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Even with the great cast of the remake, there’s just something uninspired about it that makes it even more unnecessary than the average remake. Funny Games is not an easy film to get into, principally because it handles its satire so bluntly.

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However, the film is oddly bookended by its own Americanized shot-for-shot remake directed again by Haneke. While this isn’t the first time a director has made his own movie twice in different languages, the remake just doesn’t have the same legs as this original.

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His 2007 remake was the first movie of his I ever saw and truth be told I didn’t quite get it at the time. The commentary on violence, specifically its depictions in American film, is given a proper backdrop. As the mounting dread gradually increases, the viewer doesn’t quite know what they are in for until the carnage inevitably unfolds. Haneke’s detached humanity means that only the unhappiest of endings can befall our main characters. While I still don’t care for the fourth wall breaking in the climax, I wouldn’t consider it as a demerit against this excellent precursor to the torture porn genre.

A family cruises through an Austrian rural town in their station wagon singing along to classical music. Suddenly the film’s title cuts through the screen in bloody red typeface, as Naked City’s shambolic grindcore blares in the background. Quite possibly one of the greatest opening credit sequences of all time. And with that Haneke announces to the world his attempt at a horror film. Check out this list of hundreds of games, virtual field trips, videos, e-books, audio books, printables, and more, for kids of all ages. I say "seems to be" because it’s difficult to grapple with serious themes when what comes through most vividly is the director’s sadism.

  • He tells the doll that he is "it" first, then runs off to turn off all the lights in the house .
  • The player replaces the stuffing in a stuffed doll with rice and nail clippings, sews it back up and tosses it in a tub of water.
  • I have enjoyed these experiences and hope to see Charlotte again sometime.
  • When I played it again, this time alone, Charlotte was quite civilized and docile, and very pleasant to be around.
  • After I asked my questions, I heard a soft "Goodbye" and she was gone.

For a film that primarily takes place in a single location, the film gets a lot of range out of its German DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix with English subtitles. Even when people are speaking in whispers or from another room, everything is audible without interference from other elements. The film plays with silence quite a bit so small sound effects like a ticking clock or someone doing something in another room build the soundscape. In the silence, there is some great atmosphere and spatial awareness. With that, this isn’t an overly aggressive surround mix. Most of the activity keeps to the front/center channels leaving the sides and rear to fill the void with incidental sounds. 20 years since this film prompted walkouts and some measure of outrage at the Cannes Film Festival, Funny Games still has the vital punch.

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In the end, Funny Games is little more than high-toned torture porn with an edge of righteousness that’s not unlike Peter and Paul’s. Audiences flock to nightmarish "home invasion" thrillers because of an implicit pact with the filmmaker that the invaders will be RPG Games vanquished and the family unit saved. Some could make the case that Haneke deserves a measure of respect for reminding us how pathetically dependent we are on that pact and its cathartic endings. But I won’t, because the movie is shallow and itself glacially unengaged — a punkish assault without punk’s redeeming passion. Benny was played by Arno Frisch, who grew up to be one of the home invaders in the original Funny Games — and the link is significant. Benny’s Video was part of what Haneke called his "glaciation trilogy," in which he indicted the people of Austria for their callousness toward the carnage in nearby Bosnia.

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