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Funny Games [DVD] [1997]

Susanne Lothar , Ulrich Mühe , Michael Haneke    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: £4.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch
  • Directors: Michael Haneke
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 25 May 2009
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,803 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



It is impossible to have a neutral opinion about the Austrian thriller Funny Games--a movie so relentless in its ability to shock that it gained pariah status on the film festival circuit in 1997. In the warped tradition of A Clockwork Orange, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Blue Velvet, this is a film--directed with electrifying audacity by Munich-born Michael Haneke--that addresses the controversy of screen violence by making the viewer as guilty as the Leopold and Loeb-like killers who terrorise a young family of three during their summer vacation. They arrive as friendly neighbours, seducing the family with phoney congeniality, but soon Funny Games reveals its devious strategy, turning savage and appalling ... and completely captivating for those who can endure the terror. There's actually less violence than you'd see in a typical American horror flick such as Scream, but Haneke's forceful staging effectively fulfils his agenda of viewer complicity; we vividly experience this doomed family's fate and feel helpless to save them. So helpless, in fact, that Haneke dares to offer a hint of respite by giving a victim the upper hand, only to "replay" the same scene with the darkest of outcomes. Funny Games is guaranteed to outrage some viewers with its manipulative schemes, but there's no denying the film's visceral impact, generated by Haneke's expert handling of a superior cast. Don't even think of allowing anyone under age 18 to watch this film; all others should proceed with caution. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

The unforgettable original version of acclaimed filmmaker Michael Haneke s classic exploration of screen violence is an uncompromising, sometimes uncomfortable but never less than compelling experience. Arriving at their remote lakeside holiday home, a middle class family are alarmed by the unexpected arrival of two young men who soon begin to subject them to a twisted and horrifying ordeal of terror. With characteristic mastery, Haneke turns the conventions of the thriller genre upside down and directly challenges the expectations of his audience, forcing viewers to question the complacency with which they receive images of casual violence in contemporary cinema.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very potent. 17 May 2003
The first time I caught this on TV, I hated it. And yet couldn't stop watching it. The film scared the hell out of me. Hated it. Hated it. Hated it.
Yet, days later I found myself still thinking about it. Normally I forget films very quickly, but this one was not fading away. I eventually realised that there was something brilliant about that film.
The brilliance was the way the two guys were portrayed, they are 'evil' and yet seem so normal. They are completely detached emotionally from their actions and seem to feel no empathy at all with their victims. There is no reason for them to kill, no rational explanation. They don't even seem to derive any sadistic pleasure from it.
The way the action is filmed - with the bad guy at one point winking at you, the viewer - helps increase this sense of unease as you are forced by the director to identify with the bad guy and participate (vicariously) in the mental torture inflicted on the victims.
I think that's why the film is so powerful. There's none of that cheap Hollywood gore+blood nonsense. The fear generated is psychological. You are not identifying with the victim and running away with them, you become the accomplice of the killer.
Very, very potent.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is psycical torture in it's finest porait! 29 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Austrian Michael Haneke probably knows more about psychology and psychic violence than any other film director. 'Funny Games' was nominated in Cannes for a very good reason: This movie goes beyond the viewer's 'defences'.
The story itself is seems quite plain: A family on vacation at a pittoresque mountain river/lake meet two very polite young men, Paul and Peter. But from that point the absolute horror begins to develop. No matter how hard the family tries to percieve a motive behind the two men's torturous behaviour, they simply cannot understand it, because Paul and Peter are bright and intelligent. Moreover, they understand the family's situation much better, but they're not affected the slightest about it. Instead, they carry on with their polite facade. At one point the mother asks the two men why they're being so cruel. Their reply comes quickly: 'Why not'?
Actually, there is very little on-scrren violence, but you sense the pain, horror and frustration so much stronger than in ordinary violent films because Haneke succeeds in the difficult task of portraying psychical violence.
'Funny Games' has been compared to 'A Clockwork Orange', but Haneke, in contrast to Kubrick, operates with a fully realistic setting and terribly realistic characters, which makes the helplessness and horror much more relevant(!!!)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
...but it's not a film for everyone.
I remember watching this late night on TV. The introduction gave the usual warnings about 'scariness'. No film has ever frightened me before, but this did. It's hard to categorise this film; not a horror, not really a thriller. But it is one of the best psychological thrillers since Hitchcock.
It is a film for those of us who know what lurks at the back of our minds, hidden just from view. You are unlikely to 'love' this film, but you may hate it. Ambivalence is not an option!
The DVD quality is pretty good, although nothing special. The extras are very dull and the English subtitles cannot be turned off.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly psychological experience! 25 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It took a lot of persuasion to get me to sit and watch this film. I had heard it was great but just didn't fancy it, thought it would be an overly arty, overly graphic and overly hyped (by a friend anyway!) movie that sounded quite grim. However, I finally sat down to watch it with my many preconceptions but I was actually pleased that I was proved so wrong. I have never seen a film that is so cleverly made. Plot aside (even though it is extremely good), this is one of the best things I have ever seen! Not once did the makers patronise the viewer by assuming they had to visually spell every little detail out. This film was made to be viewed by people who have an imagination. This film works very much in the same way as a well-written book, we are able to picture what is happening due to meaningful description and imagination. The way it is done so so clever, and so graphic are the images of violence, despite the fact you actually see very little of it, that at times you are left feeling intensly sick at what you have seen (albeit in your head rather than on the screen). This film stands in stark contrast to the abundance of material, both American and British, that sets out to shock but in truth fails because it has to spell out what is happening, it has to try to shock us visually because the script or the film is not quite good enough to help us understand what is happening. This film has no great twists or turns and is quite slow-moving in pace but absolutely outstanding acting, cinematography and dialogue (though it is subtitled, you feel you are actually hearing the words- perhaps why it is almost, in my eyes, akin with reading the book which is always better than the film!) make it better than any Hollywood blockbuster could dream to be.
So, what of the plot?
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best. 17 Nov 2012
This is a great film. It is an exciting, brave, audacious film. It is also, and those who have seen it consider this carefully, an anti-film film. This is Haneke railing against the casual, sickening violence that pervades most modern blockbusters. Annoyed at the remote scene? That's the point. It only makes as much sense as what you see in Hollywood. Annoyed at the way the two killers are motiveless? That's also the point. The way the film shows violence for what it is, horrible, sickening, off-putting? Then, you have stumbled across the point. Rewatch it with this in mind, and you discover that every line, pause, intonation, action, is a scathingly polemic vision of the films most people watch today.

