Killer Halloween Party (The Funhouse Massacre, 2015)
On Halloween Night some of the most vile serial killers the world has ever seen are freed from a top secret prison facility. They hide out in a funhouse and start to kill off the patrons. A group of friends attends the event, discovering they are trapped with the homicidal maniacs and try to get out alive.
At times, the film is pretty fun. This is one of those horror comedies where the characters are slightly wittier than one would likely be in such a situation, and seem to be very aware when they say something that means they are about to die.
But on the other hand, the film spends a lot of time on build up and yet delivering very little. We are introduced to a set of serial killers based in pretty standard horror movie iconography. There is the cannibal, the evil dentist, the diabolical cult leader, the killer clown…and yet, the film never really gives the characters much life. Outside of Jere Burns’ evil cult leader, the characters show little spark, because we only see them in brief introductions. There is not a lot to work with, and this is unfortunate, because this film has solid character actors like Clint Howard and Robert Englund (who only has a small role).
Much of the mayhem takes place off camera, with our lead characters stumbling on the killers in progress. And the set up takes long enough that once the leads start running into the killers, they get dispatched rather quickly…and not very imaginatively. Horror Comedy tends to work best when it becomes cartoonish, but the film stays pretty low key in that regard.
While some of the early attempts at humor fall flat, the comedy does get stronger once in the Funhouse. The gore effects are pretty strong through the film. But the pacing of the film really hinders it from being a classic of horror comedy. And the lack of defined characters means the viewer cannot really connect and engage with the story.