12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A truly psychological experience!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Funny Games [VHS]  (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? Its basically a tale of cruelty in which the two main characters set out on a journey to torment and traumatise a holidaying family (or two??), constantly dangling hope to them on a stick and then pulling it away again. To say anymore I feel would try to impose my views of the film on others and that is a another beauty of this film. It is the type of film everybody will take away different meanings and messages from. Alright, its not particularly one of those you want to watch again in order to understand as you go along, once you have discovered the ending (Donnie Darko, Fight Club and Sixth Sense spring to mind!) but it does make you want to watch it again to see if it helps you understand any further why the two main characters acted the way they did. The only thing I could conclude from it was that they were having fun! Thats another point that makes it so intensly sickening, there is no masterplan, no illness, no grudges being borne out, no paranormal activity, it simply leaves the viewer gobsmacked as to what just went on! Watch it and see! Love it or loathe it- one thing is for sure, you'll have a pretty damn strong reaction to it either way!