Funny Games

March 11, 1998 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 7.6/10 (21,040 voted)

Critic's Score: 41/100

Michael Haneke

Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch

Two seemingly well-educated young men, who call each other Paul and Peter among other names, approach a family on vacation. They are, apparently, friends of the neighbors, and, at the beginning, their true intentions are not known. But soon, the family is imprisoned and tortured in its own house violently, which the viewers are forced mostly to imagine and to share a certain complicity with the criminals. It might be some kind of game with the lives of husband, wife, son, and dog, but why are they doing it?


Susanne Lothar


Ulrich Mühe


Arno Frisch


Frank Giering


Stefan Clapczynski


Doris Kunstmann


Christoph Bantzer


Wolfgang Glück


Susanne Meneghel

Gerdas Schwester

Monika Zallinger


Ein Alptraum.

Release Date: 11 March 1998

Filming Locations: Atelier Rosenhügel, Vienna, Austria

Gross: AUD 41,828
(August 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Paul says the line "We're not up to feature film length yet" at exactly the 95-minute mark of the movie.


Crew or equipment visible:
When Anna and Georg are driving in their car, a reflection of a microphone between the front seats can be seen on the window.


[first lines]

[subtitled version]

Björling… Suliotis?

Almost. Björling is easy.

User Review

unsettling, gripping movie

Rating: 10/10

Okay… I just read most of the 144 user reviews…. Basically I wanted to
make up my mind about this film, a film that is a very heavy

I've seen this movie 5 years ago, the good thing is most of the time you
forget about (having seen) it but now and then you recall it. I can
understand that many people hate this film, it is not nice to watch, the
more when you see it in a theatre where the only chance to break its spell
is leaving the theatre. Regardless if you leave or stay and watch it leave
it beats you one way or the other. I fully agree with many other reviewers
that I have no idea whom I should recommend it too. I am tempted to watch
a second time but didn't make it happen in 5 years.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is an excellent movie. It is also very
disturbing and upsetting, I can't think of the right mood to watch it
it'll take you down. And I think here is where the movie polarises. If,
after watching, you find yourself deducting some message in the violence,
and perhaps rethink violence – in both real life and movies – you will,
well, also will have found some reason for this movies existence, if not –
and it might be better if one does not – you will join in the 'crappiest
movie ever chorus'.

I do however want to point out some achievement of this

*) The movie catches the audience in theatre.
*) It does shock the audience but most of the violence is off-screen. You
see more people dying in many fast-driven action movies. Only here you
There is minor suspense, but I, personally, wouldn't put it into that
category. (But then I am no horror/shocker/suspense fan and can easily err
*) It's hard to compare it with any other movie (that I have seen). I am
sure if this is an achievement, but it's outstanding.

The reason I think Haneke made this movie. or, what I deducted from it is
how far away violence and death are in our everyday lives today. While
Hollywood – and other film productions serve them daily right in our
room, we hardly notice them anymore. Violence also sells movies, and we're
meanwhile pretty used to that. Haneke also serves violence, and he dishes
next-door. He turns into a moral figure that asks the audience if they
more (after all me and you consume it every day) – and while HERE we want
say 'no please stop' he doesn't do our silent bidding. He pushes us down
drain, forcing us to deal with aspects of the violence we don't (want to)
see. He even goes one step further. He offers us a 'good' ending, a
that would make it easier for us to bear the movie, only to snatch it back
and rip us of any cheerful emotion, telling us like 'no, sorry, here it
doesn't work that way'.

I also read reviews mentioning the unsatisfying (often used, cliche) end.
One more time Haneke manages to disappoint us, so far we were driven and
didn't know what would happen, what to expect.

Only in the ending, we see it coming, and so it ends, obviously similar to
many other movies. We're back standard movie stuff, the arc bent and the
connection made.

"Funny games" is everything else but the title. Perhaps it refers to the
funny games built on standard film violence in everyday movies. Perhaps it
doesn't. Perhaps Haneke wants to stress that violence is a bad thing.
Perhaps he's just sick.

One thing for sure, regardless if you like it, don't care, or hate it. You
might have seen something somewhat like it, but nothing

If you hate shockers, don't watch it. It will only be torture.
If you love suspense, sorry, only very little gore here.

If you plan to watch it, calculate a few hours before you will manage to
your head to rest.

And don't watch it it personal crisis.

This movie will make you feel bad. If you watch it in a cinema, just look
around. You're not alone with this feeling.