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Funny Games Reviews

Page 1 of 306
Cameron S

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2013
Michael Haneke's 'Funny Games' is a work of existential nihilism that challenges the idea of 'Hollywood morals' and audience's complicity in acts of violence. The story sees two serial killers/ home invaders subject a family to a series of games in which humiliation is key and mercy is left behind. 'Funny Games' suffers from an undeserved sense of self-brilliance, the fourth wall is often broken as the killers question if viewers are enjoying/agreeing with what is happening on screen in a manner which assumes they don't,this is wrong. As the film progresses it becomes that which it criticizes, elevating itself to the enjoyable levels of 'torture porn' it desperately wants to parody.

The failings of the film's proposed ideologies is furthered by the moments the family being tortured are alone, which are boring and over-long, somewhat building excitement for their deaths. Despite all this 'Funny Games' is strengthened by convincing performances and a few experimental devices that separate it from the norm.

Overly heavy handed and boring, 'Funny Games' fails to reach the levels of greatness it's so sure it has and offers less than the torture films it grows to become.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2012
Until this film, I don't think I had ever watched a shot-for-shot remake, let alone one made by the same filmmaker as the original. I mean, what's the point, exactly? Perhaps a wider appeal in America/the English-speaking world, which traditionally resists reading subtitles...?

Unfortunately, I don't really like Tim Roth, (he's no Ulrich Muhe, not even close), and after seeing the original, there's not much punch in the remake, nor even any subtle corrections to strengthen what was already there. I'll give it a decent rating, though, because other than the Roth vs. Muhe question, it's hard to find much difference. Personally, I'd watch the original, because it was made when it needed to made, when its point might have been strongest - plus, on that DVD, you get the interview with Haneke that's crucial to understanding just what the heck is going on, and why anyone would make a film like this. You'll get a chilling story whichever version you choose though, and one that ably points out how calmly we accept violence on film - and why, perhaps, we shouldn't.
Rubia

Super Reviewer

June 6, 2009
Didn´t expect such a disappointement from Michael Haneke, whose most movies I admire.
Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet don´t convince.
Hitchcock´s "Rope" is much a better example of psychotic guys and cold murder.


Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

January 16, 2012
Directed (and written) by Michael Haneke, Celluloid Dreams, 2008.

Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Brady Corbet and Michael Pitt.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Question: Do you like it when a story is told in a unique and brilliant manner? Of course you do. How about when the story is about two young males who like to play mind games, torture and....oh wait, almost gave a little too much away. Well, I just finished watching Funny Games (the American version) and feeling a little guilty for liking this film.

I have to remain vague in this review. As you can see Funny Games is a thriller and a really good one. Trust me, you think you will know how the story ends, but the fact that this movie takes storytelling to a whole new level. And as a storyteller myself, especially about movies, I loved how this movie ended up playing its own mind games. Unfortunately, I felt a little sick to my stomach during and after watching Funny Games. Again, I can't say why.

Let's see, what can I tell you all about this film? First, it was remake of an 1997 Austrian film of the same name. Second, the director/writer Michael Haneke, directed both films - shot-for-shot. Although the actors used in each film were cast differently. Third, it is a very sadistic story...okay, did I just lose you all with that point?

Okay, here's the gist (somewhat): a well-to-do family drive to their summer home on Long Island for a relaxing weekend. They stop to say hello to some neighbors, who behave strangely but they continue on to their home all ready to start their vacation - golfing and boating. Their dog runs around gleefully saying hello to the mother, father and son. They unpack and prepare for the weekend; a neighbor stops by with a white-gloved "friend" and help put their boat in the water. This "friend" ends up staying and another white-gloved "friend" shows up asking to borrow 4 eggs for a neighbor.

From this point everything just starts to go wrong. So, so wrong. I mentioned something about torture and that is what the rest of the story is about. These two young men (white-gloved "friends"), who revel in the enjoyment of causing pain and suffering (mental and physical) to others, may end up being the most evil characters I have witnessed on screen in a long time. Actually Michael Pitt, one of the young fellows, is definitely the scariest characters ever and almost gave me nightmares with the final shot of the movie.

Now all this talk may not make you want you to run out and rent Funny Games; however, the method the director used to tell this story was nothing short of brilliant. It will make you feel sick to your stomach, although a lot of the violence is not really on screen. And some typical tricks with thrillers that you expect aren't used (sort of) and you almost end up begging for those tricks that usually end up making the story typical. See, mind games.

That's it - I can't say anymore.

My favorite part: The remote control, but then again, it should be my least favorite part. You'll see why.

Rating: R
Length: 111 minutes

Review: 7 out of 10
aSpaceCowboy
aSpaceCowboy

Super Reviewer

March 18, 2008
I'm trying to figure out where this film starts to exceed the running time of the original Funny Games. Sure it's only a few minutes longer, but this remake feel like a slightly sped up version of Haneke's 1997 psychological thriller. Some nuggets of dialog have either been altered or taken out. Paul refers to Peter as Tom and Beavis, the superior titles of famous cartoon characters. Having not seen the original you wouldn't know that. Peter would in turn refer to Paul as the opposing characters Jerry and Butt-Head. Just an example of how this feels shorter, but is the longer film.

