- Funny Games (2008 film)
name = Funny Games
caption = Theatrical release poster
Hamish McAlpine (producer)
writer = Michael Haneke
Naomi Watts Tim Roth Michael Pitt Brady Corbet Devon Gearhart
Warner Independent Pictures(USA) Tartan Films(UK)
March 14, 2008
runtime = 112 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $15,000,000
gross = $7,192,671
website = http://wip.warnerbros.com/funnygames/
amg_id = 1:357352
imdb_id = 0808279
"Funny Games" is the 2008 American
remakeof the 1997 Austrian horror filmof the same name. Original writer/director Michael Haneke("Caché" and " La Pianiste") wrote and directed, and Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pittstar. The film is a shot-for-shot remake of its predecessor, translated into English and with different actors. [cite web| url=http://www.darkhorizons.com/news07/070502j.php| title= "Funny Games" Remake Shot-For-Shot] [cite web| url=http://www.joblo.com/arrow/index.php?id=7674| title= Funny Games remake talk] [cite web| url=http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/michael-haneke-makes-namoi-watts-cry-funny-games-onesheet/| title= Michael Haneke makes Naomi Watts Cry]
The film opens with the Farber family - George (
Tim Roth), his wife Ann ( Naomi Watts), their about 10-year-old son Georgie ( Devon Gearhart), and their dog - arriving at their lake house in Long Island, New York. Their next-door neighbor stops in to help launch the family's sailboat, accompanied by a young man, Paul ( Michael Pitt), whom he introduces as a friend. A short time later, another young man, Peter ( Brady Corbet), also a "friend" of the neighbors, arrives to borrow eggs from Ann. He gets the eggs, but breaks them and asks for new ones. While waiting for them, he knocks Ann's cell phone into the filled kitchen sink, pretending it is an accident. He leaves with the eggs but soon returns again, claiming that they broke when the dog attacked him. Paul comes also and borrows a golf clubto try it outside, returning a few minutes later.
A frustrated Ann demands that the men leave, but they ignore this. When George and Georgie return from launching the boat, George apologizes at first for his wife's unfriendliness toward the "guests." However, he soon realizes their rudeness as well and slaps Paul's face to throw them out. Peter reacts by breaking George's leg with the borrowed golf club, after which he and Paul refuse to let anyone leave and begin to play a series of sadistic games. First is a game of "Warm and Cold," in which Paul guides Ann to the family car; here she finds the carcass of the dog, which has been beaten to death with the golf club.
When some neighbors from across the lake arrive for a visit, Ann and Paul meet them at the dock; she passes him off as a friend until they leave. Once everyone is back inside the house, Paul offers to bet that the entire family will be dead by 9:00 the next morning, roughly 12 hours from now. Between games, he and Peter--who often call each other "
Tom and Jerry" and " Beavis and Butt-head"--keep up a constant patter, with Paul frequently ridiculing Peter's weight and lack of intelligence. He also tells a number of contradicting stories of Peter's past, though no definite explanation is ever presented as to the men's origins or motives. Throughout the film, Paul also breaks the fourth wall several times, commenting to the audience about the situation.cite news | last = Gleiberman | first = Owen | coauthors = | title = Funny Games | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = Entertainment Weekly| date = 2008-03-12| url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20183709,00.html | accessdate = 2008-03-16]
The next game is "Cat in a Bag," in which Peter places a sack over Georgie's head and threatens to strangle him unless Ann briefly strips naked for Paul. Georgie is tortured by Peter off camera to chilling screams. After she strips, a scuffle breaks out and Georgie escapes the house through a second-story window. With Paul in pursuit, Georgie slips into the neighbors' house only to discover that they have been killed. He picks up a
shotgunfrom the floor and tries to use it against Paul. It is not loaded, however, and both he and the weapon are brought back. Peter has now bound Ann hand and foot.
Paul gives the shotgun and one of two shells (from his pocket) to Peter, and they start a
counting-out gameto decide which family member to kill. Peter is left to finish the game as Paul gets a snack from the kitchen; when Paul comes back, he finds that Peter has shot Georgie by mistake and also broken George's arm. The two men leave, taking the shotgun and returning the golf club Paul borrowed.
