'Why don't you Just kill us'

I really liked Haneke's Cache and do think that he is immensely talented, a world class filmmaker - That movie is around 3 years old now but it still wanders around my mind every so often. I decided to go watch Funny Games a few months back. I don't think there are many people that will admit to finding the film entertaining, but I do think that's the whole point. It’s -in a sense- very comic but also frightening and unresentful towards the viewer. The film’s detractors will always have the argument that instead of condemning film violence, the film is only enhancing it - portraying horrendous and pointless acts on screen, ie; the boy being shot. take note that although that scene is incredibly hard to watch, you never actually see him get shot. Kind of like what Hitchcock did with the shower scene in ‘Psycho’, a nightmare of a scene- but one that’s actually very tame and plays with your head ’cause you never actually see the knife stabbing Janet Leigh.

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.