Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Funhouse Review: A Twisted Reality Competition With Deadly Results

Valter Skarsgård	...	Kasper Nordin Khamisa Wilsher	Khamisa Wilsher	...	Lonni Byrne Gigi Saul Guerrero	Gigi Saul Guerrero	...	Ximena Torres Christopher Gerard	Christopher Gerard	...	James 'Headstone' Malone Karolina Benefield	Karolina Benefield	...	Ula La More Amanda Howells	Amanda Howells	...	Cat Zim Mathias Retamal	Mathias Retamal	...	Dex 'El Shocker' Souza Dayleigh Nelson	Dayleigh Nelson	...	Nevin Evensmith Jerome Velinsky	Jerome Velinsky	...	Nero Alexander Kylee Bush	Kylee Bush	...	Darla Drake Debs Howard	Debs Howard	...	Gilda 'The Mad' Batter Bradley Duffy	Bradley Duffy	...	Pete Sake Michael MacKinnon	Michael MacKinnon	...	Jode Nash Dave Peniuk	Dave Peniuk	...	Chuck Thorn Ben Heidi	Ben Heidi	...	Botis

Release date: May 28, 2021
Running time: 106 minutes
Written and Directed By: Jason William Lee
Starring: Valter Skarsgård, Khamisa Wilsher, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Christopher Gerard, Karolina Benefield

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.

Scotty Mac	...	Vapula / MMA Fighter (as Scotty Schnurr Mac) Aron Olaf Johnson	Aron Olaf Johnson	...	Orobas Sean Scott	Sean Scott	...	Sabnock Behtash Fazlali	Behtash Fazlali	...	James Whitehat Victoria Cruz	Victoria Cruz	...	News Anchor I Ben Dextraze	Ben Dextraze	...	News Anchor II (as Ben Detraze) Kimi Alexander	Kimi Alexander	...	News Anchor III Brian Johnson	Brian Johnson	...	News Anchor IV Abby de Forest	Abby de Forest	...	Interview Host (as Abby DeForest) Jeff Cooper	Jeff Cooper	...	Wes Gray Jason William Lee	Jason William Lee	...	Jack Burton Gabriella Klein	Gabriella Klein	...	Mira Fuentes Norah Campbell	Norah Campbell	...	Norah Frédérique Roussel	Frédérique Roussel	...	College Girl 'Adrianna' Panta Mosleh	Panta Mosleh	...	College Girl II Devin Kotlowski	Devin Kotlowski	...	College Dude I Lou Ticzon	Lou Ticzon	...	College Dude II
Funhouse pits eight celebrities against each other in a global contest for likes and audience approval.  And this format is an interesting one as it is essentially a reality TV show where the voters don't know what will happen to the least popular.  It sets up a nice scenario where the celebrities are pandering to the crowd and then begin pandering that much more.  And the international aspect of the cast is fun to see; Funhouse is occupied by celebrities from around the world, which makes for some culture clashes on top of the personality clashes.  I liked the cast a lot in this film, despite many of their characters being cliched.  It is a fun group of young actors and each brings a very different persona to this twisted game.

But what sets Funhouse apart are the brutal consequences for being voted last.  The film starts to show its horror skin in these instances, with brutal practical effects and plenty of gore.  There are some CG effects in here, but overall they are done nicely.  And some of the challenges are downright twisted, which will have you cringe as these social media influencers are forced to fight for likes and their lives.  

However, Funhouse has a really good start and brutal effects, but the film sort of devolves towards the end.  It isn't bad, but some of the characters go through some strange character shifts fairly abruptly.   And the film hides the main villain behind a CG generated panda, which is by design for the film, but makes him looks a little ridiculous.  The voice is also altered so it is tough to take the film seriously when this character is threatening.  Funhouse tries to make him look scary during those instances, but that effect falls flat.  Additionally, the film tries to have a surprise twist ending that just didn't seem necessary.  It spoiled some of the fun and felt like it was put there for shock value rather than story value. 

Funhouse earns a lot of likes for its brutal effects, campy internet style, and fun cast of international influencers in this brutal social media survival game.

Rent it.

Jerome Yoo	...	College Roommate Alan MacFarlane	Alan MacFarlane	...	SWAT Leader Barry Nerling	Barry Nerling	...	SWAT I Richard Thompson	Richard Thompson	...	SWAT II Randy Rafuse	Randy Rafuse	...	SWAT III Hartley Holmberg	Hartley Holmberg	...	SWAT IV Jeff Gonek	Jeff Gonek	...	Panda Captain / Reporter I Shane Martin	Shane Martin	...	Panda Helper I / Losing Chessmaster Michael Gyori	Michael Gyori	...	Panda Helper II Raynor Shima	Raynor Shima	...	Panda Helper III Sonny Svärd	Sonny Svärd	...	Man in Park I Nicklas Dahlin	Nicklas Dahlin	...	Man in Park II Diego Ortíz del Gaiso	Diego Ortíz del Gaiso	...	Man in Mall Christian Bitar	Christian Bitar	...	Man Sitting by Fountain Jonas Santi Einarsson	Jonas Santi Einarsson	...	Man Standing on Street (as Jonas Einarsson) Kamran Fulleylove	Kamran Fulleylove	...	Riley Jordan Kirk	Jordan Kirk	...	Kirk
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Funhouse is available digitally and on demand on May 28, 2021.  For a list of places to watch, click here.

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