FUNNY GAMES U.S. – The Dungeon Review!

funny games promoThis U.S. remake was done ten years after the original 1997 Austrian version. The same director handles both versions. Michael Haneke has strong feelings about violence in media. He pretty much bashes you over the head with it here. This is a horror film blog so Mr. Haneke is wagging his finger right at me. As a sane, thinking adult I would not want to be told what I can and cannot watch. I am a chick who likes horror and I’ve been taking flack for that most of my life. I also have a brain in my head and I know right from wrong. But I like my sensibilities challenged! I like to be scared, horrified, and disgusted. I like when a film can evoke strong emotion from me and that is a big part of what is so appealing to me about horror. That, and the groovy makeup and effects!

A family of 3 have arrived at their cottage where they intend to spend the summer. A teenager claims he is staying with the neighbours and has been sent over to borrow eggs. He is invited into the family’s home. The truth is soon revealed when a second teenager shows up. The two make the family prisoners and force them to play sadistic and “funny games”.

Making a film that is a statement about the way violence is depicted and how it shapes our culture is one thing. Making that film disturbing and violent itself, is pretty damn cheeky. Not that this is the first horror film that has ever had a point to make, but this one has more balls than most. The violence is often off screen but doesn’t make it any less terrifying. In fact, the shots where they show the horrified witness instead of the murder itself are downright brilliant. The two young men dressed in tennis white’s are at first ackward and polite. At the same time something doesn’t seem quite right. In fact, there is a scene previous to the boys entrance into the home that suggests things are not as they should be. The boys carry out their task of torturing the family with youthful enthusiasm. They enjoy the reaction they receive immensely and take no responsibility for their actions. One of the boys states,”You must admit, you brought this on yourselves.” The little bastards look right into the camera and question me mockingly. They know I’m not rooting for them, but they don’t care. They know exactly how things will turn out. When Roth asks the duo “Why don’t you just kill us and get it over with?” The reply is “What about entertainment?” It is a film that knows it is a film. The performances are outstanding. Tim Roth is emasculated almost immediately and Naomi Watts tries very diligently to keep her shit together for her son. Pitt and Corbet who play the two teens are perfectly cast and play it wonderfully menacing. The film gets a little too preachy for me and it tries its best to make me feel guilty about enjoying it. I can’t imagine that a lot of mainstream audiences would find this film pallatable and some would probably miss the point altogether. I can’t exactly say it was a fun ride but it is a fascinating film to watch and its images stayed with me long after the credits rolled. But, if you think this will dampen my love of horror films Haneke, your out of your freaking mind!

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Michael Haneke

Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart, Boyd Gaines, Siobhan Fallon, Robert LuPone, Susanne C. Hanke and Linda Moran
still from funny games

4 Responses to “FUNNY GAMES U.S. – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. I like your blog alot because you introduce me to films for some reason or another I haven’t heard of. How could a good Watts/Roth movie get by me? I’ll have to check it out based on your review. Also I added a blogroll finally and have returned the favor by adding you. My apologies for taking so long to throw one up!

  2. hagiblog Says:

    I still prefer the original over this one. I think I tend to find foreign language film performances are better but it’s probably because I don’t understand the language so it’s harder to tell when someone’s doing a bad job. HAHA!
    This is one of those horror flicks that slaps you in the face and everyone winds up talking about how hard it is too watch. But isn’t that what horror should be about?

    • goregirl Says:

      I am ashamed to say I never seen the original. I can only assume I would prefer it myself. I cannot think of a single, solitary example of a foreign film remake (horror or otherwise) I have liked better than the original.

  3. hagiblog Says:

    Don’t worry, it’s the exact same. The director remade it so it’s basically a shot for shot remake. The interesting thing about it is to see the difference in performances.

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