The Funhouse Massacre

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I’m a sucker for films that are about or take place around Halloween. So I was delighted when I discovered The Funhouse Massacre, a slasher film that takes place in a haunted house. Unfortunately, the film is nowhere near as fun as the title and plot would have you believe. I never expected a masterpiece, but I wanted more than what I got. Director Andy Palmer’s love of the genre is apparent, but it almost feels like he’s approaching the film from a fan’s perspective and not a filmmaker. He gets so caught up in cramming in every horror trope he can think of, that he forgets to add any actual substance.

The film follows a group of friends that head to a local haunted attraction on Halloween. The group is comprised of the usual suspects. There’s the nerd, the obvious protagonist, the slut, and the douche/jock. The gang arrives hoping to get laid and maybe get spooked, but unbeknownst to them, there is a real threat lurking. A merry band of psychopaths have escaped from the institution and taken up residence inside the walls of the haunt, and they’re out for blood.

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The story is simple, but I like the concept. It’s the execution I take issue with. The problem starts with the characters. I know better than to demand depth from my slasher film characters, but even so, they need something that makes you as a viewer care about them. This bunch seem to go out of their way to be annoying. Even the love story between the heroine and the nerd feels forced and too “quirky”. The slut seems to repeat about every five minutes that she loves sex, you know in case you forgot. It’s not just the victims that grate on the nerves. It’s the villains too. I like that the villains each were distinct and stuck to their killing M.O., but it wasn’t enough to make them memorable. The best killer was without a doubt the clown girl who enjoys wearing people’s faces. However, even she just seems like a Harley Quinn knockoff.

Of course the writing of these characters weighs on the performances. It’s difficult to tell whether the actors are just bad, or if it was the direction, or if they simply didn’t have enough to work with. I could see potential in Matt Angel as the goofy guy trying to impress the girl and Candice De Visser as the homicidal clown girl. Again, though I don’t think this film can be used to measure anyone’s talent.

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Then there’s the constant banter. There’s just too much chit chat in this film. Not every line of dialogue needs to be a punch line or something witty. The writer should’ve just let the jokes evolve from the situation, instead of trying to cram them down the viewer’s throats. It’s mostly just a case of the writers thinking they were way more clever than they actually are.

The visuals of the movie are actually quite striking. The bold colors of the funhouse create a festive atmosphere that plays well with all the over the top gore. The shots are carefully composed and if the film was on mute it might actually be enjoyable.

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There isn’t too much to say overall about The Funhouse Massacre. It’s got flash, but not much else. The Funhouse Massacre could be a pretty cool “B” movie, but it just tries too hard and ends up failing on most levels. I’d compare it to James Roday’s cinematic directorial debut, Gravy. Both take place on Halloween, both have the look and to some extent the feel, but neither leave much of an impression. A word to the wise, if you see this online or at the Redbox, just skip over it.

 

 

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Serial Killer Speed Dating- Spring Fever Edition

 In this day and age, many have turned to technology to find romance. They look to websites and apps to building a lasting relationship. However, Abel Horwitz (@abelhorwitz, http://abelhorwitz.tumblr.com) has a better idea. He took the idea of speed dating and made it a little bit more interesting- by adding serial killers!

 (Photo by Kady Chun)

In what has become quite the successful adventure, Abel has brought back his signature event- Serial Killer Speed Dating (@skspeeddating, http://www.serialkillerspeeddating.com). Part speed dating, part show, part murder mystery- the participants witness a death and then engage in trying to guess which one of the other participants is the killer, all the while speed dating. This time it was a sold out special “Spring Fever” edition of Serial Killer Speed Dating.

I had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall for this event, and was witness to the party. It started as a scream was heard from the bathroom as one of the participants had been attacked and died in a bloody mess in front of everyone. From there, the speed dating began. It was amusing to see how many of the dates began with asking “Are you the killer?” Or “I didn’t do it.” Then the real surprise came as the victim rose from the dead and joined in on the dating. From there, began two hours of smiles, laughs and a fantastic time for all those dates. In the end, it was discovered who the killer was, prizes were passed out, and some even made some real connections.

 (Photo by Kady Chun)

Abel, who also acts as host, was in true form as he is always engaging with everyone, while making sure everything runs so smoothly. It really runs like a well oiled machine.

 (Photo by Kady Chun)

The entire night went by so fast and flawless, you’re sad when it was over. I want to point out that one thing I observed the most was everyone having such an amazing time. Everyone was laughing and smiling from ear to ear.

With so many impersonal and technological ways to meet people these days, it’s so nice to see people actually meeting up and talking. I think the addition of blood, dead bodies and serial killers just makes it more fun and definitely more interesting.

 (Photo by Kady Chun)

All in all, Serial Killer Speed Dating’s Spring Fever edition was an absolute success. You get to go on a series of dates, meet someone, and possibly catch a killer. What doesn’t sound like a good time?! And to Abel’s credit, SKSD has become so popular, a representative from SnapChat came to cover the event, which resulted in SKSD being featured in SnapChat’s Los Angeles Story. You can view their video of SKSD on YouTube at https://youtu.be/WRLAVqAZJoY?t=39s

 (Photo by Kady Chun)

I, along with the rest of the All Hallows’ Haunts team, loves and highly recommends Serial Killer Speed Dating. It’s different, unique and fun. You will not be disappointed. And luckily for you, Abel has said to stay tuned and be sure to follow SKSD on Twitter and FACEBOOK as they have some exciting events in the works that will be coming very soon!

Dexter to return to Showtime?

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The possibility of a Dexter revival has been kicked around since the disappointing series finale. However, it seems that finally the showrunners, the actors, and the fans are all on the same page. David Nevins the President of Showtime has stated that he would like to bring Dexter back, but would only do so if Michael C. Hall agreed to return to the show. After all, what would Dexter be without its titular character.

For his part, Hall has indicated that he would never play Dexter again. During the last couple seasons, he repeatedly expressed his disdain for the direction the show was taking. It’s only recently that Hall has changed his tune and said he’d consider reprising his role as America’s favorite serial killer. Unfortunately, Hall has been missing from both the big screen and the small screen for the past couple years. Despite his roles in Six Feet Under and Dexter, Hall hasn’t been booking major roles. Perhaps his career hasn’t taken off the way he hoped it would.

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Nevins has also stated that he’d like Jennifer Carpenter to return. Those who stuck around through the entire 8th season, will understand why bringing Deb back will require some plot acrobatics on the part of the writers. No word yet from Carpenter on whether or not she’d be willing to play Deb again.

At this time there is no set date for the return of Dexter. According to the network when and if the show returns it’s likely to come back as a mini series rather than a full season. What do you guys think? Would you like to see Dexter and his dark passenger back in action or is it time to let this series die?

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