The Funhouse is an upcoming 2014 American Horror Film remake of the original 1981 Tobe Hooper Horror Film of the same name. It is to be directed by former music video director Anthony Mandler and written by by Michael Finch and Alex Litvack. It is to star James Franco, Bella Heathcote, Heather Hemmens, Desi Lydic, Brady Corbet, Jamie Bell and Corbin Bernsen.
The film was released theatrically on April 10th, 2013 to critically good reception from both audiences and critics, praised for it's unnerving, engaging atmosphere and thoroughly likeable characters, complex dignified storyline, realistic violence and solid acting.
The film secured a Saturn Award Nomination for Best Production Design and two BAFTA nominations for Best Score and Best Supporting Actress: Desi Lydic.
The film also secured a Saturn Award Nomination for Best Horror Film 2013 but lost out to Joss Whedon's Goners and came in at number 4 by vote.
The film is set for DVD and Blu-Ray release on September 24th, 2013.
The film begins at a carnival where two girls Sera Goldstein (Maiara Walsh) and Lena Randone (Sasha Jackson) who along with their friend Katia Mercoles (Bonnie Wright) go on an assortment of high velocity thrill rides and win prizes.
Sera and Lena become seperated as Katia's ex-boyfriend appears at the carnival and the two resolve their issues after a long conversation.
Sera and Lena comes across a spooky ride called "The Funhouse."
Sera tells Lena they should wait for Katia before they go on the ride but Lena argues that Katia is going to be awhile sorting out her issues with Kev.
The two then get on the ride despite Sera's uneasy feelings.
They are showed into the carts and discharged down the tunnels on the ride.
The carts come down the tunnels and are derailed at the broken rail.
Sera and Lena scream out for help, injured and bleeding.
Lena protests that she believes she has a concussion and upon the girls heading forward to the railing Sera is stabbed from behind out the front by a rusty pipe and she is then pulled to the front by a horrific clown (Corbert Benson) which then proceeds to bite into her face.
Lena screams and then throws up before stumbling away disorientated.
Lena's vision is blurred and obscured and she stumbles before a trapdoor which opens up and discharges several booby trap metal spikes, as she falls before the spikes the horrific clown killer comes running and seizes hold of Lena and as she takes her final breath on a long scream throws her head down upon the spikes impaling her in the head.
The scene then heads on to five Ann Arbor 19 year old College students preparing along with one's older musician boyfriend to head for a nearby town's prestigious carnival.
Tamara Cotton (Bella Heathcote) is a sociology major who along with her bestfriend Amanda Brady (Desi Lydic), roommate Lara Morris (Heather Hemmens), Lara's off-campus harley riding mechanic boyfriend Wandin Waverley (Jamie Bell) and her nerdy photographer friend Kennedy Fitz (Brady Corbet) be taken off on a road trip in her 22 year old guitarist boyfriend Donovan Linkeiss' (James Franco) car to the nearby small town of Breckendale, Michigan for the town's local revered carnival.
Donovan comes along in a secretly stolen vehicle (taken from his manager) and collects his girlfriend and her friends for the trip for one of the state's most popular attractions.
They arrive in Breckendale and meet a bevy of many strange locals at a gas station just outside the border who warn that the Lemming Bros'. Carnival is a trap of Blood & Death for any youngsters who come along to it.
This alarms Tamara and she beckons Donovan to turn them around and maybe go back, Donovan thinking of the authorities which will be after him cause of his Grand Theft Auto stint tells that they can't and states what he has done and tells her that the locals are superstistious rednecks and if they turn back now, he will end up in court with the possibility of imprisonement and what could of instead been a last chance summer holidays getaway for her and her friends will ruined.
Enraged with him for his theft but desperate not to have him put away and ruin the happy experience for her friends she agrees to press on to the carnival.
There at the carnival the group takes many of the revered scary rides, including the state's most frightening roller-coasters before Amanda takes notice of a spooky little ride titled "The Funhouse."
