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Funny Games (1998)

Susanne Lothar , Ulrich Mühe , Michael Haneke  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)

Price: $30.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch, Frank Giering, Stefan Clapczynski
  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Writers: Michael Haneke
  • Producers: Veit Heiduschka
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHQU3U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,367 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Funny Games" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New video interview with director Michael Haneke
  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Written and Directed by German born Michael Haneke (The Piano Teacher, Cache), Funny Games combines thriller conventions "with a number of Brechtian devices that catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance" (Stephen Holden, The New York Times). A succession of "sadistic, insufferable, clever and relentlessly compelling" (David Sterritt, Film Scouts) games between victims and perpetrators - and between auteur and spectator - Funny Games opens with an aerial shot of an SUV maneuvering through an idyllic landscape. Inside the vehicle, Anna (Susanne Lothar, The Piano Teacher) Georg (Ulrich Muhe, Benny's Video) and their son Georgie play a guessing game en route to their lakeside home. But a soporific rural escape rapidly turns into a home invasion nightmare as Paul (Arno Frisch, Benny's Video) and Peter (Frank Giering) break into their house, claiming to be neighbors' relatives. Young and articulate, the serial killers duo of Peter and Paul inexplicably imprison this upper class Austrian family, irrationally switching from physical assaults to moments of emotional harassment and vicious psychological tortures. "This beautifully acted and paced German variant of Cape Fear"(Holden, The New York Times) is one of Michael Haneke's most acclaimed portrayals of unspeakable, and ever unjustifiable, acts of violence

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, effective and disturbing April 30, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It is a good idea to know something about this film before watching it.
On the surface it is that familiar thriller where strangers terrorize a family.
But really it is about how you, the viewer, are complicit in on-screen violence. This is the film's priority and it is not afraid to abandon its original, more traditional plot line - however bizarrely - whenever it feels right to emphasize this.
Remember. All these horrible things are happening because you won't switch off. Overly violent films only get made because people keep paying to go and see them.
The skill of the director of Funny Games is that he makes his point without resorting to hardly any on screen violence, unlike many of the films he parodying.
I strongly recommend this film but be warned - it is not a "date movie". See it on your own because it is impossible to know how people will react to it. If you like this film your friends may think you are SICK. You are not. But Funny Games brings home to you just how many films are.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cure for being too enamored of movie violence! June 10, 2002
I never realized the extent to which big-budget American action films condition audiences into savoring and craving "justifiable" acts of violence until I saw this fascinating and deeply disturbing Austrian movie from noted German director Michael Haneke. I couldn't sleep after seeing it, but after about a week had passed, I was very glad that I'd seen it. I'm now "immune" from being manipulated into enjoying onscreen violence, because the movie made me keenly aware of when I AM being manipulated ... and of the "commandments" that movies featuring cathartically satisfying acts of vengeance are built upon and dare not violate.
The storyline is sort of a hybrid of THE DESPERATE HOURS and CAPE FEAR, with two very Aryan-looking young men invading the summer cottage of an upper-middle-class family of three and sadistically playing "funny games" with them. But there's much more than the surface story at work here ... Haneke has some clever tricks up his sleeve when it comes to exercising his total control over the "rules" that the movie plays by. He keeps the audience off-balance by repeatedly violating movie conventions and confounding conditioned expectations as to how events will unfold.
Amazingly, there's only ONE act of on-screen violence in the entire movie ... and it's a classic example of the 100% acceptable, "justifiable" sort that American audiences so crave and Hollywood so obligingly provides on a regular basis. But just as your "rush" kicks in, Haneke pulls the carpet out from underneath you with one of his sleight-of-hand tricks, flip-flopping your pleasure into an equivalent amount of pain. And as for the RESULTS of the OFF-screen violence ... well, you're on your own.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars See it if you Dare.... May 12, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One word comes to mind after viewing this film... Mindblowing. You probably have never and will never see anything like this again. I purchased this DVD after reading Fangorias book on ''100 Horror Films Youve never seen''- I dont know if I could classify this as strictly horror, it goes beyond that.

