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Funny Games (1997 film)

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Funny Games
Funny Games1997.jpg
Original release poster
Directed byMichael Haneke
Produced byVeit Heiduschka
Written byMichael Haneke
StarringSusanne Lothar
Ulrich Mühe
Arno Frisch
Frank Giering
Stefan Clapczynski
CinematographyJürgen Jürges
Edited byAndreas Prochaska
Distributed byConcorde-Castle Rock/Turner
Release date
  • 14 May 1997 (1997-05-14)
Running time
109 minutes[1]

Funny Games is a 1997 Austrian psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael Haneke. The plot of the film involves two young men who hold a family hostage and torture them with sadistic games. The film was entered into the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.[2] In 2007 it was remade in America by Haneke, this time with a different cast and a mostly American crew.

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  • Funny Games (1997) - Trailer
  • Funny Games (1997) | DISTURBING BREAKDOWN


Björling... Suliotis? Almost. Björling is easy. Tebaldi? Bingo! It's my turn now. - Don't look! - But I'm not looking. Did Daddy look? Is that true? Oh God! Gigli! That's obvious! But what's the piece? Never heard it! Is it new? Seems to be. Well, darling?! I'd say Händel. Right. But what is it? No idea! Well?! I give up. What is it? Three-two to me! So, what is it? Now get your hands off! Just listen! - That's cheating! - Sorry? It's cheating to be practising. We've booked for 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. You are coming? Yes, sure. We'll put the boat in the water first. Can you give us a hand? Let's say, in 20 minutes? Sure! Yes, I'll be there in 20 minutes. O.K. Thanks. See you in a tick. What's up with him? No idea. He seems in a huff. She didn't say a word. Who did you arrange to play with tomorrow? Her. Yesterday? The day before. Well? Nothing. She was totally normal. Sissi isn't there. Maybe she was just in the house. Or at the beach. Who were the two laddies? How should I know? They're probably relatives. I think his brother has a son that age. Don't put that there! Take your things upstairs! O.K. Do it now! Don't leave things in the entrance, or someone will trip over. There's still so much left in the car. Are you listening? I'm going! Open the windows, will you. We need to let some air in. O.K. Mum! Stop it, Rolfi! Stop it! Go on, get down! I have to unpack! Go on, get out! - Georg? - Yes? Where's the other box with the food? I'll bring it right away. The golf gear was in the way. I put it in the Rover last. We'd better get them in quick! The things have got really hot! This cool-box is totally useless. Stop it now, you'll knock me over. Go see your mistress. There're some cold cuts in the other box. I'll get it. I'll just open the windows. Leave the shutters closed on the lake side, or it'll be too hot. Stop that. You'll get something in a minute, I must just put this away. Can't you call the dog? He won't let me put the things away. Rolfi! Come here! Come and see your master! And the bottles too, otherwise it'll all be warm by the evening. Stop it, Rolfi! Be quiet! Come in! Sorry. He's off his head. Come in! Thanks for coming. It'd have been tough on our own. No problem! This is... Paul. Nice to meet you. Paul is son of a business colleague. It's a pleasure. Nice of you to help. Mine too. I mean, the pleasure's mine. Not so much his. Will you be quiet?! Lunatic! Get into the house, go on! - When did you get out here? - Last week. You too? - Yes. - No. They didn't arrive till the weekend; we came on Friday. Hello Fred! Nice of you to come over right away. How's Eva? Fine. - Hello. - Hello madam. ...and where's Tropea? In south ltaly. Right at the tip, almost on the toes of the boot. - But it's even hotter there. - Not necessarily. Last year when I was in ltaly it was freezing and here you were swimming, right? But it's a shame Sissi isn't here. Without her it's... - Be careful! - I am! Careful, or the overhauling will have been for nothing. - Look: you can't see anything! - Good. Can you help me lift the boom over? Mind the halyard! But she said she'd be there for the whole holiday. Listen, my boy: I don't know why she isn't there either. Maybe she went to Tropea with a school friend. I don't know. Tomorrow we'll go over and ask her mother. Now stop moping... Why was Uncle Fred so strange? I'm not surprised! She got pretty worked up about it last time. Forget it, please. She won't change, and you'll just get in a state. Exactly! That's it! Great: they're outside working on the boat. What? Five or five thirty; I don't know the time here, I mean, the kitchen clock has stopped. I must get a new battery on Monday. What? Yes, that's what I'm doing now. Some fillets... Yes, you