The mysterious ticket-man (Harvey Keitel) beckons the youngsters over and Donovan states they shouldn't engage in the ride as it is a crappy little scam ride, Tamara still enraged with him states the choice is up to her friends and he doesn't have a say.
The group by democratic vote decide to give the Funhouse a go and are strapped in.
The ticket-man tells that after the ride is done they will be exited in another area of the showgrounds and only the carts will return.
A girl also jumps in on the ride filling the last cart.
They are then pressed on before a viewing audience and the carts descend into a series of tunnels.
There flying past freaky animatronic puppets and flashing colors representing carnage they eventually come to a broken rail fixture which derails the carts.
The group including the girl who jumped onto the ride are rendered unconscious.
When they awaken they are in a mysterious maze area of the inside of the Funhouse and the girl who jumped on the ride with them at last minute is revealed as Katia from the beginning who has been following her friends' disappearence.
What follows as they venture on looking for an exit is Kennedy being killed by the Maniacal Clown which proceeds to expunge itself from a large wind-up box and pursue the group via axing him in the back of the head and then multiple hacks at his chest region.
Tamara gets seperated from her boyfriend Donovan, bestfriend Amanda and roommate Lara and ends up trapped in a whole other area with Katia and Wandin.
The Clown brings Kennedy's corpse back to a personal make-up room where his limbs are amputated and cooked for consumption in fine dining as he looks on sadly at a photograph of him and his brother whose face has a scratched out face in the picture on his wall.
The group press on picking up things along the way pertaining to the Lemming Bros. Circus and the disappearences of individuals who have visited and the mystery behind the Funhouse ride.
Wandin comes to be killed as the group nearly meet up in a two way mirror maze room and are attacked by the killer which returns smashing through the mirrors.
It proceeds to armed with a display knife slash his throat and then abduct Tamara leaving Katia behind who assembles with Donovan, Lara and Amanda.
Tamara and Wandin are brought to the make-up room where Tamara is strapped into a chair and dolled up in make-up as well as being dressed in a female clown costume.
She watches in horror as the killer proceeds to mutilate Wandin's corpse and then cook it up in fragments.
The killer shares the fragments between himself and Tamara who he force feeds Wandin's parts.
Donovan and Amanda seperate in the meanwhile from Katia and Lara as Donovan and Amanda are bent on tracking down the killer and saving Wandin and Tamara whilst Katia and Lara are instead determined to press on and find an exit as it is too late for them.
As they venture out their seperate ways the killer with Tamara begins a sadistic dance with her to instrumental circus music heard earlier during the carnival near the Funhouse ride and and Tamara is able to get hold of a lantern which she breaks over the killer's head.
Tamara then attempts a futile escape only to be apprehended in a thin corridor which goes from a wide to thin space her screams for help however alert a nearby Donovan and Amanda to her location.
They close in as the killer departs having tied her back to her chair and showing her a photograph taken of her and her friends and their heads circled along with Kennedy and Wandin's crossed out.
Donovan and Amanda creep in and release Tamara from the chair.
Katia and Lara fast approach the exit they discover through a buried map in a water chamber containing over a dozen rotted corpses.
Among the bodies Katia finds Sera and Lena's and breaks down.
The killer closes in on the room and Lara ushers Katia down into the water as they hide from the killer.
Ultimately Katia lets go some bubbles of breath as she gasps at the mutilated corpse of Kennedy which is thrown into the water in front of her.
The two give away their location and then proceed to a wall ventilation shaft which they unscrew as the killer leaps into the water with them.
The two proceed into the vent and they crawl their way to the entrance to another room.
As they close in Lara is killed by the killer ramming a pair of ragged shears through the shaft and seperating them ripping open her side and causing her to bleed to death in Katia's arms.
Katia is then attacked herself as her shoulder cut by the shears but kicks open into the next room and falls down upon a table.
