Funny Games USA is a psychological horror from director Michael Haneke is designed fro the outset to disturb the psyche at a fundamental level.
Funny Games USA is a psychological horror from director Michael Haneke is designed fro the outset to disturb the psyche at a fundamental level. The plot is basically about a pair of psychopaths who start terrorising one family, not a hugely original premise you might think and the lack of movement from the one location might be off-putting initially but stick with this film, it’ll grip you.
Peter and Paul, the psychopaths in question appear to be two perfectly normal people who arrive at a boathouse owned by an older couple Anna and Georg. Peter starts to become a problem, irritating Anna and when Paul joins in, the underlying aggression turns to outright intimidation then to violence. The sociopaths and the victims both come to represent the viewer as we were invited into each of their perspectives and it is here where the script really shines ramping up the tension and really making use of the isolated location, turning it to the film’s favour and bringing a clinging claustrophobia to the narrative.
This is no gore fest, when the slow build of spoken violence finally erupts into action, it’s treated realistically rather than taken to extremes. The two psychopaths are constantly questioning themselves and by extension us as they wonder why they are inflicting all this pain, and the real terror lies in the fact that it’s the psychological pain they inflict that seems all the more damaging. The movie’s message is simple, that the prevalence of on screen violence has got to the point where the audience has become completely desensitised with the detached demeanour of the two assailants reflecting this, coldly emphasising our reactions to their actions.
Haneke’s intention was not to make a psycho horror but to make a film that explored his concerns about the prevalence of violence in the media, as such seeing it as humanistic and moralistic. The direction is superb throughout never pulling punches and loading the film with symbolism, ensuring that the massage is delivered though not at the expense of the drama and the realisation that we as the voyeuristic viewers watching the psychopaths acts of psychological and physical violence are in fact non better than they. The script in itself is not the most original of stories but it doesn’t have to be, the meaning and the power of the piece are what matters.
Awards: Fangoria Chainsaw Awards,Young Hollywood Awards
Nominations: Young Artist Awards