Funny Games, (1997) dir. Michael Haneke

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by aoiookami, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    [​IMG]
    (not the r1 cover, but way better than it anyways.)

    If you havnt heard of the distrubing, smart and fresh thriller 'Funny Games' you're in for a treat. Funny Games' plot is very simple, but executed brilliantly, by both the director and all the actors involved.

    It's about a 'white picket fence' family that arrives in their summer home by the lake for a relaxing vacation, but their lives are turned completely upside down when their house is intruded in by two well dressed and seemingly well mannered (at first) men. Though its only a few minutes before you start to realize these guys arent there to borrow some cooking ingredients. The family soon finds themselves stuck in the middle of their sick games, that abuse them mentally and physically, while progressively getting worse and more brutal. This film is brutal, the hype you've heard about it is true. There is infact very little blood and gore, its more mentally and emotionally brutal. If you want to see a true nihilistic film, forget Guinee Pig or the other brainless fake snuff romps, check this out.

    First off if you think you know how it ends, you dont. And if you do manage to guess how it ends, there's no way you'll be able to predict the methods in which it does. It's not a predictable movie by any means; things happen quickly, things happen brutally, so its very unpredictable. Not only this but the director throws in a number of really nice imaginative touches that turn the viewer into an active 'player' in the men's sick games. You're asked questions, and at some points the 'laws of film' are twisted, I dont want to give too much away but you'll know what I mean when you see it. It sounds kind of quirky and gimmicy but its all pulled off very well.

    The film is very smart too, by that I mean there wasnt 1 part where I was yelling at the screen "No dont go there!" or "Dont do that!" the characters are smart (what a nice change) and its all pulled off brilliantly by the fantastic acting, I was blown away by all the preformances. Some real raw emotion. As well, you wont see any 'Oh my leg is hurt, but since I'm in danger I suddenly have the strength to run away!!' When people get hurt in this film they GET HURT, and are down for the count, the pain was acted off so well I could practically feel it.

    The DVD is basically barebones, with only filmographies and and a grainy, shaky trailer. The picture is kind of worn in some places as well, but who cares, the movie is that good. I wouldnt love 'Thesis' anymore than I do now if it had a perfect picture and extras, and its the same case here.

    It's a movie that is definately seen with as little known as possible, so as much as I'd like to babble on without spoilers I wont, I'll end the spoiler-free part here. Highly reccomended, seriously, its a really smart and distrubing film, some of the best acting I've seen. if you see it, buy it. If you're even slightly interested, order it (I think its a tough one to find..?) you wont be dissapointed, It's a true gem.

    Now for the HUGE spoilers filled part, anyone who has seen the film care to start a discussion I'd love that;

    Really HUGE spoilers
    I was pretty blown away by several parts of the film, but mostly by things that took place after the son's head was blown off (and by the way, wow!). First off, I thought the scene where it took the husband and wife, I think literally 10 minutes of screen time to get up after the attackers left, in that single take too, was really powerful. I really liked the parts where Paul interacted with the audience, they were pulled off perfectly; mainly when, the husband told him to just kill them both right away, and Paul asked the viewer 'You dont want to see it end now, right? There is still development left, a plausible ending' etc. And the strange thing was, I did want it to go on, depsite the couples suffering (which kind of creeped me out) but I did want exactly what Paul said, a more developed ending....possibly a happy one?

    Which brings up another point, when there is that single moment of hope when the wife grabs the shotgun and blows Peter away....only for Paul to intervene and actually REWINDS the film, assuring the audience there is no happy ending to be had here, thus bringing an entirely new twist that I've never really seen in a film before. I'm so used to thrillers and movies in general where the main character(s) just barely make it out alive. Not in this case, the film is 'rewound', husband blown away, wife tied up and thrown over a boat. I really didnt see it coming. I had a feeling they were gonna die before I watched the film, based off the reviews I read, but I didnt expect any of the little twists, that threw me for a loop a few times, and I really couldnt have predicted 95% of what happened in that last act. Really brilliant. I also can't say enough good things about the acting, it was flawless in my opinion..
     
  2. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Wow, I haven't seen this film in years. I'd almost forgotten about it, but I do remember liking it a great deal. I don't really remember too much about it, besides the basic demented plot structure.
     
  3. KamuiX

    KamuiX The Eighth Samurai

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    This is a great film. Harsh, disturbing, and in a few instances, darkly funny. I love Michael Haneke...he's one of the few directors (along with Trier and Bergman) that make me feel like I've been punched in the gut and completely drained after watching one of his films. Definitely recommended :)
     
  4. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    I am usually alone on this on horror boards, but I just really hate this movie. Just seeing its name makes me want to slap someone, especially the director. The acting was melodramatic, the direction was heavy handed and pretentious, and I just hated everything. It didn't horrify me like Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer did, it just really pissed me off.

    One of my cinema pet peeves is when movies stoop to gratuitous violence to try and make some intellectual point of how harsh violence is or how wrong we are for wanting to see it. Like hello, Mr. Making A Very Violent Movie, get off it as I am not buying your higher point for a second. All the talking to the camera they did to this end was hard to take, but the worst example of this was the rewind scene. It's one of my least favorite movie scenes of all time. The affectation there almost made me turn it off just because I thought it was so insulting. I wish I had turned it off. The movie did manage to be so annoying that I can't block it from my memory, I'll give it that.

