Funny Games Movie Replicas
Funny Games, must be one kick-ass movie, because it received 10 out 10 stars from IGN.
Watching a great movie in a genre you are tired of feels a bit like Al Pacino’s infamous line from The Godfather: Part III: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Despite a wealth of articles to the contrary, including IGN’s own well-researched look at the phenomenon, “torture porn” never really evolved into anything more than a collection of movies disguising gratuitous violence as halfhearted social commentary. Subsequently, the remakes and films series that rose to commercial success essentially brought about the subgenre’s downfall by being unrelenting, crude and just plain unentertaining. Meanwhile, even vaguely similar films failed, albeit in the case of examples like last summer’s designated punching bag Hostel Part II, the primary reason was its unenviable release date (it was sandwiched between Knocked Up, Ocean’s Thirteen, Surf’s Up and Fantastic Four), not its unfairly-dismissed content.
The fact that Michael Haneke’s Funny Games was first made 10 years ago in Austria precludes its inclusion in the torture porn canon, since at that time (not to mention in that country) the term hadn’t yet been invented. But newly remade for U.S. audiences by Haneke himself, and debuting in the somewhat fortunately-timed wake of the genre’s so-called commercial demise, his film takes on greater artistic proportions than likely the director or the film’s distributor, Warner Independent, ever intended. In fact, it’s safe to say that in creating a film that effectively takes all of the hallmarks of torture porn and turns them on their (severed) ear, Haneke has not only made a gripping and terrifying work of art, but one that effectively revives the horror genre as a whole by completely deconstructing it.
Funny Games stars Naomi Watts as Anna and Tim Roth as George, an affluent husband and wife who retire with their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) for the weekend at their lake house, only to be intercepted by two unfailingly polite young men named Peter (Brady Corbet) and Paul (Michael Pitt). Initially dropping in only to request some eggs for a neighbor’s breakfast, Peter and Paul soon insinuate themselves into the house, disable George and hold the family hostage. As Peter and Paul engage the family in an escalating series of dangerous and dehumanizing games, Anna, George and Georgie quickly discover that the horrors of monster movies are nothing in comparison to the deadly reality of two bored young men exercising their disturbed imaginations.
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