Funny Games (1997)

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for foreshadowing

Take a Drink: each time the violence escalates

Take a Drink: for any mention of games

Take a Drink: for fourth wall abuse

Take a Drink: every time Peter makes fun of Paul’s weight

Do a Shot: when you hear the title

Do a Shot: for that fucking remote

fgg-remote

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –

When I first watched Funny Games, I did it wrong. The Friday that Michael Haneke’s Hollywood remake came out, Oberst and I watched the original 1997 film while eating some pizza (itself a poor decision… marinara) and then straight over to the nearest theater to our University and watched the remake.

Funnygamesandremake

We shoulda saved the money and just hit ‘Restart’.

The utter sameness of the two films produced a whiteout effect that’s kept me from bothering to revisit either, but when my wife said she wanted to see it I figured the time was ripe. Funny Games is about an average upper middle class German family who find themselves under attack in their vacation home by two sadistic young men who just want to play some… funny games.

A Toast

Michael Haneke has made a career of unflinching portrayals of human frailties and cruelty, but Funny Games remains his most overtly provocative and vicious commentary on humanity. He forces us to examine our own attitudes towards violence as entertainment, by making an entertainingly violent film, then continually pulling the rug out from under our desensitized feet.

fgg-remote

You will scream at this.

What makes this film such a confusing and memorable experience, though, is how Haneke employs so many stylistic flourishes that make the film, well… fun. From Arno Frisch and Frank Giering’s winkingly evil performances to savage, off-putting death metal interludes to Fourth Wall abuse that goes beyond breaking straight to obliterating this film has a style and verve that make the later heart-rending long takes incredibly impactful. The unending aftermath scene in particular sucks all the oxygen out of the room and leaves you feeling strangely guilty.

kool-aidwall

The Fourth Wall and/0r your Soul

Beer Two

As is often the case in Michael Haneke films, none of the characters are terribly sympathetic (except the kid and dog, I guess). The central, “normal” couple are clearly full of barely contained aggression themselves, as their impatience and rudeness to complete strangers would attest. They’re assholes, so it’s difficult to empathize until things get really bad, which happens to be more than halfway in due to how slowly the film starts. A punchier beginning with more agreeable characters would’ve made the plot and message even more effective.

Verdict

Funny Games is both a devilishly entertaining domestic horror film and an indictment of a society where that’s not an oxymoron.

2beers

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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