    I thought I would avoid this director's work for this lifetime and several others. However, I couldn't resist him casting my favorite actress, Isabelle Huppert, and I was shocked to really appreciate his later movie La Pianiste. I though that it had much better acting, and a story with more meat to it. Also, the direction was more subtle and hence more effective. I do give it up for that movie.

    Oh, and, despite my carrying on, your review is very well done as always. If they have another review contest, you should for sure give it a go.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2005
  5. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I think Funny games is a great film it just gets under your skin like few films do.

    Most of the violence in the film was off screen. I don't think they stooped to gratuitous violence at all.
     
  6. KR~!

    KR~! The Apocalyptic Kid

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    That speaks for the power of this film, they only shown one death on camera, so for someone to say it had "gratuitous violence" it really shows how great this film was, since it's all in your head.

    It's the same with the 1st Texas Chainsaw film, there is hardly any gore in it at all, and yet people still say it was one of the goriest films ever!

    It's the power of suggestion.
     
  7. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    Thanks for the comments. And I totally agree, FG is really not the violent at all, visually. There indeed only one death onscreen, and even that one is technically 'off-screen'
    Huge spoiler
    The son's
    Which in my opinion was handled SO well, very tense, since you
    hear the shotgun blast and then it cuts away to the other guy in the kitchen and all you can hear is the rucuss in the living room, not knowing who 'got it' for a few minutes, you even have to watch the TV screen covered in blood while you wait, well done.
     
  8. onebyone

    onebyone Guest

    I don't personally measure gratuitous violence by gallons of blood visible on screen. Instead, I go by needless suffering, which I think this movie had more than enough of.
     
  9. h8sh8

    h8sh8 Guest

    Nice review aoiookami.

    Excellent movie, one of my all time favourite movies.
    I recommend Haneke's new one 'Cache' too. I prefer Funny Games, but many critics are saying Cache is his best yet. Wont say too much, but it's very well made.

    Found this interesting article the other day at Roger Ebert's site "When a critic walks out". Mainly about both Wolf Creek and Funny Games (talking about the 'funny games' in it). Warning, contains spoilers.
     
  10. aoiookami

    aoiookami Demon Fetishist

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    I'll check out Cache for sure h8sh8, is there an r1? After Funny Games I'd love to see all of his work.
     
  11. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    h8sh8 - thanks for that link, I enjoyed reading that, even if it's a bit short. Now my interest is peaked even more by this film - so on my wish list it goes.

    I don't pay retail for DVD's - but I might break down with Wolf Creek this weekend....
     
  12. KamuiX

    KamuiX The Eighth Samurai

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    No R1 yet, was just released in theatres here...not sure if it's out yet in any other region. I can't wait to see it myself. Since you're interested in his work, I'd definitely recommend The Piano Teacher and Time of the Wolf, both of which out in R1. Great films :)
     
  13. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    Finally we agree!!! :D

    Perfectly put. I thought it was an okay movie up to that point and then it just got too cheeky and cute for its own good. RUINED it for me. Hate, hate, hate this film. But happily so!!! :lol:
     
  14. welb25

    welb25 New Member

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    I was looking for a release of Cache and all I came up with was a Russian release that is full frame and naturally no English subs. It seems we will have to wait awhile longer.
     
  15. Noto

    Noto Guest

    I hate it too. What an awful, awful movie. When will people learn that in order for you to have a 'social commentary' you need to have the characters actually saying something. The message has to be delivered continuously throughout, with light jabs, and not heavy blows.

    Whenever something is too forward it just comes off cocky.

    Not to mention that the "Ham we tricked you because you want to watch violence and we made it obvious" message falls flat when you actually don't show on screen violence at all.

    Rarely has a movie made me cringe to the point that I wished I didn't see it. Funny Games is one of those films.

    It amazes me how so many people are so easy to impress. There is nothing clever about this film, but it is completely groan-inducing.

    I believe the late Richard Pryor said it best when he said, "Nigger, please."
     
  16. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    My main reason for loving this film has nothing to do with it’s message which the director claims he has done to “test you” funny how his other film Benny’s Video is very similar to this one so I guess he was trying to “test” us there to. Me recognizing that this was a good film had nothing to do with me enjoying the sadism. I wanted the family to get back at them the entire film. Saying that the acting was great. Especially by the lady who played the mother. The tension was consistent and the villains terrifically despicable to the point I wanted to punch the screen. I like how it makes you think about what you would do in that scenario. It's just an all around good film that forces out your emotions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2006
  17. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    This is the quote that should have been on the front of the coverbox.
     
  18. Noto

    Noto Guest

    Well if we are going to make a box quote I would say Method Man's "Shame on a nigga who try to run game on a nigga!" would be even more approptiate.
     
  19. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    It's even more amazing how some few use their opinion of a movie to proclaim themselves smarter than others. It's one think not to like a movie and provide arguements and another thing to do just that.
     
  20. Noto

    Noto Guest

    Right, which is why I did provide arguments.
     

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