It's not even a complaint that the dialog is changed around a bit. This is why Funny Games U.S. moves a little faster (here's the complaint) because it forgets to explain itself. It leaves out certain elements from the original and goes straight to the punch. I feel, that this film is better looked on its own and not compared to 90's version. If you compare you see how much more flawed it is. Without that comparision of "what's left out?" the movie manages to engage the right audience it's looking for and just tell it like it is during these funny games our protagonists are playing.

Nothing's ever explained, but if you give this flick another viewing you see how meant to be a merry-go-round of ambiguity. You see that Funny Games is about these two disturbed nutbags hitting wealthy, isolated families for their own amusement...and nothing more.

[fit in somewhere] Another area of complaint is how forced the performances seem based on the dialog. For instance, when Naomi waits behind a tree to avoid a passing car, but the second it goes by she wails and screams and waves her arms trying to get to stop. Another example was the egg scene early on in the beginning. Naomi is supposed to be getting fed-up with Brady's character and she goes from calm to really pissed off. This was also a problem area in the original, but not so much as the most spotly occurence would be when Paul asks Ann[e] for eggs after Peter had already ruined both handfull of eggs.

One fatal flaw is one of those moderized chnages exclusive to this version. In the original Georg[e] and Ann[e] had one house phone slipt between the two of them. Here, they each have they're own cell phone. But wait, we see that during the first egg scene that Ann[e]'s cell gets knocked into the sink water damaging it. When they think they're left alone an hour later in the film, Ann[e] notices that the cell is working a little, but not well enough and tries to dry it off more with a hairdryer. Still like the original.

Here's the difference and the flaw. Where has Georg[e]'s phone been this whole time? He says that it's in the car outside. With neither of the tormentors around, why didn't Ann[e] just go and get it? If it wasn't so odd of a move it would have been a cliche right out of any typical horror/slasher B-movie. But, to keep to the original this little "thing" needed to be passed by. Just another issue with modernization and how it can kill an adaptation.

In conclusion, you can't really complain how this turned out if you had seen the original because other than the couple of tidbits I mentioned it's a shot-for-shot remake. It's not a bad film. It's just misunderstood.
Emily A

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2011
God, this film is excrutiating. There is so little that actually happens, it happens to slowly and there is no pleasure to be gotten in watching it. I'm sure that's the point of this film, but if that's true then Funny Games misses the point of cinema as a whole. Unpleasant and pointless things happen at a pace that would lose a race to molasses. There were entire sequences that I watched on fast forward and it did nothing to break up the pace of this film. Is there anyone reding this that WOULD like to spend fifteen minutes watching Naomi Watts hobble across a living room with her hands tied behind her? Ten minutes watching Tim Roth take a hair dryer to his cellphone, or another ten minutes watching Brady Corbet awkwardly try to borrow a dozen eggs? I have no idea why someone would think that this movie is worth watching. The editor completely let us, the audience down. Rent this, watch it on 132x speed, call it a short film, then watch Saw instead.
TheGame90
TheGame90

Super Reviewer

August 23, 2010
Well this movie just kicks the Hollywood standards in the nuts. No one tells them how to make a movie. And that's a very nice alternative to everything else you see. I thought it was a little slow...many scenes that could have been cut down. Great performances by all actors. Fantastic ending that just shatter all your hopes....And the extremely crappy song in the movie fits so absolutely perfect that it becomes extremely great.
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2010
I really enjoyed this movie a lot. Its a very dark movie that relies on suspense not violence to be scary and terrifying and i like that. A very good movie with a weird point that isnt entirely clear but in my opinion makes it better.

Grade: B+
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 9, 2010
Not meant to be simple shock value and/or torture porn, Funny Games has no cut and clear message. Instead of just being a home invasion featuring psychopathic killers with their own warped agenda, Funny Games is a film dissection. It overviews the idea of good versus bad, a singular victim winning out, and some of the more obvious movie cliches. Going against these ideas makes for a very strange set of events, killers speaking directly to the camera, various deaths in a twisted game, and an anticlimactic ending. Because the killers had no intention and the film lacked a varied plot, I personally could not engross myself in the bland story. It's good to watch and then discuss with other film viewers, but overall the intention and message were not enough to hold interest, though immaculate.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2008
A strange film with not very much plot or explanation as to what is going on, although some might like this more because of that. It's a very gritty, raw, rather bleak film as a couple of psycho's decide to play games with a family in the holiday home. Just need to watch a comedy after to lift your mood!
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

February 13, 2011
Absolutely terrible. Watched this one after the original so it was boring and annoying to watch. There was literally no original creativity gone into this. Even the acting was terrible! (I normally love Naomi Watts but this was ridiculous). Don't even bother with this. Original all the way.
Matt G

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2011
I loved the original Funny Games. I had nothing to complain about. This is a shot by shot remake, just with different actors. I liked this one. I have nothing to complain about!

