Funny Games U.S. (2007)
Itís hard to find a reason besides the obviously commercial why Michael Haneke would want to make this shot-for-shot remake of his 1997 critics' favourite. But then again, I cannot see any artistic value in this film besides the strictly formal. With Funny Games, Haneke demonstrates technical skill, an ability to get wholehearted performances from his actors, and an understanding of the potential power of the film medium, but this baby of his is not a film, it's a psychological experiment set out to alienate the viewer and create as much emotional disdain in him as possible. Since there are no rules or restrictions, Funny Games quickly goes into coma. There is no joy in this film, no relief, only pain. But unlike films such as James Wan and Leigh Whannelís Saw or Eli Rothís Hostel, Funny Games doesnít present its pain in a playful or productive manner. Instead, after having tormented us with raw and painful footage for over an hour, Haneke cheats us by adding a segment which eliminates the entire premise he has presented. Funny Games is an insult to both our basic human compassion and to our sense of logic. It is a well-made but pointless film from which there can be derived no new knowledge or inspiration.