7.6/10
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Funny Games (1997)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 11 March 1998 (USA)
Two violent 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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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Frank Giering ...
Stefan Clapczynski ...
Schorschi
...
Gerda
Christoph Bantzer ...
Fred
Wolfgang Glück ...
Robert
Susanne Meneghel ...
Gerdas Schwester
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

Taglines:

Ein Alptraum. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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:

Funny Games  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Michael Haneke has said that he never intended 'Funny Games' to be a horror film. Instead his idea was to make a film with a moralistic comment about the influence of media violence on society. It's a subject that Haneke is quite passionate about. 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 Making of 'Alien³' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintet for Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola, Violoncello
in A Major
2 movements largetto performed by Hagen Quartett
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Clarinet: Eduard Brunner
Published by Deutsche Grammophon 419600-3
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The worst kind of serious film
21 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

I watched 'Funny Games' out of interest mixed with skepticism, because I had read a lot of the director's comments about how if you couldn't watch it all the way through, you didn't need to, etc. This seemed to me like a remarkable high-handed attitude for a film director to take, as if the inability to watch his film was somehow proof of the viewer having a more beautiful soul than that of somebody who can sit through the whole thing without dropping their popcorn.

I realised fairly quickly that 'Funny Games' is not a movie in the conventional sense of being a filmed dramatic fiction designed to give the viewer a satisfying aesthetic experience. Oh no. It's some sort of art gesture, designed to make Michael Haneke feel like he's doing something special, something higher than other film-makers.

I don't like Quentin Tarantino's films not because they are very violent, but because I find them boring; I don't like all the trashy B-movies that Tarantino is in thrall to, so I don't appreciate it when he cannibalises their plots and motifs for his own stuff instead of writing about real people. 'Funny Games' is nothing more than a humourless art-house version of a Tarantino movie, in which the smirking protagonists systematically terrorise a family and wink at the camera throughout, asking us if we want to keep watching. I kept watching because I was getting more and more angry at Michael Haneke's pompous disapproval of my viewing habits.

Why shouldn't we want to keep watching? It's only a movie. I am a fan of serious film directors like Robert Bresson, Michael Powell and Jacques Rivette, and I appreciate films that make me think, but I do not appreciate some pretentious fool behaving as though an essentially cheap exploitation film is making some sort of grand comment about violence in cinema. Haneke is an untalented, pretentious and humourless director who disguises his inability to tell good stories by tricking up his films with silly gimmicks that give intellectual film reviewers handy talking points. He did it with 'Hidden' and he does it here. He is a one-joke phony.

I am not the only person to find 'Funny Games' a stupid and intellectually indefensible waste of time, a B-movie with delusions of significance. Jacques Rivette, a real film-maker, called it a 'disgrace, a piece of s***' in an interview. I watched it all the way through. I came away depressed and demoralised by a world in which people think that s*** like this means something.


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