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Funny Games (1997)

Cast: Susanne Lothar, Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, more...
Director: Michael Haneke, Michael Haneke
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, Suspense/Thriller, Black Comedy, Germany, Crime
Running Time: 103 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English

In this exploration of our violent society, writer and director Michael Haneke takes a disturbing look at how depictions of violence at once reflect and shape our culture. A well-to-do German family -- father Georg (Ulrich Mühe), mother Anna (Susanne Lothar), and son Georgie (Stefan Clapczynski) -- are settling in for the weekend at their vacation retreat near the lake. While Georg and his son head out for some sailing, a courteous young gentleman named Peter (Frank Giering) appears at the door, asking if he can borrow some eggs. When he breaks them, Anna offers him some more, but the conversation soon takes an odd turn; Peter goes from pleasant to sniveling to confrontational, and he's soon joined by his friend Paul (Arno Frisch). When Georg returns, he demands that Paul and Peter leave, but the two strangers refuse; Paul and Peter react with violence against Georg and his family, and they soon have the family tied up and begin torturing them. Peter and Paul occasionally refer to the camera in a manner recalling Bertolt Brecht, and near the end of the film, they even demand the opportunity to replay a scene so that they may mete out more punishment against their victims. The score includes classical selections by Mozart and Handel as well as performances by avant-garde composer John Zorn. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Comedy?! Oy vey. by Biehle December 3, 2008 - 10:39 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I'd heard a few critiques of this movie and its remake before seeing it, and wondered how bad it good actually be. I suppose it's a taste thing. Was it bad taste for Michael Haneke to be so cruel to the family in this movie and so cruel to the viewers? I don't think so. But I didn't see any element of comedy, other than the opening credits sequence. This is a horror movie, torture porn. And it's really good at it. In most horror movies, there's some semblance of hope, no matter how slim, but this one keeps stripping it away. Even when things get marginally better for the tortured family, it's not any better. What makes the bad guys even scarier is that they are entirely plausible. Who hasn't met these two before?

It's hard to rate a movie that is this well written, acted, and directed, but that I wouldn't recommend.

Feeding into what you want. by MissOmega March 23, 2006 - 12:32 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This is still an excellent watch. A lesson in visual tension. I love that the director took the genre of psychological thriller and poked fun at it. Total horror movie. Total comedy. Bring it.

i was hoping tboot was wrong... by ninjaweapon November 23, 2003 - 5:30 PM PST
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
but he was dead-on. i gave a few stars for the acting, but the film is a mess.

>> more reviews

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.13)
135 Votes
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The Art of Horror
This on-going list focuses on horror films that do not so easily fit under any of horror's subgenres: vampires, zombies, slasher, etc. They are horror films that inhabit a dark universe all their own. All evoke a bleak essence of inescapable dread.
morpheme's favorites
in my opinion

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