Sundance Movie Review: Funny Games

Funny GamesFunny Games is not a movie I would wish upon anyone I care about. People complain about movies like Hostel and SAW, referring to them as Torture Porn, well then Funny Games is Psychological Torture Porn. And by that I mean boring, and stupid. Why anyone would remake this film I will never know. Director Michael Haneke remakes his film from 10 years prior, and from what I understand the new film is almost shot for shot the same. What’s the point? The story involves two psychotic young men who take a family hostage in their vacation home.

Funny Games would work better on the stage, than on the screen. The whole film is shot in wide master shots which sometimes last for over 5-minutes without a single cut. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not standing up for the MTV-style editing which has taken over today’s films. I just think that cinema should be cinematic. And there is nothing cinematic about Funny Games. Most of the violence happens off screen.

The two psychotic young men break through the fourth wall and talk to the audience. At one point, one of the hoodlums grabs a remote control and rewinds the movie to negate what had just happened. There are so many things wrong with this movie. Maybe I just don’t get it. Another critic tried to explain to me that Funny Games is a response to films like Hostel. That the two young mad men are taunting you, because you came to see blood, and they’re going to give it to you, but not how you expected. Im sure I just don’t get it. That has to be the explanation, right?

The story is lined with plot holes (beware of spoilers). For instance, they finally get the cell phone working and it conveniently runs out of batteries (someone should send an email to John August to explain why this is bad screenwriting). So the married couple are staying at this vacation house for at least a week, yet all she brought along was a car charger? Does she put the phone in the car at night to charge the phone? The husband gets through to 911 for a quick few seconds before being cut off, yet the police don’t show up at the house? And why the hell didn’t they try to escape in the boat? They have a freaking boat in the backyard, but the wife decides to run into the street where the f’n killers are likely to find her.

/Film Rating: 0 out of 10

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About the Author

Peter Sciretta is a film geek and popcultured fanboy living in Los Angeles. He created /Film in 2005.

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