Funny Games

March 27th, 2008


more trailers Funny Games

Still of Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Naomi Watts and Brady Corbet in Funny GamesStill of Naomi Watts in Funny GamesStill of Michael Pitt, Naomi Watts and Brady Corbet in Funny GamesStill of Naomi Watts in Funny GamesStill of Devon Gearhart in Funny GamesFunny Games

Two psychopathic young men take a family hostage in their cabin.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 6.4/10 (35,012 voted)

Director: Michael Haneke

Stars: Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt

In this English-language remake of a deconstruction in the way violence is portrayed in the media, a family settles into its vacation home, which happens to be the next stop for a pair of young, articulate, white-gloved serial killers on an excursion through the neighborhood.

Naomi Watts - Ann
Tim Roth - George
Michael Pitt - Paul
Brady Corbet - Peter
Devon Gearhart - Georgie
Boyd Gaines - Fred
Siobhan Fallon - Betsy (as Siobhan Fallon Hogan)
Robert LuPone - Robert
Susi Haneke - Betsy's Sister-in-Law (as Susanna Haneke)
Linda Moran - Eve

Taglines: Shall we begin?


Official Website: Les Films du Losange [France] | Official site |

Release Date: 27 March 2008

Filming Locations: Broadway Stages, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $510,958 (USA) (16 March 2008) (274 Screens)

Gross: $1,294,640 (USA) (27 April 2008)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The film is a shot-by-shot remake of the original.

Continuity: During the opening sequence, when George and Ann are listening to CDs in the car the shadows of the car and boat indicate that the sun is alternating between side-on/quite low in the sky to directly behind the car and almost overhead.

George: Why are you doing this?
Peter: Why not?

User Review


Rating: 6/10

When I heard Michael Haneke was re-making Funny Games in America I wondered why: what purpose could it possibly serve? The set-up to both versions is simple in that a bourgeois family is subjected to a torturous ordeal by a couple of ever so polite psychopaths. Moreover, like the original the re-make is a cruel exercise in exposing our fascination with the violence depicted in the media - the "our" specifically meaning the middle classes, comfortable in our existences and oblivious to the horrors of the world.

However, Haneke is on record as saying that he always considered Funny Games to be an "American story", as he regarded the use of violence as a form of entertainment to be a specifically American phenomenon. No matter that this is a bit of a flawed viewpoint: having the aggressors seem straight out of the O.C. gives the impact of their sadistic actions an even more discomfiting air. Michael Pitt (charismatic and barbarous) and Brady Corbett (seemingly dopey but utterly vicious) are both excellent, but their performances leave one feeling a bit um "seen it all before".

Which takes me back to my first thought: what is the point? Cosmetics aside this is exactly the same film, right down to the assumption that the well to do like to listen to classical music and that the audience may be unsettled by playing them some thrash metal. Haneke even has Pitt address the camera and manipulate the film, so re-using the trick about playing with reality and focusing the viewer on what actually counts as real. It is just that this playing around does not carry the impact it did 10 years ago.

In fact, due to the unconventional nature of the film and the vast disparity it offers with reality it's hard to care much at all. Yes what happens is horrible, but it does not feel at all real. I'm waiting for someone to point out that, that is Haneke's point, but frankly, I don't care. No amount of intellectualising can make this watchable.

You would think Haneke would know better too. His most recent film Hidden took a genre film and flipped it about to deliver one of the most surprising and intellectually challenging thrillers of the decade. By stringing the audience along and offering some sense of catharsis and understanding of character motivation he offered a way in. Funny Games U.S. offers no such intrigue or tension and is ultimately a big step backward. He may see it as an American story, but it worked better as a small Austrian film, set in anywheres-ville Europe.