The Best Movie You Shouldn't See: Funny Games is vile done right | Film | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Screen » Film

The Best Movie You Shouldn't See: Funny Games is vile done right

I have warned people not to see this movie. Funny Games is one of the most disturbing films ever made, destined to stay with you for days if not weeks.

by

comment
Smells like a bit of ultra violence. I have warned people not to see this movie. Funny Games is one of the most disturbing films ever made, destined to stay with you for days if not weeks. My pleas of "avoid at all costs" have inadvertently sparked curiosity and interest in the film, which is good because people should see this movie. And that's director Michael Haneke's intention with this shot-by-shot remake of his provocative and frightening German film of the same name. His original intention was to expose the mind-numbing violence that permeates our mainstream films, in doing so he makes us completely aware of what we're watching and feeling. Rather than desensitizing-it's OVER-sensitizing. The result is a relentless mental overload that will stick with you. Just try to shake off the creepiness...

I don't want to give anything away, since I feel it's important to see this sinister flick raw and new. The overall plot goes something like this: a vacationing couple (Tim Roth, Naomi Watts) and their young son (Devon Gearhart) go to an idyllic island community for sailing, rest and relaxation. What they get is bullying and torment, both physically and psychologically from two ultra "nice" yuppie creeps wearing white gloves (Michael Pitt, Brady Corbett).

Most of the violence occurs off-screen while we see only a reaction shot or a look at something completely unrelated.

The remake is more darkly lit than its predecessor. Oddly, the most powerful scene was cut short and shot closer, making it less engaging. The original version was shot in a wider scope and held excruciatingly long, making you want to jump into the screen and do something.

The acting is impeccable throughout. Watts, Roth and Gearhart subject themselves to overdoses of fear, disbelief, anger, pain, anguish, suffering - you name it. Meanwhile, the wry and sardonic pair of cat and mouse tormentors play it soft, clean and clever, adding more frustration to the entire fiasco.

Haneke takes us on a journey that proves to be an assault on our feelings and terrors. Then even more, he messes with our minds, daring us to explore our rationale for watching his work. He literally forces you not to take your eyes off the pain and suffering (like staring at a bad roadside accident), adding to the nausea and fear you experience alongside the tormented victims. With a few "out of moment" tricks, Haneke even invites us to be part of the movie, an invitation at the most vile level. If we decide to stay, like the family being tortured on screen...we get what we deserve.

I highly recommend this movie, even after telling the most fearless and bravest of heart that it might not be for them. It's definitely not for the emotionally squeamish or those prone to bad dreams. This one might destroy you. Be strong if you go. This is the absolute embodiment of nightmarish. You've been warned.


Funny Games ★★★★✩

Starring Tim Roth, Naomi Watts, Devon Gearhart, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbett. Directed by: Michael Haneke

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Mike Bookey

Latest in Film