Grade: B+
Mark W

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2010
Admittedly, I haven't seen Michael Haneke's 1998 original Austrian version, but then nor did many people, hence the reason he has made an almost scene-for-scene remake. This time hoping to reach it's target audience.
While spending time at their holiday home, middle-class couple Ann and George Farber (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) and their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) are visited by a young stranger (Brady Corbet), who seemingly only wants to borrow some eggs. He is then joined by a friend (Michael Pitt) and together they physically and psychologically terrorise the family, giving them until the next day to somehow survive the torment.
Aimed at America and it's 'torture porn' obsession with violence. It also exposes the gaping holes in society and the classes. Despite it containing very little on-screen physical violence, the psychological side to this film is exhaustive and leaves you feeling drained and disturbed. I'm curious as to how the original plays out but can it really be any better than this? This is frayed fingernail stuff with an outstanding performance from Naomi Watts. That gal can emote and expose her frailty better than any actress around at present. To capture a person writhing in pain, look no further than Tim Roth (see also Reservoir Dogs). However, I've never entirely been convinced by him in the past, and I'm still not. He seems to try very hard but doesn't quite cut it for me and is completely outshone by everyone around him here, with Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet putting in astonishingly good shows as the evil young sociopaths. Director Michael Haneke shows the mark of a very fine film-maker at top of his game and confident in his abilities to remake his own film. It may not suit everyone and some people may even find it distasteful but thats the whole point and I for one, absolutely loved it. Sometimes, a film can sneak up on you without you having any preconceived ideas or expectations from it and really make an impact. Of recent times, this along with "Children of Men" is one of those films. I went into it expecting nothing and came out of it with everything.
It's a deeply disturbing and haunting experience but a riveting and unconventional one, that stays with you long after it's over.
MissMorganLeee
MissMorganLeee

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2008
very dissapointing.I expected it to be much more intense...
Saskia D

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2008
Great pace, great acting. It has those long quiet shots, where the gravity of the situation really sinks in.

You really feel uncomfortable sometimes while watching it, and although in other movies I would immediately be put off by it; this is enhanced by the fact that Psycho Paul talks straight into the camera a couple of times. Not only do the 'screw' the family, they also screw the audience en 'movie-rules'.

I like the contrast between the family and the psycho's.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

March 22, 2008
A pair of sociopathic young men take a young family hostage and force them to endure a series of torturous mindgames for their own amusement. Funny Games is basically torture porn's answer to Rope, the two young conservative psychos are obviously intelligent and creepily polite in the same way as the Leopold and Loeb alikes of that film. In fact Haneke admirably uses the Hitchcockian device of making certain events happen off screen, sparing us the more gruesome violence and its knowing self-referential post-modernism can be used as the excuse that its "making a point" in the same way as Natural Born Killers and Man Bites Dog were. Allegedly. But the irony card is a very easy one to play and never escapes the fact that it relies on exactly the same format and devices of every other example of this kind of thing and his use of post modern elements such as the villains speaking directly to camera and the ridiculous remote control scene just come across as smart ass rather than clever. The actors no doubt licked their chops at the prospect of the aftermath scenes, but to the audience its just a load of snivelling and limping and phone maintenance, and it seems to go on forEVER. I'd heard a lot of good things about this film, but to me it's just Scream for the Hostel generation and your enjoyment relies entirely on whether or not you get a kick out of watching other people get physically and psychologically abused. Which I do not.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2010
A shot-for-shot English-language remake of the original Austrian thriller, this film doesn't add anything new or different, but nonetheless presents the same amazing story. What makes it totally worth it is seeing another of Naomi Watts' always spectacular performances.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2009
Such perfection in film rarely exists. This movie has you captivated from beginning to finish. The direction and writing is flawless, as well as the characters. The vision is so twisted, but you can't help but be intrigued. By far, the best part of the movie was Michael Pitt. He was simply amazing. His role was so convincing it gives you chills. Not since A Clockwork Orange, have I been so satisfied with a movie.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

October 10, 2009
One of, if not the most, terrifying movies I've ever seen. Granted, it's one I probably won't ever want to revisit, since the plot is loaded with sadness, violence, and ultimately, an unsatisfying ending. However, this is truly a work of art, the acting all-around is incredible and rings true every moment. Michael Pitt is the standout here as the leader of a couple of criminals who gain entry into wealthy peoples houses, and torture them just because its fun for them. Pitt's performance is among the best EVER in terms of villains, he is just incredibly creepy and sadistic in a subtle way. This is a movie that is definitely not for everyone. It's a terrific film that deserves to be seen only for those that are ready to go through a draining cinematic experience. Beware.
Chiefilms
Chiefilms

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2009
Awful, Sick, Awful, Sick. Tim Roth, Naomi Watts not bad. Rest of cast especially the villians, awful.
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