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Monday, September 3, 2012

Funny Games (2008)

A typical American family consisting of father (Tim Roth), mother (Naomi Watts) and child (Devon Gearhart) arrive for a vacation at their lake house. But their peaceful holiday is violently upended when their home is invaded by two effete (they wear make up and dress in white) homicidal thugs (Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet) who terrorize them. The director Michael Haneke does a shot for shot remake of his 1997 Austrian film of the same name. It's an unpleasant nasty piece of goods and it takes fortitude to put oneself through it. To Haneke's credit, he doesn't alter the nihilistic ending to appeal to American audiences the way, say, the Dutch director George Sluizer did when he remade his film THE VANISHING for American audiences. Haneke wants to push the violence in our faces and, in fact, even teases us with it when his thugs break the fourth wall and address the audience directly about the audience's appetite and expectations of movie violence. Yet why castigate us for something we're already well aware of by gleefully and sadistically punishing your audience?

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