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Funny Games

Posted by martinteller on December 31, 2006

I can’t exactly say I enjoyed this — it was incredibly upsetting and sadistic.  But it certainly had an effect on me.  Haneke toys with the audience and implicates them in the suffering of the characters.  It makes you feel vulnerable and disturbed and downright awful.  Very powerful, although (unlike the films of say, Gaspar Noe) I would never watch it again, and I kind of have to question the sanity of anyone who would.  Rating: 9

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6 Responses to “Funny Games”

  1. I’ve watched this film, several times! So yea, I’m probably mentally unstable. Also, what version did you see? They’re pretty much the same but the German version is a little more grounded visually and has some better performances.

  2. Alan said

    My comments are in regard to the US Naomi Watts version. I started to watch this a few years ago but found it so repellent that I turned it off. Last night it was on again and I stuck with it to the bitter end. An awful film. In spite of adequate direction and performances , but what value has it? What is it supposed to be about other than sadism? Ms Watts is listed as a producer, and I guess what she gets she deserves-IE bound and gagged and beaten casually tossed off a sail boat to die. This film just sickens me. That anyone would want to make it, in it’s current form , appalls me. Before I came to Martin’s website I read some other reviews on the movie and one “legitimate” critic made the comment(and let it be said that most of his review was negative) “Perhaps these people deserve their fate” . An ordinary family a woman her husband and young child casually brutalized and murdered. Why anyone should think that they deserve their sadistic treatment let alone write it is truly repulsive. As you can guess i’m venting, but whata frustrating downer of a film.

    • I don’t think they deserve it, but I do think Haneke is teasing the audience into thinking maybe they do… and then pushing that beyond “acceptable” limits. There are many who feel that Haneke needlessly tortures his audience in a very snotty and condescending way. I’m not I disagree with that, but — like Lars Von Trier — I find his sometimes adolescent provocations to be thought-provoking.

      Thank you for your insightful input.

      • Alan said

        HI Martin, thanks for the reply and I’m responding, because just as I wonder on Naomi Watt’s reason / desire to produce this film , I also wonder about your last comment about the film being “thought provoking”. Not to be too stupid ,or anti social, ,or unreasonable but I am wondering what thoughts were provoked that you valued? I hope my question does not cause offense. I think my point is that there are a lot of movies around that are basically pretty sick horror movies, which now appear to depend on graphic details of torture and maiming etc. to justify their existence( and I have to wonder on the mental state of those folk that spend their money on movies that are one scene after another of graphic blood letting and torture and pain- it really does make me think that they could have more than a casual interest ) And indeed in this one it’s more implied than graphic. But it sets itself up as an “art’ house type movie, where there it implies there is some sort of worthwhile substance. I just wonder what/

      • I think it makes the viewer question just how much they want to see, and why they want to see it.

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