Down and out backup singer and celebrity ex-husband Kasper is invited to compete in the Funhouse, an online ‘Big Brother’ style reality show. To rebrand his image and tarnished reputation, Kasper reluctantly accepts the offer. Together with 7 other C-list celebrities from around the globe he will compete for the prize of 5 million dollars. At first, the Funhouse is just as the name suggests, full of wild times, budding friendships, love connections and brewing rivalries. To everyone’s surprise, the fun quickly turns into misery when the first challenge leaves one of the contestants brutally murdered
For a few years now, I’ve been into horror movies based around video games, the internet, or people on the internet influencing the outcome of the unwitting victims. Unfriended, Dark Web, Cam, even all the way back to 1994’s Brainscan to name just a few. While there are numerous films of this type out there, not all of them are very good so let’s find out if this one is.
Jason William Lee wrote and directed Funhouse for Magnolia Pictures, released under their Magnet releasing label. Funhouse is a “Big Brother” type reality show where a group of fading stars, influencers, and youtube creators get together to win a 5 million dollar prize. First up we have our “hero” if you want to call him that, Kasper Nordin played by Valter Skarsgård. Yes, another brother of Alexander has surfaced, those Swedish Baldwins just keep multiplying. the rest of the houseguests are Ximenia Torres (Gigi Saul Guerrero), a Mexican pop culture blogger who exposes celebs on her blog, Lonnie Byrne (Khaisa Wilsher) a former contestant on a Bachelorette style show who was dumped at the altar, now splits her time either being an influencer or getting in trouble with the law. Jimmy ‘Headstone’ Malone (Christopher Gerard) Irish MMA fighter who drank his way out of the business. Ula La More (Karolina Benefield) an Instagram it-girl with 8+ Million followers and not ashamed to use her body to get more. Cat Zim (Amanda Howells) small-time Filipino actress who’s now relegated to cheap sci-fi roles and is the quiet girl in real life. Dex ‘ El Shocker’ Souza (Mathias Retamal) Chilean retired gangsta rapper who found fame and blew it all on drugs and women. Finally, we have Nevin Eversmith (Dayleigh Nelson) A British Youtuber whose claim to fame is making videos about viral videos and rating them which has netted him a fan base of 10+ million followers, oh and he’s kind of a jerk also.
As they went thru the cast of characters in the house I could instantly match them up with real-life people: Tekashi 69, Nicole Arbour, Sam Pepper, Jake, or Logan Paul, ya know the kind of people a lot of folks would want to watch in this situation. The first night is pretty simple everyone wakes up inside the house as they all meet in the meeting room they all learn they were drugged and dumped in the house, which was in the contract they signed even if they didn’t read it. and they are met by a cartoonish panda avatar Furcas who welcomes them to Furcas’ “House Of Fun,”. Furcas gives them the rules of the game. that at least once a day they must enter a confession-style room and talk to their followers for 5 minutes to get votes. At the end of the day, votes are counted and the person with the lowest total must leave the house.
Our houseguests spend the rest of the night drinking and partying and getting to know each other and the next day they begin playing the game. the next day after the vote they really learn what it means to be to get voted off the show. Mind you while they helplessly watch a houseguest get murdered millions of people are also watching a live stream of this person getting killed. So now, not only are the houseguests trapped in this bizarre death house but the people outside now know that people’s lives are in their hands. In a true reflection of society, we can see what the normal everyday person will do with that power. Some voting just hoping that they get to keep their favorite celeb alive. some voting to keep the cutest one alive, and of course voting for anyone just so that one person you don’t like dies, but all of them male, female, young, or old comes back to see what happens.
When it all comes down to it Funhouse is nothing more than a low-budget splatter-gore horror flick. Most folks who follow social media and/or reality will probably really get into this one. Even if you don’t match up real-world celebs with the characters like I did, you will definitely know the types of personalities of people you may see on TV or hear about on the news and make your snap judgment on whether they should live or die. At the very least – what order you’d want ’em to die in.
Funhouse will be available to stream on multiple SVOD services on May 28th