Games and rules: a film review

Funny Games, 1997.
At their luxurious and quiet summer home, a family finds themselves trammeled by two disarming but disquieting young men… and then the story begins to unfurl its vile tapestry.

Director Michael Haneke, known for his provocative oeuvre, claims this is the single film he made intentionally to provoke. And provocative it certainly is, with a stomach-churning dispassion that, by contrast, makes the moments of action (many of them off-screen) so horrifically galvanizing.

Funny Games is all about conventions and complicity; it self-consciously examines cinematic violence and suspense, and the contract between filmmaker and viewer as collaborators in atrocity. Games require rules, and the film is obsessed with rules, but be warned: Haneke doesn’t play fair.

I am participating in NaBloPoMo.