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Funny Games (1997)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  11 March 1998 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 37,959 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 296 user | 117 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Arno Frisch ...
Frank Giering ...
Stefan Clapczynski ...
Doris Kunstmann ...
Christoph Bantzer ...
Wolfgang Glück ...
Susanne Meneghel ...
Monika Zallinger ...
Eva
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Storyline

Two seemingly well-educated young men, who call each other Paul and Peter among other names, approach a family on vacation. They are, apparently, friends of the neighbors, and, at the beginning, their true intentions are not known. But soon, the family is imprisoned and tortured in its own house violently, which the viewers are forced mostly to imagine and to share a certain complicity with the criminals. It might be some kind of game with the lives of husband, wife, son, and dog, but why are they doing it? Written by Luis Canau <luis.canau@mail.EUnet.pt>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

game | vacation | violence | kitchen | dog | See All (92) »

Taglines:

Ein Alptraum. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

11 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brincadeiras Perigosas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Michael Haneke told producer 'Veit Heiduschka' during the production that if the film was a success, it would be because audiences had misunderstood the meaning behind it. See more »

Goofs

When Anna and Georg are driving in their car, a reflection of a microphone between the front seats can be seen on the window. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[subtitled version]
Anna: Björling... Suliotis?
Georg: Almost. Björling is easy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Mother's Day 2010 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Hellraiser
Composed by John Zorn
Performed by Naked City (Grand Guignol)
Published by Union Jasroc
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Genius
18 January 2007 | by (Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Psychological horror masterpiece presses all the right buttons to disturb at an epidermal level.

On the surface of this movie, the mere plot about two psychopaths terrorising a family doesn't seem to be particularly interesting, or critically, original either. Indeed, the fact that the entire story takes place in pretty much one place would suggest it might struggle to capture the viewer's attention, certainly for its duration.

However, the simple combination of the mechanics of the performances, the script and the general tension make this story work outstandingly well; indeed, its isolated feel simply adds to the overall claustrophobia.

Peter and Paul are two apparently genial young men, who show up at the isolated boathouse of Anna and Georg, a mature couple with a child, who are all taking a couple of weeks holiday.

When Peter seems to be making a nuisance of himself, Anna starts to lose her patience with him. Paul then arrives on the scene and before long it has converted from an underbelly of irritation to outright intimidation, followed by crude violence.

It is extremely hard to sum this movie up without making it sound like a highly unoriginal piece of cinema, but there can be no question it is anything but.

The script is simply incredible; the overtone of terror slowly creeps up on the viewer, and on Anna and Georg, with more than a dose of psychological manipulation. Almost by pretending they are doing nothing wrong, with more than a hint of cordiality along the way, the two perpetrators manage to inflict a disturbing level of fear upon the family, and yet it is the most subtle form of assault.

Rather than constant threats, the two act like dinner guests who just happen to be terrifying the heck out of their hosts.

When things go further, and violence joins in, it takes the trauma to a new level, as it is gritty horror rather than a splatterfest. These are two psychos who take intimidation, violence, and all round fear to a thoroughly psychological pane.

The movie is also laced with some deliciously dark humour, with a few addresses to camera by Paul, who steps out of the character and joins the viewer on occasion. Absolutely marvellous.

However, it cannot be forgotten that the performances all round are simply outstanding. Each actor plays their part to perfection, and hats off to all - the victims were especially convincingly terrified, and the perpetrators frighteningly cool.

Haneke, the director, delivered a masterpiece with this. It's not conventional, doesn't end traditionally, and makes superb use of direction to construct an honestly masterful affair.

Highly recommended, but it should be noted it's not for everyone.


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