Donovan, Tamara and Amanda then find their way to the watery chamber room and the ticket man who admitted the group onto the ride reveals himself with a flashlight and Amanda hops over to him as Tamara and Donovan inspect the water filled dump room and discover the corpses.
As they yell and Amanda becomes distracted she is suddenly rendered unconsious by the ticket man who then shoots Donovan with multiple tranquilizer darts and then gases Tamara which disorientates her and causes her to fall backwards into the water
Katia then awakens from unconsiousness in the next room and as the killer approach her upon the ground and render unconsious again.
The killer then hoists Katia up whilst he has Lara's body hoisted on his other shoulder and with his spare arm a wheelborrow containing the mutilated remains of Wandin.
The killer then comes to the ticket man and it is revealed they are brothers before he drops Wandin's mutilated pieces into the water room along with Lara's body.
Donovan, Amanda, Katia and Tamara are then brought to the make-up room.
As they all awaken at a demented tea party circular table being served hot tea by motorized statues the ticket man tells that him and his brother lived down here with their parents who abused them till they killed them and their parents too were murderers and they would pick out select favorite victims to become the star things to see in the Funhouse.
The motorized statues are revealed as the plastered over controlled corpses of select favorite victims and that seeing as his brother always had a ravenous hunger many of those who came into the Funhouse who were not so favorable would be dispatched and made meals for him to quench his hunger.
Donovan, Tamara, Katia and Amanda are revealed as being their favorites and Lara, Wandin and Kennedy just were not so favorable.
Amanda is then able to escape her seat by breaking into her left hand and sliding it out of it's strap.
Amanda attempts to release Tamara who is closet to her table wise but is told to go as the two descend on her.
Amanda then takes off on chase and is pursued by the Deformed Clown Brother who is told by his ticket salesman brother to get her back so they can get it started.
Amanda makes it all the way to the starting point of the broken rail which caused the group's entrapment and then after wounding the Clown Brother finds the other exit/entrance and alomst gets through but is subdued by an old fashioned circus security tazor.
She is then brought back and as the group are re-arranged and re-assembled at the circular table it is shown that Amanda is now a barely alive vegetable who has a large circular scar on her head with an X as surgery has been performed upon her to make sure she doesn't attempt another stunt.
Amanda is then killed as the Clown Brother slits her forehead open with the knife used to kill Wandin.
Katia and Donovan are then dragged off to a workshop room and the ticket-man who has Tamara in rope restraints gives her a tour of the other hidden rooms of the Funhouse.
He shows their personal living quarters and what exhibits they will become apart of.
He then locks Tamara in solitary confiment and tells she will be the counter-part to his lonely brother for awhile who has developed quite the fondness for her and she will be it, the female clown, the clown bride.
Donovan is then able to take advantage of the Clown Brother's weakened state and injures him releasing himself and Katia from the workshop.
The two witness the ticket-man brother head for the exit and then proceed on to where Tamara is releasing her.
As they go forth to escape The Clown Brother comes back and Donovan sacrifices himself to ensure Tamara and Katia's escape as he is shot down multiple times with a spear gun.
Tamara and Katia then make their way to the exit and Katia is killed as in the wide to narrow corridor she is caught between an arch and has her arms skinned pushing through and then an impalement to the right side of her face from the Clown Brother's rusty knife.
Tamara then makes it to the exit which begins to collapse as the Clown Brother brings down the exit area with explosives leaving only a catflap exit for her which she makes it through.
The Clown brother perishes as pushing his head through the exit and grabbing onto Tamara's legs she kicks at his head repeatedly and succeeds in breaking his neck.
It is now sunrise and the carnival for the Lemming Bros. Circus is being packed up.
Tamara then navigates around the showgrounds and comes to the ticket-man brother packing up the Funhouse ride and who had been questioned by the Manager regarding two girls Sera Goldstein and Lena Randone who took the Funhouse ride and didn't return home from the carnival that night, the ticket-man denies knowing anything gleefully as he closes up.
