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Apr 29 2013

Funny Games (2007)

FunnyGames

2 / 5 stars      

This review is going to be short, mostly because the movie that it describes was as much of a waste of time as reading this review of it will probably be. However, I did want to highlight what I thought was good about it, rather than focus on the bad because I did feel it deserved more than one or no stars for a reason.

When putting together a psychological thriller, I often feel that the director gets bored with building tension and setting the scenery of mental illness long before the characters are developed into the embodiments of psychosis they are supposed to represent. Then the films descend into jerky camera movements and random fidgety events in order to give the viewer that jump-in-the-seat feeling rather than any feeling of deep psychological terror.

In the case of Funny Games, the psychotics Peter and Paul, played by Brady Corbett and Michael Pitt respectively, are genuinely creepy, and they stay that way throughout the film. The depth of their mental illness is palpable and never wavers for a moment. You can tell from the first moments, even during what seem like innocent events, that the victim family is in deep trouble. They even seem to know it but find themselves too weirded out to do anything useful.

Despite this well-constructed sense of creepiness, Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Devon Gearhart are all puppets with visible strings, and anything resembling gore or action that would put a punctuation mark on the madness is either hidden or omitted entirely. This time around, the character development of a pair of lunatics is done so well, they forgot to finish the film.

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