A 14-year-old video enthusiast is so caught up in film fantasy that he can no longer relate to the real world, to such an extent that he commits murder and records an on-camera confession for his parents.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A European family who plan on escaping to Australia, seem caught up in their daily routine, only troubled by minor incidents. However, behind their apparent calm and repetitive existence, they are actually planning something sinister.
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
The premise is not a thousand miles away from William Wyler's "Desperate Hours" but the distances here are measured in a different way. Michael Heneke the "author" of this horror thriller of sorts is at the service of his vision of himself. He's not the first "author" to suffer from the same malady but here it's so bloody obvious that becomes kind of funny. From the opening credits you know that "pretension" will permeate the whole movie and it does but, the funny thing is that it's riveting. I watched the whole nonsense with my mouth open. That's an achievement, isn't it? I haven't seen the original German version (a blow by blow account directed by Heneke himself)but, I must confess, I think I will, I think I want to. Don't ask me why. This is as empty as anything I've ever seen. A public act of obscenity and yet you can't, you just can't look away. Naomi Watts is terrific as the smart middle class wife and mother that will notice for first that Michael Pitt is not that good an actor. She sees through him - who wouldn't? - pretty much from the start. Michael Pitt plays the creep as a creep with good manners. So on the nose that doesn't manage to be frightening. He is shocking because of what he does but not for what he appears to be. He has no sexual presence. Tim Roth, as the weakling husband is disturbingly convincing and the young actor playing their son is truly wonderful. So here I am, talking about a film I kind of detested with unexpected respect. Michael Heneke may be one of those artists who are extraordinary self promoters, but he's an artist none the less and like real artist often do, divide, confront and provoke. So, did I like "Funny Games"? No. Will I see it again? Absolutely.
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