To take an explicit example: the father / barker who owns the funhouse (played by Kevin Conway, last seen in The Lathe of Heaven) is killed by being thrust onto a sword held by a mannequin; it protrudes through the front of his belly, and he grasps it like an erection.
In a slightly reversed echo of Malory's Morte d'Arthur (Mordred's killing his father by hauling himself along the spear that has impaled him), the barker tries to kill but only wounds the male good guy, Buzz, by forcing him belly first onto that sword, in a homoerotic patriarchal nightmare that could not possibly please the audience.
As in the best horror films, there is an unsettling mixture of identification with the victim and a reluctant compassion for the monster. There is nothing remotely titillating about these and similar scenes, yet they cannot be called disgusting; what they have instead is a horrible beauty that has always been one of the central attractions of the genre and the core of its claim to art.
Where this all comes together is in three remarkable reflexive sequences: the opening, the conclusion, and a scene in the middle, where the father confronts his monstrous son. "As God is my witness," he says, "I don't hate the sound of your voice." Until this point the monster has been wearing a Frankenstein mask, a downright brilliant gesture, not just because the Frankenstein monster is the correct prototype (the child rejected by his creator and looking for love) but because with the mask on he appears part of the normal world, the world that includes horror images as elements in its playground.
The Funhouse contacts reality in its analysis of the impact of horror films on the fantasy lives of (its) audience...
(Hooper reveals her bare chest as well, the only nudity in the film and another subtle refutation of slasher convention that nudity will prefigure the death of any teenager - cinemachine)
The boy is a straightforward image of the child not as horror-object but as horror-audience, and if Hooper's audience finds him as harmless as their own presumed self-image, they will learn, as the boy later does, that there is more at issue than fun, that these games are connected in a meaningful way with genuine rape and murder in an unattractively perverse context.
This is an image of the child that critiques the child images of The Exorcist, The Omen and Halloween rather than reinforces them, and scorns utterly those in Prom Night and its ilk. Amy then goes downstairs to wait for her date, where she finds her parents watching Bride of Frankenstein on television, a film that by the end will be revealed as the same sort of clue provided by The Wolf Man in The Howling.
For in the end the monster tries to make Amy his bride in death. He has cornered her in the basement of the funhouse; she holds him off with a steel pole. She is distracted by a (false) skeleton that drops behind her, but has the self-posesession to realize which is the real horror and strikes at him. He pulls the bar away and accidentally electrocutes himself on the power plant, an echo of his killing of Madame Zena; this starts in motion the mechanism that pulls the ride's carts, which catches him in its hooks and chains. He appears to be dead, and Amy stands before him - but he revives and almost succeeds in pulling her toward him.