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Funny Games

3.6 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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(Mar 11, 2008)
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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

Special Features

  • New video interview with director Michael Haneke
  • Trailer

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 (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHQU3U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Funny Games" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD
Believe it or not there is only ONE graphic scene of violence in Michael Haneke's Funny Games but this scene is also the only flaw that this piece of experimental cinema has. That scene is also followed by another flawed scene involving a remote control. Now these two scenes when put together is HANEKE telling the viewer what the film is really about, but it is the opinion of most critics and this reviewer that he did not need to do that and that is why the film looses a star. So apart from this little "strange" element to the whole film it stands out as a film that does not depict screen violence but does depict the off-screen psychological impact of violence that a film can have on the viewer. HANEKE is a director who likes to play with your mind and here he does it like it has never been before. This film is truly original from start to finish and leaves you mortified and offended.
HANEKE has made an offensive film, but it is not exploitative, graphically violent or has nudity or any other taboo element that would automatically make a film offensive. The topic of this film is Sociopaths who perform very intrusive antisocial behaviour on a family that is spending their holiday by a house near a lake. Two sociopaths entire their lives and proceed to violate their privacy and standards of community morals. This starts off by being very subtle at first in a scene depicting a man knocking on the door looking for eggs. The slow build up is extreme and you end up hating the "bad guys" for their stupidity and down-right selfish and ignorant behaviour. The film then becomes more extreme and the pair's anti-social behaviour develops into taking advantage of the family, abuse and even murder.
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