know, it's crazy: the whole thing defrosted and now it needs eating. Come out and see us! No, really, like a fool, I froze 3 pounds of beef fillet at once... and now here I am... No, I'm not joking; come and spend the weekend. What?! He shouldn't make such a fuss. Hold on. We need a sharp knife. I'd like to see it again some day. Tell dad. Sorry. Tell your beloved to pack up his laptop, get in the car, and you'll be here in two hours at the most! He shouldn't be so elusive. O.K. Think about it. In any case, there's enough steak here for a week. Bye Fanny. Say, give us another ring anyway... to tell us whether we can expect you. Yes. - What is it now? - Someone's here. - Where? - At the door. - Hello? - Hello. Sorry to disturb you. I'm from next door. We saw each other when you stopped the car at the gate. Oh yes, we did. Come in, please. Hurry up, we're eating in ten minutes! So what is it? Well... Eva sent... I mean Mrs Berlinger sent me. She's just cooking... and she's run out of eggs. She wonders if you can help her out. But of course. - How many does she need? - Four. Four? - What for? - Sorry? What for? What does she need the eggs for? I mean, what's she making? No idea. Are they O.K. like that or shall I wrap them? As you like. So how did you get in? At the front; I mean, by the beach. But you didn't get wet at all! There's a hole in the fence, by the water, not in the water... Fred knows... I mean Mr Berlinger knows it. He showed me it. I see. O.K. - So, wrapped, or is this O.K.? - No, no, that's fine, no problem. Many thanks. Love to Eva. Look forward to the golf tomorrow! I'll tell her. Thanks again. And thanks again to Fred and your friend... - Dammit! - What's up? It's not a disaster. Hang on. Thank God we just arrived... and I must shop in the village on Monday. I'm really embarrassed. It's nothing. No-one here eats eggs for breakfast anyway, so it's not a major problem. That's a relief, thank you. I should just have been more careful. I put my left hand... - No point in crying over spilt milk. - You're really kind. One does one's best. I'm really sorry. I'm very clumsy, you know. I think I've got two left hands. So you're ideal for carrying eggs. Yes, you could say. Well... And what are we going to do now? We do have steak, but we might be getting visitors, and they're bound to want eggs for breakfast. But you'll have four left. After all, I did see you had a box of twelve, right? You're right. Shouldn't I wrap them up? No need. Are you sure? If you want to. If I want to?! Well, maybe it is better after all. - Oh no! - What's the matter? Oh, no! I'm sorry. Before you destroy the rest of the kitchen, maybe you should take your eggs and leave. Well... Here you are. Won't you wrap them? I'm really sorry. Honestly. Me too. There. Here you are. Many thanks. Thank you. I'll tell Mrs Berlinger how nice you were. O.K. Do as you see fit. - Bye. - Goodbye. Excuse me? Stop it! Rolfi! Excuse me! Off you go! Get lost! I mean now! I'm sorry. He's completely harmless. - He just wants to have a game. - Funny game. Did he hurt you? Peter's just afraid of dogs. - I'm sorry. - Me too. He jumped up on me. I'm sorry about that. Well. - Shall I lock him in so you can leave? - No need. - I can tell my husband to... - There's really no need, thanks. It's my fault. I quite forgot the dog. Otherwise I'd have come to fetch the... Oh! What a wonderful kit! Gallaway, isn't it? It's fantastic. May I? We hardly stand a chance for tomorrow! Good clubs don't make good golfers. That's true, yes. Would it be cheeky of me to ask if I can try it just once? Right now, outside? Please! O.K.?! From the lawn out to the lake, O.K.? - If it makes you happy. I... - Thanks. Excuse me. He loves golf! - We both do. - Sorry? Both of us. We both love golf. Rolfi! Stop it! Rolfi! Be quiet now! What's up? I don't know, probably it's too hot for him too. I'll go and see. Brilliant! Like the difference between day and night. Thanks very much. You're welcome. Where's Tom? - Who? - Did you give him the eggs? Sorry? The driver is absolutely top-class. You must try it. Listen, young man... I don't know what game you're playing, but I'm not going to join in. Will you go now, please? What game? Sorry, madam, but I don't understand why you're suddenly so unfriendly. Have Tom or I done anything to annoy you? Please would you leave? Did you behave badly while I was outside? Was he cheeky? - Did he say anything... - That's enough. I asked you to leave, so... please go. O.K. I don't understand what's upset you so, but if you insist... Fine. Give the eggs to Tom and we won't bother you again. I'm sorry?! Of course we'll be telling Eva and Fred. Honestly, I've never experienced anything like it before. What about you, Tom? May we have the eggs now, please? I told you to