6.5/10
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459 user 255 critic

Funny Games (2007)

R | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 4 April 2008 (UK)
Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Ann
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Robert
Susi Haneke ...
Betsy's Sister-in-Law (as Susanne Haneke)
Linda Moran ...
Eve
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Storyline

In this English-language remake of a deconstruction in the way violence is portrayed in the media, a family settles into its vacation home, which happens to be the next stop for a pair of young, articulate, white-gloved serial killers on an excursion through the neighborhood. Written by MuzikJunky

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror, violence and some language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 April 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Funny Games  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$510,958 (USA) (16 March 2008)

Gross:

$1,294,640 (USA) (27 April 2008)
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tim Roth has said making this film abused him, and he'll never watch it. He said he was particularly disturbed because Devon Gearhart resembled his own son. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 45 mins) There is a rear shot of Paul standing outside Betsy's cottage door, arms folded behind him. As Paul calls out to Betsy, he unclasps his hands and brings them forward. Then from the frontal view of Paul through Betsy's screen door, his arms are folded behind him, his hands out of sight. See more »

Quotes

Paul: You can see it in the movie right?
Peter: Of course.
Paul: Well then she's as real as reality because you can see it too. Right?
Peter: Bullshit.
Paul: Why?
See more »

Connections

References Let's Make a Deal (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

HELLRAISER
Written by John Zorn
Performed by Naked City
From album Grand Guignol
(P: Union Jasroc
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why?
23 October 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

When I heard Michael Haneke was re-making Funny Games in America I wondered why: what purpose could it possibly serve? The set-up to both versions is simple in that a bourgeois family is subjected to a torturous ordeal by a couple of ever so polite psychopaths. Moreover, like the original the re-make is a cruel exercise in exposing our fascination with the violence depicted in the media - the "our" specifically meaning the middle classes, comfortable in our existences and oblivious to the horrors of the world.

However, Haneke is on record as saying that he always considered Funny Games to be an "American story", as he regarded the use of violence as a form of entertainment to be a specifically American phenomenon. No matter that this is a bit of a flawed viewpoint: having the aggressors seem straight out of the O.C. gives the impact of their sadistic actions an even more discomfiting air. Michael Pitt (charismatic and barbarous) and Brady Corbett (seemingly dopey but utterly vicious) are both excellent, but their performances leave one feeling a bit um "seen it all before".

Which takes me back to my first thought: what is the point? Cosmetics aside this is exactly the same film, right down to the assumption that the well to do like to listen to classical music and that the audience may be unsettled by playing them some thrash metal. Haneke even has Pitt address the camera and manipulate the film, so re-using the trick about playing with reality and focusing the viewer on what actually counts as real. It is just that this playing around does not carry the impact it did 10 years ago.

In fact, due to the unconventional nature of the film and the vast disparity it offers with reality it's hard to care much at all. Yes what happens is horrible, but it does not feel at all real. I'm waiting for someone to point out that, that is Haneke's point, but frankly, I don't care. No amount of intellectualising can make this watchable.

You would think Haneke would know better too. His most recent film Hidden took a genre film and flipped it about to deliver one of the most surprising and intellectually challenging thrillers of the decade. By stringing the audience along and offering some sense of catharsis and understanding of character motivation he offered a way in. Funny Games U.S. offers no such intrigue or tension and is ultimately a big step backward. He may see it as an American story, but it worked better as a small Austrian film, set in anywheres-ville Europe.


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