Funny Games (1997 film)

Fourth wall, dead dog, dead kids, games–music guessing, eggs, family, bets, sail boat, hammer, fence, escape, golf club (game), hungry, tubby nickname, shotgun shown, two shells (shotgun)–four shells (egg), chairs, tape, braces, remake, short, driving with overhead view, neighbors, visitors, rich, lies.

Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” is a brutal examination of violence in media and its effect on society. The film centers around a seemingly normal family who are held hostage by two young men in their vacation home. What follows is a series of sadistic games, as the captors force the family to participate in their twisted version of reality.

The film is a commentary on the desensitization to violence that occurs through media exposure. Haneke intentionally uses techniques to distance the viewer from the violence, such as breaking the fourth wall and rewinding the film to undo the violent acts. This forces the audience to confront their own enjoyment of violence in media and question their role in perpetuating it.

The performances in “Funny Games” are all superb, with particular praise going to the two young men who are chillingly portrayed as polite, intelligent, and utterly remorseless. The film’s minimalist style and sparse use of music only add to the sense of unease and tension.

While “Funny Games” is not an easy watch, it is a powerful and thought-provoking film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. Haneke’s unflinching examination of the violence in our society is a sobering reminder of the need for societal change.

Next I will be watching the remake from 2007.

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