Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A 2007 Movie "Funny Games" Review... With Spoiler Alert


There's a movie that has been making the rounds on all the cable channels for the last several months called "Funny Games", starring Naomi Watts and Tim Roth and is truly the most terrifying movie I have ever seen. It made me sick to the point of wishing I could throw up... with a real life kind of terror. I've never liked watching anything that makes my heart pound like there's a small elephant jumping up and down on it and gives me that horrible gut-wrenching feeling of impending doom.

This 2007 film is directed by Michael Haneke and is actually the remake of a film he'd made in 1997 that was not a big hit, of the same name. Admittedly, Haneke is what the industry considers a brilliant director, otherwise I would have never been drawn into this movie in the first place. It took me a total of 6 times before I could watch it through to the end. Even then, I had to DVR it so I could speed through parts I couldn't handle emotionally.

While Haneke may be trying to convey the message to us that we are not safe anywhere (and that means anywhere), he also manages to draw the viewer in to both the young family and the young psychopaths, allowing both points of view (like one of the young psychos talking into the camera asking the audience if they wanted to see more). It's truly the most disturbing and unsettling movie I've ever seen, or hope to see again. I had no idea that this director's interpretation of funny games was such a far cry from mine, which I believe, is what initially captures you. I saw it on the movie marquee, saw that Tim Roth and Naomi Watts were the starring roles and suddenly there I was. Like a little lamb being led to slaughter,  I watched as the movie began to unfold and by the time I was slapped with the first of this family's horrors, I had to see the end.

One of the scariest aspects to the trailer is the amount of YouTube hits it's received. Apparently our society is becoming completely desensitized to violence. It's becoming the kind of society I'm not so sure I any longer want to live in. This is some deeply creepy stuff here people. I strongly urge parents of teens to use utmost caution. No sense filling young minds with this kind of violence while they're still young and seemingly innocent.

This movie just truly leaves your entire being raw from its violence, unlike run-of-the-mill Hollywood films of violence. There is no escape. There are no happy endings. There is also no sleep after you watch it either. I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I even think about it. It's one of those movies that you honestly won't shake off anytime soon.

It taught me a very valuable lesson though. Read what a movie is about before you decide to watch it while trying to go to sleep. This movie gripped me to my inner core and I was deprived of revenge or redemption, as well as several nights of sleep....

You really don't want to go there. Just my honest opinion....


NanU said...

Umm, why?
It's violent and gross and disturbing and all of that is just for "entertainment". Yet you gave it six tries? Why on earth?

Snooty Primadona said...

Obviously, I had to see the end in hopes that something good would come out of it. Why else would you finish a movie like that? There was no redemption. I wanted closure and there was none, which I thought I was conveying in this post.

WomenBloom said...

It's so weird how minds run in the same channel. I was just thinking this when my housemate was watching Hannibal the other day. I watched about 5 minutes of it and firmly decided that kind of stuff was not going to enter my energy field.

I had to wonder what we are coming to when this kind of stuff is how we 'entertain' ourselves. How we can take pleasure in watching even fictional characters be terrorized, traumatized, sliced up, dismembered, mutilated...I mean really!

People pooh pooh it, but if you believe that we are what we put in our minds and our beings, then this can not be good. And the very disingenuousness of directors saying they are just reflecting reality. PUHLEASE! That is just rationalizing their bank accounts.

All you have to do is look around the world today to see how spiritually wasted and starved we are. I don't mean religion, I just mean in touch with our humanity. As long as we are swimming around in this kind of thing and making money at any cost, I sometimes wonder if there is any hope for us. I used to be optimistic that we would figure stuff out before the universe slammed a grand piano on our heads to get our attention...but I'm not so sure these days.

Daryl said...

I am sure ToonMan has seen it or has it on/in his Netflix queue .. but I usually dont watch what he watches unless its something like Ice Age 3 which is sweet and caused me no bad dreams even if it makes no sense that dinosauers were still living in the ice age

Snooty Primadona said...

Yeah. I took no pleasure in watching this film. All I wanted was closure and didn't get it, which really kind of ticked me off. This movie was completely socially un-redeeming.

Beth Dunn said...

OKAY well I guess I'll be skipping that one. And you know what? I really like her, and want to like her films. She chooses poorly! xoxo


Rob said...

This was undoubtedly a disturbing movie, but I think the most disturbing part is how much the director relished torturing us. There was some skill involved, mostly in the setup and the wry execution, but the meaningless ending left me feeling odd.

Sure, you go into a horror movie knowing that there'll be uncomfortable scenes, but I didn't find the story compelling since it mostly stalled out during the second half and resided in sit & spin mode to simply punish the audience - and relish in doing so.

I admire the skill of the actors involved. I admire the style of the director, but not the contempt he shows for the viewers.

I would never, ever recommend this movie to a friend.

Rob said...

This movie did give me pause to wonder what it says about me that I would even rent such a thing.

It much the same dichotomy I felt when seeing the trailer for Tarantino's "Inglorius Basterds" recently. At the same time, the movie appealed to me yet I was revulsed at that very appeal. What kind of person would want to gleefully revel in Tarantino's own mostly-senseless brand of graphic brutality & carnage?

I'm not judging anyone who chose to view that film - I'm just at odds with myself for wanting to.

Mental P Mama said...

Ugh. Thanks for the head's up...X-nay on the unny-Fay ames-Gay!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I think I remember the 1997 one you mentioned. I'll pass on this one.
Thank you!


Clippy Mat said...

There are so many sick and disgusting 'horror/fright' movies out there now, just take a look around the shelves in the video store. I may have picked this movie without knowing what it was about as I'd never heard of it and I like both the actors. I can't understand what possesses THEM to even BE in such a movie tho'.

Rob said...

Clippy, I suspect that actors sometimes (often?) get snookered into projects and then are contractually bound to finish them regardless of how they feel about the potential outcome or their relationship with the director or other actors. (I guess actors have real jobs too - everyone has a crappy boss at some point, eh?)

With some movies - ones that have such great promise but just sorta fall flat or end on a sour note - you can tell that they fell apart in the editing room.

With "Funny Games," I wonder if the actors were lured to the project by an innovative director and didn't fully understand that it would be a note for note remake. Or maybe it was the chance to work with the ensemble? Or maybe just for the challenge or an acting stretch, which this material certainly would do.

Some of this is why I'm so enthralled with "behind the scenes" and "making of" portions of the extras on DVDs. I love to get a glimpse behind the curtain and see some of the thoughts & techniques that go into what ends up on the screen. Check out the multitude of these on "I Am Sam," for example, and you'll get a wealth of insight on filmmaking decisions that seem utterly trivial but subliminally do completely alter the way the audience perceives some scenes.

Snooty Primadona said...

Very nicely put Rob. The actors had to have been *duped* into this movie, but they have both done a lot of really weird movies...

Heather said...

Thanks for the heads up. NO WAY in HELLo could I handle this film.

Heck, I stopped watching LOST after the pirates kidnapped Walt. (like a million seasons ago) I thought it was the most disturbing bit of TV I had watched in awhile. I think it all worked out, but it completely turned me off the show. In all fairness, I'm a big wimp when it comes to this kind of stuff. Real life is scary enough for me.


Blog Designed by: NW Designs