Director: Michael Haneke
Genre: Drama/ Crime/ Thriller
Runtime: 111 minutes
Starring: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, Devon Gearhart
Description: Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.
Review: “Funny Games” is a remake of the thriller from 1997 by director Michael Haneke. This German version of “Funny Games” gained Haneke international fame and was pretty controversial. Ten years later Haneke remakes his own film.
The movie is pretty much the same as the original. What would have been shocking back in 1997, is probably not that shocking anymore today. The actual confronting effects aren’t explicitly visible by the way.
The story starts pretty standard. Ann, George and their son Georgie are on their way to their cabin, to enjoy some sailing and golf. Their neighbors are acting a bit strange when they arrive and they are accompanied by two young men. Ann and George don’t really pay any attention to it, until those two young men visit them at their cabin. They ask for some eggs, for their neighbor, but Ann’s starts feeling uncomfortable. When George comes home, he tries to send the boys home. That’s when the situation escalates and the boys are starting to terrorize the family. They are going to play a game of life and death.
Especially the performances of Naomi Watts and Michael Pitt are strong and convincing. Tim Roth is solid, but his role is not as present. Also the young David Gearheart, as son Georgie, manages to act scared.
Like stated before, the violence is mostly off screen, but it gives you the chills anyway. You know what’s happening. Haneke also choose to let Michael Pitt’s character break the fourth wall. He talks to the audience, to start a discussion. This takes the tension out of the movie a bit and for me it didn’t fit in with the rest of the film.
For fans of slasher films, this is a pretty tame movie. Although the happenings in the movie are brutal, you hardly see anything of it. But fans of suspense movies will love it. The strong acting and the setting created by Haneke are reason enough to go see this film. A confronting film with a sinister atmosphere.
Rating: 4,5/ 5