leave! Did I do something wrong... Now just get out of here, you... Is the dog with you? What's going on? - Get them out! - Good to see you, Mr Schober. You are Mr Schober, right? Fred, I mean, Mr Berlinger told me. What? What's the matter? Throw him out! Your wife's mistaken. I'm very glad you're here. I'm sure you can clarify the misunderstanding. Please, Georg! It's outrageous! Can I explain how this misunderstanding arose? Mrs Berlinger sent me over to fetch some eggs. So what? And then? Your wife gave the eggs to Peter, but he smashed them. Yes. And she gave me four more eggs, but... then the dog jumped up on me... and now... But it was a 12-pack, and you're shopping Monday anyway... We just want the eggs, that's all. Can you tell me what's going on? Give them the eggs. Hold on! Can you wait a moment? - Can I take them? - Just a moment. What's going on? It can't just be about these ridiculous eggs. Why this rage? I'm not justifying myself to these... I asked you to throw them out. I must have my reasons. Do as you wish. For me, the subject is closed. Anna?! Would you please leave? My wife doesn't feel well. I can't act as arbitrator in a matter I don't know anything about. Please would you leave. What is it? If you don't mind? So give them to him! What's going on?! Nothing's going on. She gave him the eggs, the dog jumped on him, he smashed them. He wants more. Is it so complicated? What kind of tone is that supposed to be? Watch I don't smash your balls as well! Now get out! Right now! Is it broken? Be good, now, behave yourself! Be nice! I don't want to hurt you, but behave yourself! Please stay where you are. Please stay there! - He hit me in the face. - Yes. He started it. You can help him if you want, but no messing about. - Bring him a chair. - My knee! He should take off his pants and sit down. Peter studies medicine. He'll fix it. Take off your pants, please. If you won't let me see your wound, I can't help you. Sorry I hurt you... but you left me no choice, you must admit. Be reasonable, Mr Schober, let him look at your leg. He's sure to be able to help. Will you leave please?! Please! This won't get us anywhere. You must let him help you. You haven't any choice. You're a ship's captain, sir. You know that on board ship, the Captain's word is final. So, what do you want to do, sir? Do you want to call someone? An ambulance? Or the police? Go on! I won't stop you. Nor will Tom. That's a promise! Right? What are you waiting for? He dropped the mobile in the water. Why are you doing this? Why not? O.K. then... another game. A guessing game. What's this? A golf ball. Exactly, sir, a golf ball. And why do I have it here in my pocket? The lady knows. Because...? Well?! Because you didn't hit it. Exactly! And why didn't I hit it? Because you were stopped. Exactly. And because I had to test the club another way. Where is he? Cold. Colder. Cold. Warmer. Warmer. Hotter. Cold. Really cold. Warmer, hotter... boiling! Would you kindly get me some food from the kitchen? Would it be possible? Bananas or something like that. And don't think of picking up a knife or something. I'd be sorry if you did. For your sake. The sun's coming out again. Very kind of you. Thank you. Hello! Sweetie! Where are you? Come on down! We're both thinking the same, aren't we? We saw your boat! Hello Gerda! Hello Robert! How long have you been here? Not long. We're still unpacking. How long are you staying? A week or two. We're not sure yet. Great! - Hello, darling, lovely to see you. - Hello. Have you met my sister? No! Pleased to meet you! Hello Robert! - Everything O.K.? - Of course. This is Paul. He's living with our neighbours. - Hello Paul! - Hello, pleased to meet you! Are you cold? No, I have eczema. You should go swimming. The water here does wonders for you. Thank you for the tip. Hello. How's Georg? Very well, thank you! So where is he? He pulled a muscle putting the mast up. So he's lying down. That's a real shame. That's the result of doing everything yourself. Robert wouldn't dream of putting our boat in the water on his own, right? Tell your beloved to pull himself together. We barbecue nearly every night. We can't do without him. I'll tell him! I mean it. As soon as he's better, come and see us right away. Robert's son is here with his girlfriend; he'll like her. Right then. Have a good time, darling. If the wind doesn't change, bring the car. The weather forecast says wind. For tomorrow. I said to Robert we'd get nowhere. Where are you moored? Oh! Over there, behind the headland. But on the other side. - The wooden house covered in ivy? - That's it. It looks very pretty. Indeed it is, young man. Right then: bye! - Are you staying all week? - This week, sure. Might see you tonight! As you like. We're always pleased to see you! I don't know