horror movies, good and bad, that I was already assuming it was a fake-out.
So. Two stars for The Funhouse. I think if I had seen this as a younger horror fan I might have liked it. The best thing about having seen it is now I can cross it off my list! I do so love that...
Oh, and I found this image, and it might explain why I remembered Mrs. Amadeus:
Unfortunately, the bountiful cleavage is cropped off, but damn, gurl. I think that's from the beginning of the movie when Amadeus is feeding her suggestive desserts of some kind. YUM. So, uh yeah. Boo Funhouse, Yay Amadeus!!