Thursday, June 5, 2008

Funny Games DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Remake of Disturbing German Snuff Flick Arrives on DVD

Apparently, Michael Haneke wasn’t satisfied with having made Funny Games for the kinky S&M enthusiasts in his native Germany. The dubious director was apparently so self-satisfied with his disturbing snuff flick that he saw fit to shoot a virtually-identical, English-language version.
Funny Games is a disgusting indulgence in bloodlust likely to leave an audience feeling more abused than entertained. This morally-objectionable picture is also inappropriately titled, for it has nothing to do with either fun or games, unless you consider lingering scenes of bondage, torture, animal cruelty, splatter, sexual assault and eroticized violence fun and games. If there were truth in advertising, its title would be Gruesome Murders.
Superficially, the set-up reads like a stock plotline ripped right out of the psychological thriller script book. As the film unfolds, we find the Farber family, Anne (Naomi Watts), George (Tim Roth) and George, Jr. (Devon Gearheart) on their way to spending their summer vacation at their sprawling country estate which shares a lake in an upscale community comprised of the idle rich.
But before they get a chance to settle in, there’s a knock, and a pair of polite preppies (Brady Corbet and Michael Pitt) wearing white gloves invite themselves in. They create excuses to dilly-dally and when finally asked to leave, the rude strangers finally inform the Farbers that they’re being kidnapped, and apparently just for kicks.
The psychopaths then proceed to kill the dog, break George, Sr.’s kneecap with a golf club, make Anne strip naked in front of her son, and worse. Without divulging any specific subsequent developments, let me say that the movie defies convention and degenerates into further displays of anti-social behavior, sadly sans consequences for the crooks.
Naomi Watts might want to read her scripts a little more carefully before attaching herself to such an infuriating fiasco.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated R for terror, partial nudity, profanity, graphic gore, and eroticized violence.
Running time: 112 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video

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