As the sun rises over his back Tamara steps behind him armed with the Clown Brother's Spear Gun and then dislodges a spear before rushing off to Donovan's van and taking off before on the freeway being pulled over by the authorities regarding the van being stolen.
- James Franco as Donovan Linkeiss
- Bella Heathcote as Tamara Cotton
- Heather Hemmens as Lara Morris
- Desi Lydic as Amanda Brady
- Brady Corbet as Kennedy Fitz
- Jamie Bell as Wandin Waverley
- Corbin Bernsen as the Madman/Clown/Maniac/Killer
- Debra Winger as Whitney Brady
- Donnie Wahlberg as Kevin Waverley
- Harvey Keitel as the Funhouse Ticket-Man
- Bonnie Wright as Katia Mercoles
- Maiara Walsh as Sera Goldstein
- Sasha Jackson as Lena Randone
The original casting call opened on June 12th, 2009 and hundreds auditioned for the roles of the unfortunate youngsters which serve as the protagonists in the film.
The roles of the disfigured clown dressed killer and Funhouse Ticket man had already been pre-selected and the casting call for extras to play the carnival tenants and sideshow freaks closed on November 4th, 2009, after opening on June 24th, 2009.
The casting call for the main youngsters closed on June 17th, 2009 and actors Joel Moore, Jack Stanley and Jamie Bell were cast as well as actresses Mila Kunis, Heather Hemmens and Beverley Mitchell.
However the film hit a rut in 2010 when just as filming was to begin Kunis backed out of the project due to scheduling conflicts and personal issues, Moore and Mitchell then came to drop out as the film entered a long stasis in production and eventually they came to lose Stanley.
The film then re-entered production on May 24th, 2010 and a new casting call was warranted.
To Paramount Pictures' surprise Oscar Nominated A-List Hollywood actor James Franco came along to audition, showing an interest in portraying the maniacal, disfigured clown killer.
The part however had already been set for actor Corbin Benson and desperatley wanting Franco to stay aboard in a significant role writers Finch and Litvack wrote in the lead, 19 year old Donovan Linkeiss would be 22 years old instead.
Franco was hesitant about taking the part but wanting to mark an appearence in a horror film, a big budget one which would be his one and only horror film he accepted.
Franco heading up the lead of the group of unfortunate youngsters then prompted a bevy of talented young actresses to vie for the final girl girlfriend character of James Franco's Donovan.
Auditioners included Bonnie Wright, Mae Whitman, Maiara Walsh, Bella Heathcote Sasha Jackson and Sasha Grey.
The part however ultimatley went to Heathcote but Wright who is worldwide known for her portrayal of Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise, model beauty Sasha Jackson and actress Maiara Walsh came to land other supporting parts in the film.
Wright came to portray the part of written in character Elizabeth Danning who comes to be stuck with the unfortunate youngsters of the film in the Funhouse and Jackson and Walsh serve as the film's beginning victims.
Actress Kenzie Dalton came in and read for the part of Lara Morris unaware actress Heather Hemmens had not abandoned the part and she because of her amazing audition was awarded the part of Amanda Brady instead.
Jamie Bell who had not dropped the part of Wandin Waverley kept the part and controversial young actor Brady Corbert came in and read for the role of Kennedy Fitz, the role Jack Stanley dropped which he was awarded.
Other contending actors who auditioned for the role of Kennedy included Max Thieriot, Jamie Campbell Bower, Colton Haynes and Steven R. McQueen.
- Moonlight Feels Right- Starbuck
- Kiss You All Over- Exile
- Rise- Herb Alpert
- Train In Vain- The Clash
- Since You Been Gone- Rainbow
- The Circus- Charlie Chaplin
- Twisted- Brian McFadden
- Rocket- Goldfrapp
- Funhouse- P!nk
- Behold The Darkness- Medwyn Goodall
- Ambience- Mannheim