Funny Games 1998

Funny Games

Critics Consensus

Violent images and blunt audience provocation make up this nihilistic experiment from one of cinema's more difficult filmmakers.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 35

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,337
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Movie Info

An idyllic lakeside vacation home is terrorized by Paul (Arno Frisch) and Peter (Frank Giering), a pair of deeply disturbed young men. When the fearful Anna (Susanne Lothar) is home alone, the two men drop by for a visit that quickly turns violent and terrifying. Husband Georg (Ulrich Mühe) comes to her rescue, but Paul and Peter take the family hostage and subject them to nightmarish abuse and humiliation. From time to time, Paul talks to the film's audience, making it complicit in the horror.

Cast & Crew

Ulrich Mühe
Georg
Susanne Meneghel
Gerdas Schwester
Veit Heiduschka
Executive Producer
Jürgen Jürges
Cinematographer
Christoph Kanter
Production Design
Lisy Christl
Costume Designer
Simone Bachl
Assistant Makeup Artist
Waldemer Pokromski
Key Makeup Artist
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News & Interviews for Funny Games

Critic Reviews for Funny Games

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (11)

  • The film outstays its welcome and is more than a little too knowing in its manipulation of standard audience expectations for the genre.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    David Rooney

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Brilliant, radical, provocative, it's a masterpiece that is at times barely watchable.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • This beautifully acted and paced German variant of Cape Fear ... is tricked out with a number of Brechtian devices to catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/5
  • The basic puzzle is why this sophisticated director chose this tired formula.

    January 1, 2000
  • The emotions of the victims are clear and complex -- their conflicts dominate our experience of the narrative as powerfully as all the devices telling us to look elsewhere for the movie's themes.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Sick, twisted, and incomparably sadistic, Michael Haneke's film is a viewing experience unlike any witnessed before.

    September 13, 2020 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Funny Games

  • Apr 29, 2014
    Home invasion films are nothing new, and there have been quite a few films in the last few years that really have reinvigorated the genre, most notable You're Next and The Strangers. But Michael Haneke's 1997 film Funny Games ranks among one of the finest genre films and it's a brilliantly crafted picture, one that steadily builds up the tension and takes you on a nightmarish journey through hell. The cast are great in their roles and there is enough tension on-screen to grab your attention from beginning to end. What makes this such a twisted viewing is the fact that the villains are unrelenting and are truly menacing. The film is unflinching in its brutality, and Haneke's direction brilliantly conveys the dire situation that the characters go through. In terms of a horror film, Funny Games succeeds on many levels, and it's one that definitely goes for the human psyche and in doing so makes feel uncomfortable throughout the film. Like I said, home invasion films are not new, but when done right, they tend to succeed at being a truly disturbing and memorable horror film. That is the case with Funny Games, this film will stay with you long after you've seen it, and if you enjoy a well crafted, disturbing piece of horror, then this film is for you. The film has everything you'd expect from a good horror film and if you're a diehard horror fan, you definitely should give this one a viewing. With a great story, terrific acting and directing, Funny Games is an accomplished horror film that stands out among the genre as one of the best home invasion films ever made.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2013
    Yes, this film is indeed second-person, we have the main antagonist talk to the camera on two or three occasions. Haneke, being the social genius he is, indeed weaves in a societal disturbance into this film's message. So obviously, the reason why this film is so sadistic and torturous is because that's what you presumably came in expecting. And so, as Paul says, they pack in a full length film in with exactly what you'd like. The ending also includes a thought provoking discussion between the two antagonists of this film, Paul and Peter, comparing and contrasting fiction and reality. Even if the entire plot of this film has been completely spoiled for you somehow, I still recommend watching it. I went in knowing that the entire family died and it didn't hinder the experience the slightest.
    Horrific R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2013
    A brutal experiment that is less a conventional narrative than it is a commentary on violence being glamorized in films to look shiny and cool. Funny Games is by far the least sophisticated Michael Haneke film that I have seen, but it still provokes the viewer to consider the controversial topic of how violence is portrayed in films. Funny Games is aimed squarely at the films of Quentin Tarantino and similar directors, whose characters spout witty phrases before committing what in reality would be considered horrendous atrocities. The film makes a number of frustrating choices near the end, especially the breaking of the fourth wall by one of the characters, as he talks directly to the viewer in order to drive the message further down your throat. It also has a number of shots that, like those in Michael Haneke's other films, linger for periods of time. However, in this case they last painfully long, as at one point there is a shot that lasts nearly five full minutes, with little to no action happening and absolutely no dialogue. Following this, there's another few scenes where the characters are shown in real-time helping each other stand up after a traumatic series of events, also with very little dialogue. This lasts for about another five minutes, creating ten full minutes where I just wanted to bang my head against a wall and wonder why these scenes needed to drag on for this long. For most of the film though it's kept provocative and disturbing enough that it's hard to do anything but watch in a combination of fear and disgust, which was very much the intention of Haneke. Still, even as a forceful way to communicate a serious message, Funny Games is far from spectacular, and despite a number of shockingly violent scenes it's ultimately just torture porn with a moral.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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