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Funny Games (1997)

 -  Crime | Drama | Horror  -  11 March 1998 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 35,603 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 292 user | 121 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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Title: Funny Games (1997)

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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

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Release Date:

11 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brincadeiras Perigosas  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The auto racing on TV is likely a rerun of an event in the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, or German Touring Car Championship) series. The DTM was canceled after 1996 due to high costs, then reformulated and re-instated in 2000. 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 »


Soundtracks

Bonehead
Composed by John Zorn
Performed by Naked City (Grand Guignol)
Published by Union Jasroc
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a great thriller... as long as you ignore the director's pretensions
15 March 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

In this cross between Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and A Clockwork Orange, two insolent young psychopaths torment a vacationing family.

It was hard to organize my thoughts on this movie, never mind rating it. As a thriller, this is a tense, well-acted, and relentless experience, marred only by a contrived sequence two-thirds through in which characters behave in unbelievably stupid fashion. However, said sequence is preceded by an incredibly effective ten-minute take. Unusually lengthy takes are often deemed self-indulgent, but this one is anything but.

As an ideological statement, though, this film is a failure. And there is no doubt that writer-director Michael Haneke is trying to make a statement. By having one of the psychos address the camera a few times, saying things to the effect that they have to give the viewers their money's worth, Haneke is essentially wagging his finger at anyone who has ever enjoyed the portrayal of violence in a film. This theme is certainly open to debate, but the problem is that Haneke expresses it in such a condescending way. His harrowing treatment of violence already serves as an excellent counterpoint to other films that glamorize it. There was no need to then leave viewers feeling as though they'd just been lectured by a stern parent.

The last time a filmmaker made me angry, it was when I saw Independence Day, and it was for the same reason. In both cases, the writer and the director display contempt by assuming their audiences are idiots. My anger didn't really ignite, though, until I watched a short interview with Haneke on the DVD. It made me never want to see another one of his films. The man is disgustingly full of himself.

So why the relatively high rating? Because as pretentious and self-important as Haneke is, he is also very talented. The movie is very effective on an emotional level, and it's possible to watch it while ignoring the director's wrong-headed decisions.


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