363 user 145 critic

Funny Games (1997)

Not Rated | | 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.


Michael Haneke


Michael Haneke
3,324 ( 471)
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Susanne Lothar ... Anna
Ulrich Mühe ... Georg
Arno Frisch ... Paul
Frank Giering ... Peter
Stefan Clapczynski ... Schorschi
Doris Kunstmann ... Gerda
Christoph Bantzer Christoph Bantzer ... Fred
Wolfgang Glück Wolfgang Glück ... Robert
Susanne Meneghel Susanne Meneghel ... Gerdas Schwester
Monika von Zallinger Monika von Zallinger ... Eva (as Monika Zallinger)


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


Ein Alptraum. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Included among the list of "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


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 »


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


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 »

User Reviews

Why Are You Watching This?
8 March 2000 | by Jeremy-4See all my reviews

Unlike my other reviews that have been about the films themselves, this will describe the effect it had on me. Just to clarify, I am an 18-year-old Brit who has seen more than his fair share of violent films, and I thought I could take the content of this one.

When I noticed in a listing magazine that Funny Games was being shown, I looked forward to it. I had heard that it was a film about the corrosive nature of movie violence, and contained many unpleasant sequences. This is, of course, the other reason I wanted to see it, the reason I did not admit to myself: I wanted to see the violence.

As I was watching the film, I found some of the scenes unpleasant, and understood and agreed with the moral subtext. I wondered in my mind during the commercial breaks who would play the leads in an American remake of the film. It was only towards the end that it occured to me that no-one was going to survive, and that my boredom during long, uneventful shots was partly because I wanted something violent to occur. As the deafening thrash metal played over the end credits, and Paul's empty smile gazed at me, it finally dawned on me what was happening. I did not find the violence in Funny Games repulsive because I have myself become desensitized to it. That is the genius of Haneke. If you decide to walk out of the cinema/turn off your TV/press stop on your VCR, you will have lost the game of Chicken that not only Haneke, but also Peter and Paul are playing with you. You will probably get out unscathed and you will know your limits. If you decide to stay to the end, you win the game, but at what cost? If, like me, you did find such suffering and humiliation intolerable, is that not more disturbing than any violent act you can possibly imagine?

That night, I couldn't sleep.

12 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 363 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »





German | French | Italian

Release Date:

11 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Funny Games See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed