I think what Haneke basically does is play with your head- but at the same time the film makes you ask questions about yourself and the sickening society around you. The reaction the film inflicts on the viewer is one of its most fascinating pros. There must have been at least a half dozen walkouts when I saw it in theatres. I hadn’t seen that many walkouts since Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible ! (Note; that’s the infamous film with Monica Belluci getting raped for 9 minutes on screen). The movie plays like a Hollywood production, its structure is very reminiscent of a by the books slasher film- but what’s different is the reality of it all. Haneke try’s to be very twisted, making the violence and tension as realistic as possible- but again, that’s the point, what he’s trying to convey is not simple; the film is satiric about movie and societal violence and has a very perverse, comical way of doing things. It’s intense stuff, So much so that even he (Haneke) knows the viewer needs a breather- at times making his characters stare directly at the camera as if to simply state ’hey its only a movie’. Sometimes a film doesn’t need to entertain or have morals , all a film needs to do is give you an experience- good or bad. James Berardinelli said it best;
Funny Games isn't for everyone (and some viewers will feel pummeled), but those for whom it does work will find themselves challenged and stimulated. it’s not entertainment but it is an experience.’
Isn’t that basically what we strive for in life, an experience ? Something that stimulates and makes you see the world in a completely different view. Something that challenges you, something that wakes you up and opens your mind. That’s what Funny Games means to me, it might be morally perverse and imperfect- but it strives for something inexplicable, dark and satiric. It tries to agitate but at the same time refuses to give you any easy answers. You can hate the film as much as you want, but I don’t think there are many movies out there that give you this kind of a feeling.
Note; I'm talking about both the Austrian original and American remake- considering they're both shot by shot similar and share the same director.