Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Funny Games

(1998) **



This review is a bit spoiler heavy so please read at your own discretion..
If you are a fan of aggravating home invasion movies then I submit to you Funny Games, a German film in which we bear witness to a pair of affluent teenagers physically and psychologically torturing a married couple and their child.  Paul, the decision maker and more sadistic of the two is as smug as he is cruel, while you get the sense that Peter is bullied along for the ride. Throughout the entire film I wanted to reach through the television set and strangle Paul with my bare hands, especially as he repeatedly broke the fourth wall by talking and making bets with the audience.
More distressing is the Pipe in the Ass Factor: Zero Pipe!!! It is particularly frustrating because it otherwise is such a taut and well directed movie. There is hardly a trace of blood or gore to be seen and yet when the violence is set up properly and then left to your own imagination, it can sometimes be that much more unsettling.  

Director Michael Haneke claims he “wanted to make a message about violence in the media by making an incredibly violent, but otherwise pointless movie.” You can argue that he made some sort of statement on how society has become desensitized to violence but the resulting product is a downright miserable affair for the viewer.  
Even though Funny Games sent me to bed angry, I have to commend it for its influence on the slew of home invasion flicks that became trendy in the mid 00’s, most notably The Strangers. However, the least enjoyable horror movies are those, like Funny Games, that are simultaneously disturbing, highly effective and deeply unsatisfying.   

11 comments:

Octopunk said...

Zero pipe = zero Octopunk. I have no problem with your spoilers.

Landshark said...

Excellent review. This is a tough movie to judge, as it's kind of honest about its goal of making the viewer uncomfortable, and it totally delivers on that. So I remember thinking it was really well made, and I kink of liked the idea, and it certainly grabbed me when I happened across it on cable one night. But did I enjoy it?

Catfreeek said...

I remember being frustrated by this film as well. I really hate an unsatisfying ending.

Octopunk said...

Whether grudgingly or not, I respect the idea of art that makes the beholder uncomfortable, but I'm certainly not drawn to it nor do I'm obliged to be.

Rather I ask: Instead of explaining your joke in interviews etc., why not make the movie that makes the viewers uncomfortable AND they enjoy it? That's the real challenge.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

ANOTHER SPOILER>>>>>

The other scene that absolutely ENRAGED MY BRAIN was when the mother shot the sidekick but then smug Paul broke the 4th wall again, picked up a remote control and rewinded the f'in scene to regain the upper hand. I can't think of a more infuriating, unfair scene ever. AAAARRRGGHHH!!!

AC said...

thank you for the spoilers! a well done, unsatisfying movie is the worst.

Octopunk said...

Okay I was already never going to see this movie but that rewind scene makes me want to slap it!

JPX said...

This sounds like one of the worst movies ever! I was reluctant to read a spoiler-review but I can see that I was in error - I will never watch this, thanks for the warning! Now watch a good one.

Crystal Math said...

Great well-rounded review. I'm continuously surprised at the sense of entitlement some kids have that I teach so I couldn't watch this after about 10 minutes. I'd go from zero to bitch so fast they wouldn't know what hit them. Paul would get his teeth knocked out.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

When I added it to the Monster List I noticed that Whirlygirl reviewed this a few years ago and liked it much better than I did, although she found it equally distressing.

DCD said...

I too do not mind the spoilers. I hate those kind of movies anyway, so no great loss!