Funny Games is one of those films where you get exactly what you expected to get and that’s just fine. There are a couple of cinematic tricks, and possibly some deeper ponderings about the treatment of violence in film but at its heart it’s a pretty good thriller.
It’s a classic setup with a small cast, and a small set. Though the premise is somewhat contrived, the reality of pain, both physical and mental, is treated with a bit more respect than you’re used to getting. A rich family are held captive in their splendid lakeside holiday home by two demented posh boys. They’re ever-so polite and mannered, yet sadistic little pricks, sure to be the spawn of a one night stand with Hannibal Lectre*.
The boys do their job well though; despicable at first sight in their glowing tennis shorts and punchable pouty mouths. Tim Roth and Naomi Watts are as good as ever, though there’s something about the sight of Watts’ snivelling snots and tears that’s starting to seem a bit over familiar now. She’s sure to be remembered for snots and nipples, despite her stellar performance in Mullholland.
I’ve not heard much about Funny Games before seeing it but I know it’s a remake and I’d like to see the original, which is no doubt much better – but Funny Games definitely isn’t one of those shit remakes doing the rounds.
*Erm, well, that’s if they were twins, or brothers.