Thick with the smell of dopesmoke and greasepaint, Tobe Hopper’s fairground horror rattles through spook-film history like a vintage ghost train, referencing everything from Bride Of Frankenstein to Psycho and Halloween.
Closer in cruelty to Poltergeist (made only a year later) than The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – though it features a masked marauder and was banned as a video nasty – it’s a little creaky, but the play between illusion/reality and a genuinely creepy carnie atmosphere oil the wheels.
Hall-of-mirrors extras look slightly more substantial than they are.
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