yet. We'll see how Georg is. Yes, you see! See you soon! They'll be here in 2 hours at the latest. And then this farce will be over. Sorry, but that's not quite true. I heard the end of your phone call: you asked your friends to call you back if they were coming tonight. Or did I misunderstand you? Even if they can't reach us, they'll still come. Is lying allowed? Just a moment! There you are. Please. You really can speak to us openly. You'll feel much better. We're also being very open with you. Perhaps try putting a cushion under it. If you'd accepted Peter's help, it would be hurting less. I'm quite willing to help you. But I don't want to impose. Careful! Yes, raise the leg. That's bound to be more comfortable. There we are! Done! Can you leave it out, you bastards? Is that an offer? - What? - Using our first names? I'm very happy about that. It does vastly simplify our communication. I'd still like to apologize for just now, for being too familiar, but you must admit that the smack was an unreasonable reaction nonetheless. Paul. This is Peter. Come here, Tom, have you no manners? Give Georg your hand. Here, it's for the pain. What? To you, we're non-existent? - Being on familiar terms doesn't mean... - You bastard... Quiet! Please! Stop! Stop it now, otherwise your mother will get it, do you understand?! Understand? Keep quiet now. What a scene, just for being on first-name terms! We were only trying to improve relations. - I thought we could... - Why are you doing that? Fatty, why are you doing that? Go on, tell us! I don't know... I... The Captain wants to know. Why?! Well? It's difficult to talk about it. I... Don't be shy. You know just how hard it is... My God, what a fuss! His father got a divorce when he was still that tiny, - and he took another woman... - That's not true! He's lying! It was my mother who divorced because... because... I... Because she wanted to have her little teddy all to herself, and since then, he's been a queer and a crook. You see? You're an arsehole! The truth is, he comes from a filthy, deprived family, he has five brothers and sisters... who are all drug addicts; his dad's an alcoholic, and as for his mother, you can imagine; or rather, the truth is, it's him who fucks her. Tough, but true. Come on, calm down now. You're disgusting. Can't you cut out your obscenities in front of the child? Of course. What answer would you like? What would satisfy you? Anyway, what I said isn't true, you know that as well as I. Look at him: Do you really think he comes from a deprived background? Right. He's a spoilt little shit-face, tormented by ennui and world-weariness, weighed down by the void of existence! That's hard, honestly! You see, he's smiling again. Right. Satisfied? Or another version? I'm hungry. I'll see what there is. You see, the truth is, he's a drug addict. That's why he's going now, and... That's why he has bad nerves, you see. Me too, I'm a drug addict. Together we rob rich families in smart houses... so we can afford the stuff. Can you stop this lunacy? I get the message, isn't that enough for you? You get the message? Great! Fatty?! He's got it! Now he knows everything! That's fantastic, really. Listen: Peter, come in here! Listen, we're going to bet. O.K.? Sit down, come on! - It's dark in here. - Now don't fall asleep! We'll bet that... What's the time? Twenty to nine. ...that in... let's say, 1 2 hours... all three of you'll be kaputt. What? You bet us, that tomorrow at 9, you'll be alive, and we bet you, you'll be dead. O.K.? They don't want to bet. That's no good. You have to bet. What do you think? Do you think they've a chance of winning? You are on their side, aren't you? So, who will you bet with? What kind of bet is this?! Dead, they can give nothing, and conversely, they can win nothing. They'll lose in any case. Obviously. Stop this nonsense. Are you trying to scare us? lsn't what you've done already enough? What do you want? Our money? Help yourselves and get out. Don't you think Fred and Eva might come and see what's going on? And give us a good hiding, right?! O.K. As they say on TV: The bets are placed! And what'll we do now? Could you kindly make us some food? You worry me, Fatty. Can't you control yourself? You've just gobbled up the sausage. It's disgusting. What are these people going to think?! I haven't eaten since lunch-time! And stop calling me Fatty. - O.K. Tom. - O.K. Jerry. But can't you pay some attention to your appearance? You think it makes you more attractive? Look at the Captain's wife. Do you think she finds you attractive? - With your flab? - Stop it! Look at her. She's not as old as all that. Excuse me, madam. You'd be quite acceptable to her, but with that figure of yours! Follow her example. Her body's really in shape. Not a single extra calorie! I'm