Consider this a public service announcement. A warning. An advisory that hopefully will prevent you from spending $7 and one-hour-and-forty-six minutes on this piece of garbage. I can, without hesitation, name Funhouse the worst movie of the pandemic.
The premise is promising enough for the unsuspecting viewer: Eight B-level celebrities sign up for a Big Brother-style online reality show. Quickly they learn that the contestant with the lowest number of daily votes will have to compete in a challenge where their life is at stake. Sure, that’s not groundbreaking, but it should be the foundation of a fun horror story. Funhouse is not fun. (Nor is it set in a house.) Instead, it’s a joyless, ambition-less train-wreck, one the actors look as horrified to be in as their emotionless characters should have looked.
Leading the cast is yet another brother, Valter, from the seemingly bottomless Skarsgård family. I can only assume he was hoping this would be his It, which features his brother Bill as Pennywise. (To rub it in, a character asks him,
penny for your thought toward the end.) I genuinely feel bad for him – nobody wants to be their family’s fifth most successful actor.
The rest of the cast seems equally uninvested in the movie, with the sole exception of Karolina Benefield, who goes 110% in as an Instagram influencer. Yes, that is by design a bottom-of-the-barrel character, and her dialogue is beyond moronic, but Benefield adds gusto to it. Hopefully, whatever she does next – Funhouse is her debut – will be something more worthwhile.
I don’t even know. Nigh nothing goes on in Funhouse. A lot of crying and screaming, votes, some sort of violent death, repeat.
Writer/director Jason William Lee – a stuntman on Arrow, where a good chunk of the actors also hail from – has something to say about our mindless consumption of influencers and other undeserving
Kardashianizing, as the game master so cleverly puts it. I get it. I agree. As do most people capable of critical thinking. I do care about mindless consumption, much like how I care that I spent more than an hour-and-a-half consuming this pile of turd.
The movie has an infuriatingly dumb conclusion which only is topped by an end-credit song warning us about the horrors of social media. I don’t know if it was included because the director currently only has 406 followers on Instagram, but it seems entirely plausible.
Don’t watch Funhouse. You’re better than that.
Letterboxd summary: When 8 celebrities from around the globe are invited to compete in an online reality show, they soon realize that they are playing for their very lives, as those voted off suffer horrific consequences, broadcast live to the entire world.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||1/6|