I don’t know about you, but when I go see a movie, I don’t want the film itself lecturing me about wanting to go see it in the first place. Now, having said that, I think every screening of Meet The Spartans
should have come with a public service message informing the audience that they and people like them are the reason the world is such a drenhole. I UNDERSTAND wanting to educate, to make people WANT to watch something of higher quality than that crap, but the director/writer of Funny Games
, Michael Haneke
, is attacking the horror genre and the depiction of violence in such a hamfisted, arrogant fashion it makes me want to chop him into...err...send him a stern letter about it.
The new shot-for-shot remake of Funny Games
, originally a 1997 Austrian film, doesn’t really offer any reason to watch it if you’ve seen the original. If it’s just about wanting to see Naomi Watts
in her underwear then go rent Mulholland Drive
instead (for just about one of the hottest sex scenes in cinematic history). Honestly, if the scenes in Funny Games
with her half-naked turn you on, maybe you DO need to be hit repeatedly over the head with the film’s message.
Ann (Naomi Watts
) her husband George (Tim Roth
) and their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart
) are a very financially comfortable upper-class family who are heading out to their vacation home. They are just settling into their house when two young men, dressed nicely in all white outfits with white gloves, show up at the house politely asking to borrow some eggs. It doesn’t take long to realize that these kids aren’t there to prepare breakfast. Bit by bit the family becomes more cognizant of how totally insane Paul (Michael Pitt
) and Peter (Brady Corbet
) are and that they have no intention of letting them survive. Peter and Paul psychologically torture the family with ‘games’ while gradually taking away their chances at survival. Not sure where Mary was. Probably tickling the family hamster or something.
Ok, doesn’t take much of a synopsis to give you the minimal plot. If this had been Eli Roth
, I’m sure it would have been a bloody as hell, torture porn type of affair. Director Michael Haneke
most certainly can’t stand Eli Roth
or anyone who would make a film concerning violence. “[violence makes me] very uncomfortable. In the mainstream it is a cool thing, people look at it and enjoy it. To me it is unbearable."
The character of Paul regularly turns to the camera and talks to the audience throughout the film, asking us what we would do, winking at us, acting as if we were rooting for him. This is a cheap way of making us feel disgusted by the material and the violence. News flash: already there. Does Haneke think this is how we go into horror films?
I question how a director who says that violent films are unbearable to him can make a movie about
violent films when clearly he couldn’t have possibly done that much research. His film only
exists to chastise us for wanting to see it in the first place. “This film is a provocation. It is meant as a provocation and of course all the rules that make the viewer go home happy are broken….Provocation is the principle of the whole film. It is very ironic. I want to show the audiences how easily they can be manipulated. I do that again and again. In view of what television and Hollywood does I think it is a good idea to create some mistrust.”
I'm going to be asked, I know, if there was anything I liked about the film. There's nothing you can say bad about the performances of Naomi Watts
and Tim Roth
who are two actors at the top of their game. It's just a shame that they are slumming it here with this pseudo-intellectual, post-modernistic, critic c#$k-suck of a movie.
wants us to either feel bad about yourself for liking violent films or pat yourself on the back for being so clever as to appreciate what it's trying to say. If we're going to argue about violence in entertainment, let's break it down rationally, separate ourselves from all this pretension of it being a positive message film, and that Michael Haneke
is too big a puss to watch some of the greatest movies ever made just because somebody kills somebody else in them. The first stories were violent. The tales told around a campfire in the dark. The Bible
, The Odyssey
...let's face it, confronting violence in our stories is part of what makes us human and able to deal with the actual violence in the world, not what drives us to it. If you really think we're more violent now because of Friday the 13th
movies or Grand Theft Auto
games than we were throughout the ENTIRE REST OF HISTORY then you just watch too much CNN.
At the one point of the film when the characters are given a chance to survive, the film uses the ULTIMATE cheap trick to take it back from us. Why? It’s gorram pointless. It smacks so hard of ‘Aren’t I clever for giving you a moment of relief and then snatching it back from you’
it forgets that what they’ve just done is completely retarded. The lame remote control joke primarily reminded me of the one important message of this film that you should take home with ya...you can always grab your own remote and turn this piece of dren off.
If you really feel like you have to, you can buy Funny Games here.