This is a whole other realm thats never been touched... At least not to this severity.. Ive seen many horror/psychological terror films and after watching the likes of Maniac or Gummo I didnt think anything could outdo it, but this beats them all. Gummo was disturbing but it had no merit to it; this film has more to it than the sadistic violence and ''funny games'' the characters play. Ive never seen anything like this. The director takes a more original approach, during the film the killers actually look and talk to the camera at times, not often; but they even play the ''games'' with the audience.

Plot- a couple, their child and dog go to their vacation home. Soon after that the couple is visited by a pair of clean cut young men who soon turn ruthless and brutal. When they first introduce themselves they look like normal polite people, but when one comes over to the house asking to ''borrow eggs'' you know something is coming., You just dont know when and you are anticipating when this guy is going to lose it. You keep rooting for the victims as the film drags on, hoping that somehow they will make least one of them. It goes on and on, the games dont stop, not even at the end.

This film is cruel, brutal, cold, radical, provocative with unbelievable psychological games and horror. A real eye-opener. Its not a family movie of course, it's something you would want to watch alone or in the company of someone very open-minded.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Why did I watch this? February 5, 2008
Well made movies are supposed to stir up emotions and intense feelings. That would make Funny Games extremely well made because watching it was like putting my feelings into a Cuisinart and turning it on full blast. Funny Games made me feel awful; AWFUL. I brooded and moped and felt depressed for a long time after the movie ended. This movie soaks your emotions in cruelty then slaps you with some biting satire; the end had me feeling so bad I wished I had never seen the movie.

I love movies that explore the dark side and Funny Games succeeded and took me there; however, it's hard to come back to the light after watching this truely disturbing film.

Watch it if you must but you have been warned. Even though it's very well made I only gave it 3 stars. It made me feel things I would rather not feel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is brilliant! Without ever showing the violent acts
This movie is brilliant! Without ever showing the violent acts, the viewer is drawn into the tightly woven drama, and shares in each
family member's experience as though you... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Gretchen Ceteras
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unconventional Horror Movie That Scares And Thrills
This movie is one of those movies that can be talked about over and over again. It's weird and terrifying, which is why I love it so much. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Brent
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing in a nice way
It is totally worth watching. This movies seems to have deserved Palme D'or. The plot and the way movies is shot is genius
Published 17 months ago by Baris Kandemir
3.0 out of 5 stars You've never been this disturbed by a movie.
I caught most of this movie several years ago while channel surfing. It was the the German version with English subtitles so I watched it to test my German and became mesmerized... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dennis Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Games
This movie started out pretty lame but like a rolling stone it picked up momentum quickly. By the end your hooked. This is what I like about this film. Read more
Published on April 16, 2012 by bbrockRailFan
4.0 out of 5 stars review of 'FUNNY GAMES' (1997)
This delivers an unpleasant family in crisis experience that has a great atmosphere. The script is intelligent and all performances are absolute quality. Read more
Published on April 16, 2012
1.0 out of 5 stars communicating between the material world and the antimaterial world...
This movie is lame. Two golfers dressed in white hold a family hostage and ask them stupid questions/tasks. The stupid questions/tasks is considered playing a game. Read more
Published on January 27, 2012 by Bookworm936
2.0 out of 5 stars an okay movie
i thought that the story was excellent, kinda missed up, but the movie was in german and had no english dubbing wich made it boring for me. i like to watch my movies not read them. Read more
Published on December 5, 2011 by David
1.0 out of 5 stars Unspeakably boring and irritating, for some a masterpiece
This is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most irritatingly boring films I've ever seen. Others think it's a masterpiece. So what's going on here? Well, nothing much really. Read more
Published on August 12, 2011 by Clem R
1.0 out of 5 stars Haneke's a genius, this is trash
Let me state first that I love Michael Haneke. From The Seventh Continent to Cache and White Ribbon, the man makes provocative, thoughtful films that dig at terrifying ideas in the... Read more
Published on June 5, 2011 by Adrian B
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