Funny Games

  • Review Date: June 9, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Mature, complicated look at movie violence.
  • Review Date: June 9, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Villains are cruel, soulless, and brutal; victims are whimpering, clever but ineffectual.

Violence

Gruesome effects of violence visible throughout, though most acts take place off-screen. An attack with a golf club leaves a leg bloody; slaps, beatings, kicks, and stabbings leave bruises and bloody wounds. Villains torment hostages by kicking and pushing on a broken leg and other wounds. A child is slapped, pushed, and menaced; a child is also shot with a rifle off-screen (blood shown on wall and TV screen) -- his parents react in racking sobs. Dog's death suggested by off-screen yelp; its body is then shown.

Sex

In an excruciating scene during the home invasion, a woman is forced to strip: though the camera shows no explicit nudity, her face shows her humiliation and trauma. A woman in bra and panties is forced to hop (legs and arms taped) across the room in a long, difficult take. Repeated threats of sexual violence and discussion of sex by villains, as well as salacious reference to "titties" and to a young man having sex with his mother.

Language

Occasional but pointed language includes "f--k," "s--t" (sometimes with "bull-"), "hell," "a--hole," and "p---y."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Conversations about drug addiction and an alcoholic father.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark horror/thriller isn't for kids. The plot focuses on a home invasion, and while most of the actual violence occurs off-screen, the results are very visible (bloody wounds; tearful, frightened faces; dead bodies; blood splattered on walls and furniture). Tense scenes include threats of violence, pursuit of a victim through dark hallways, and sexual taunting (which culminates in a woman being forced to strip, though no nudity is shown). A scene in which a woman appears in her bra and panties is decidedly un-erotic. Some language, including several uses of "f--k."

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Grim and relentless, FUNNY GAMES follows a day-long home invasion. When Ann (Naomi Watts) allows a young man in tennis whites and gloves into her lakefront vacation home, she can't begin to anticipate the devastating consequences. It's not long before Peter (Brady Corbet) and his similarly dressed companion, Paul (Michael Pitt), have intimidated Ann, broken her husband George's (Tim Roth) leg with a golf club, and terrorized their 10-year-old son Georgie (Devon Gearhart). The family alternately begs for their lives, resists their attackers, and tries desperately to escape, but the young men remain disturbingly unmoved and incapable of telling any kind of truth.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A scene-for-scene remake of director Michael Haneke's own, same-named 1997 Austrian film, Funny Games has more on its mind than startling displays of blood and terror. In fact, the violent acts themselves occur off-screen -- though the very nasty effects are underscored in long, often immobile takes. Ann, George, and Georgie repeatedly appear in tears, their faces bruised and fearful, while their tormentors taunt them with stories of damaged childhoods and twisted intentions (Paul demands that they make a bet with him, that "in 12 hours all three of you are gonna be kaput"). Scene after scene shows the debilitating effects of such emotional and physical stress, as the day wears into night and no good end appears possible.

When George asks why they don't just kill the family now, Paul smiles wanly: "You should not forget the importance of entertainment." Indeed, this is the film's focus. On one level, it makes viewers pay for its implied violence (rather than indulging in the dubious pleasures of "torture porn" like Saw). On another level, the film presses its point harder. At first, Paul and Peter seem like standard movie psychos, their cherubic faces almost more chilling than their utter contempt for their victims. But then Paul begins to address the camera directly, asking what "you" might want to see. When at last he stops a scene that has gone "wrong," grabs a TV remote, rewinds it, and replays it to accommodate his own ends, the film has lurched from regular horror into meta territory. At once intellectual and difficult to see, it is, ironically, all about watching.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie asks viewers to consider their own participation in violence, by consuming such images. When Paul looks directly at the camera and speaks to viewers, does that draw attention to the "pleasures" of watching extreme imagery? How? Can you think of other scary/violent movies that use their graphic images to comment on violence in the media? Also, why do you think the director wanted to remake his own movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 13, 2008
DVD release date:June 9, 2008
Cast:Michael Pitt, Naomi Watts, Tim Roth
Director:Michael Haneke
Studio:Warner Independent
Genre:Horror
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:terror, violence and some language.

This review of Funny Games was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bymgariti1 January 9, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

21+ for strong, sadistic, bloody violence; some language; sexual situations (no nudity)

It's hard to give an apt description of this film. It starts out like the happiest possible thing ever. Bright sunny day, kids playing tennis at the park, A colledge student and 2 buddies leave the park, but (claim to) have car trouble. Good thing the perfect family lives nearby to help them out! Especially because one got a nasty gash while trying to repair the engine. Don't worry! The husband has some medical training. Come in, boys, and he'll take a look at th...Woah! It's hard for him to concentrate, what with the ---s pointed at the wife and child's heads. SAVE HIM! SAVE HIM! But the doctor can't...so now the two remaining boys will make doc pay.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written by80sfreak October 2, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

So...theres no word to describe this movie

This movie is so different I have never seen anything like it.its just plain awesome...but it took me forever to find :)
Adult Written byMovie Man September 16, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Brilliant, Highly Disturbing Horror is Very Scary, Intriguing.

This is a brilliant, unusual horror film that takes on movie and T.V. violence. The plot is highly upsetting: a family is taken hostage by very young serial killers who torture and terrorize their victims for hours on end. PARENTS: please do not let your kids watch this extreme film. Although it is true that most of the violence is off-screen, that makes it even scarier. The less we know, the scarier it gets. P.S. You won't watch this film for fun; you watch it to be utterly intrigued... and petrified. And the brilliant performances make it even scarier. To all of you reading my reviews, thank you. And keep watching. -Movie Man
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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