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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 34,163 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 290 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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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 more »

Taglines:

Schockierend wie "Clockwork Orange", kontrovers wie "Natural Born Killers" See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

11 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brincadeiras Perigosas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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

References The Shining (1980) 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

 
George: Why are you doing this to us? Paul: Why not?
7 August 2007 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

Watching "Funny Games" (1997) directed by Michael Haneke for the first time was an unforgettable visceral experience. It was the horror that really scared, devastated, and stayed with me long after the final scene was over. I can't easily recall another movie that made me go through the same emotions as the innocent victims in the movie did, to feel the same helplessness, hopelessness, despair, humiliation, and horror. I could not stop thinking of how illusory and fragile nature of happiness and safety is and how easy it is to shatter and destroy them. Is it a blessing or curse not to know what lies ahead and not be able to change the future? It's been several years since I saw the film but it still makes me shiver just to think about it.

"Funny Games" can be first mistaken for yet another conventional thriller where the good guys always win in the end and the evil is punished. Wrong, not by Haneke. He shocks you, he hits you in the gut, and then, he shocks you again. Haneke's is a true horror for his monsters don't look like the creatures from hell. No, "they are among us", they are nice and polite, well read, shy and ironic, they have the names from the new Testament, Paul and Peter, they talk with the soft refined voices but they are monsters nevertheless who have no regard for a human life and who want to play their sadistic funny games to the extreme.

"Funny Games" is a controversial film and I've read many reviews and comments that call it "a failure", accusing the film and its creator of not having said anything new or original on the connected subjects of violence, the media, and voyeuristic audience. It may not be a new or original subject Haneke dissects in his film but how he did it, his matter-of fact approach to the material and the seemingly unemotional manner affected me deeply, and I don't think I would ever forget this film.


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