It takes real skill to create a film with this depth, and only Haneke could have bought the cinematic mastery to it that he did. There is a true and serious message here, and Haneke delivers it brilliantly.

In his own words; "Those who walk out don't need this film. Those who stay do."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent service - can't fault!
Published 12 days ago by Jay Panesar
3.0 out of 5 stars Patronising
The film is very well made, but is ultimately about Michael Haneke rather than the characters. The first clue to this is the use of music: the implication is that nice people... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tom Jenner
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly gilm but why?
I love the direction of Michael Haneke. Armour and Code Unknown; just brilliant. The box set is also quite fantastic... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter Colback
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Beautiful film even if the subject matter is dark.
Shot simply but with much beauty.
The story line is dark and pulls you in and won't let you go. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Vic
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, but well worth it.
This refers to the Austrian film from 1997, written and directed by Michael Haneke. Though he later remade the film with an American (and English) cast ten years later, in exactly... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. P. Johnson
2.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile sadism on an unsuspecting couple
Although both Ulrich Muhe and Sussane Lothar, as George and Anna, are outstanding in this film, which centres around the exposure of an isolated couple to varying degrees of sadism... Read more
Published 17 months ago by joholin
4.0 out of 5 stars I Get The Message
Michael Haneke's 1997 film Funny Games fits nicely (maybe not the right word) into his early sequence of bleak, nihilist, in-your-face works depicting the potentially destructive... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Share the Joke
For any literate politician or wannabe 'social engineer' I would reckon that there is at least a year's worth of work for them in writing about this film. Read more
Published 20 months ago by pseudonym
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awful
I went to see this in a cinema and it has one of the most violent sadistic cruel legal films ever to be produced. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique
Michael Haneke is a unique figure in Modern European cinema and 'Funny Games' was his first great work. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Xenophon
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