George and Ann weep for their loss and resolve to survive this ordeal any way they can. Ann cuts herself free of her bindings, and she and George try to get her cell phone working by using a
hair dryerto dry out all the parts. They have no success, but George keeps working on it as Ann leaves the house to flag down any passing cars for help. A short time later, George is interrupted by the return of Paul and Peter, with the bound and gagged Ann in tow. Taking the phone from him and loading the shotgun with the shell still in Paul's pocket, they begin to play a new game, "The Loving Wife," for which Ann's gag is removed. If she can say a prayer (chosen by Peter) forwards and backwards without any mistakes, she can decide whether she or George will die next, and whether it will be by knife or shotgun. Before the game is over, though, she grabs the loaded gun and kills Peter with it.
Enraged, Paul digs out the television
remote controland uses it to rewind the film itself for several seconds. Once normal action resumes, he moves the gun out of the way as Ann dives for it, then shoots George dead as punishment for breaking the rules. That morning, Paul and Peter take Ann--again bound and gagged--sailing on the family boat. She tries to cut herself loose with a knife that fell into the boat while it was being launched, but this is quickly found and dropped overboard. Paul soon pushes her into the water to drown, winning the bet with an hour to spare. Docking at the house of the family that had previously visited the Farbers, Peter stays with the boat while Paul goes inside to borrow some eggs--a hint that the cycle of sadism and murder is about to begin again. Paul directs a smirk toward the camera as the film ends with the song in the starting credits, "Bonehead."
Naomi Wattsas Ann
Tim Rothas George
Michael Pittas Paul
Brady Corbetas Peter
Devon Gearhartas Georgie
Boyd Gainesas Fred
Siobhan Fallonas Betsy
The film premiered at the
London Film Festivalon October 20 2007.Fact|date=March 2008 Its U.S. premiere was at the 2008 Sundance Film Festivalon January 19 2008. It began a limited release in the United States and Canadaon March 142008, distributed by Warner Independent.cite news | last = Honeycutt | first = Kirk | coauthors = | title = Sundance Premieres section sees changes | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = The Hollywood Reporter| date = 2007-11-30| url = http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i9439f0eee1487197352ba0112d6d726e | accessdate = 2008-03-18] A wider release was released to more theaters on April 8, 2008. The film was also shown in Istanbul Film Festival which took place between April 5-20 2008. Before its DVD release, it did not achieve a wide release in the U.S.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. As of
September 6th 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoesreported that 51% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 132 reviews. [cite web|url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1175174-funny_games/ |title=Funny Games Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-03-16 |publisher= Rotten Tomatoes] Metacriticreported the film had an average score of 41 out of 100, based on 33 reviews. [cite web|url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/funnygames2008 |title=Funny Games (2008): Reviews |accessdate=2008-03-16 |publisher= Metacritic]
Todd Gilchrist from
IGNcalled the film "Unrelenting and brilliant, "Funny Games" is a truly great film — an incisive, artistic triumph that doubles as a remarkably thrilling and unique cinematic experience." Conversely Joshua Rothkopf from Time Out New Yorksaid the film was "A sour project that defines anti-imaginative." [cite web|url=http://www.timeout.com/film/newyork/reviews/84202/Funny_Games.html |title=Funny Games Review. Movie Reviews - Film - Time Out New York|accessdate=2008-06-15 |publisher= Time Out] Writing of the original 1997 release, New York Timescritic Stephen Holdenboth called the film a "morally challenging work of art" and "a sophisticated act of cinematic sadism." [cite web|url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9C0DE6DC1330F932A25750C0A96E958260&ex=1332475200&en=709faf668585ee66&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink |title=Funny Games - Movie - Review - The New York Times|accessdate=2008-06-15 |publisher= The New York Times] A.O. Scottused similar language in his review of the American remake: "At least with the remade “Funny Games,” Mr. Haneke shows a certain kinship with someone like Eli Roth, whose “Hostel” movies have brought nothing but scorn from responsible critics." [cite web|url=http://movies.nytimes.com/2008/03/14/movies/14funn.html?ex=1332475200&en=709faf668585ee66&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink |title=Funny Games - Movie - Review - The New York Times|accessdate=2008-06-15 |publisher= The New York Times]
The music in the introduction and the
closing creditsis "Bonehead" by Naked City.
DVDwas released on June 10, 2008 in the US. The DVD does not contain any extra material but instead it includes both widescreen and full screen editions on one disc. In the UK, the DVD and Blu-raywas released on July 28th with the extra material being the Original Theatrical Trailer, Q&A with Funny Games producers Hamish McAlpine and Chris Coen, Interviews with the cast, Viral clips and Film notes. Exclusive to HMVin the UK, is an alternative DVD sleeve.
* [http://wip.warnerbros.com/funnygames/ Official site]
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