not so sure! What?! Did you hear that, madam? That's really a cheek! We can't put up with that, can we? Hey you! You lndian! What's your name anyway? Like daddy. Lovely! Georgie-boy, come over to me. Come here. Come on. Sit down beside me. We're going to play a game. Let the boy go! I know you don't want to play, but you'll see, it's fun. Let the boy go! See how your mother's standing up for you? - Dad could take an example from her! - Stop it! For that we're going to let your mum play with us. Hold Georgie a mo. We're playing a nice little game: Kitten in the Bag. You'll see, it's fun. There! Don't panic! Nothing will happen. I said this is a nice game. A family game. Daddy is playing too so he doesn't get bored. Right. Now listen! You'll have to keep still, or it's no fun. Hey! Listen now! That's right, Georgie. We'll work together, O.K.? The pillow case isn't uncomfortable, is it? You've enough air, haven't you? - You've enough air, haven't you? - Yes. Great. Then we can finally start. So, the starting point of our game was... that mummy and our little lndian wanted to slip out of here. - But why? - Don't know. Is lying allowed, Fatty? What an example you're setting! You know why. You mentioned her flab. What do you mean, me?! It was you who doubted her flawlessness! O.K. Forget it! I understand too how it embarrassed her. With the boy here. That's why we play 'Kitten in the Bag'. To preserve moral decency. The kiddy wears a pillow case While mummy strips off, in great haste! We mustn't hurt the kitty-cat, right? Dad's broken leg is enough. Let the child go. Please! Exactly. Daddy's playing with us too. What are we waiting for? Tell your wife not to be so shy. It's ridiculous. Anyway, I'm sure she isn't flabby. Please, let the child go. Please! You only have to say to her: get undressed. I beg you! "Get undressed, my darling." Get undressed. "Get undressed, my darling." Get undressed, my darling. Well done. What did I say? Not an ounce of flab. Now, let's get dressed again. Fatty, can you take the little piggy? He isn't quite potty-trained. Go and clean him up. - Let the child go! - I won't do anything to him. Will you sit down please. I'd advise you not to kick me. I hope you won't be too bored with these two. Pour a pan of water over his head. But make sure you don't ruin the carpet. No, no, of course that was a joke. I have to retake Latin in the autumn. If I pass it, then things will get moving; I'll study commercial law. But before that there's military service. Does it hurt a lot? Why don't you kill us right away? Don't forget the entertainment value. We'd all be deprived of our pleasure. ...sorry about your leg. But it's your fault, if I might say so. Why did you smack Paul? For me, begging for the eggs to no avail was very unpleasant; humiliating, actually. I don't know if you realize that. It's just not worth it, all this charade, for a box of eggs. They should still be there. You should have trusted what your wife said. She really begged you just to let us leave with the eggs. Naturally one's always wiser after the event. Ah! There they are! One of them is cracked. It's not bad, what these boxes withstand. When you think... Why are you doing that? How stupid do you think I am? I don't understand. You're really forcing me to treat you badly. Jesus! That's it! You've done it now! And Paul even said we should take care of the carpet! Please, let us go! You're so young still! You have all your life before you! Nothing's happened yet! We'll say... that Georg broke his leg in the boat. - Everyone'll believe it, and... - Why are you humiliating yourself? It's just as unpleasant for me as for you. Georgie? Where are you? Georgie! I'm coming! Hold on, I'll put on some music for us. Don't come any closer! The trigger! You have to prime the trigger! And you need to pull it too! Tralee trala, here we are! Mummy! Hello, my darling! Is everything O.K.? They've... they've killed Sissi! - Hi, Beavis! - Hi, Butt-Head! - Everything under control? - Looks like it. - May I? - Please. Sure. You must wonder, Captain, where this lovely rifle comes from. Or does it seem familiar? Haven't you ever been hunting with Fred? Do you know, your little darling just tried to kill me with it? Scarcely believable, but it's the truth, and nothing but the truth. lsn't that right, Georgie? What do you say, Tom? Dreadful. What's the time? Just after eleven. We should start thinking about our bet, don't you think? Actually we ought to be grateful to Georgie for helping us. One for Beavis, one for Butt-Head. A, B, BOO and out go you! You're not leaving at this stage; first you'll have to say your age. Well?! She doesn't want to play. Well, how old do you think she is? 37? No flab... So I'd say... let's be generous... let's say... 35. Agreed? She agrees. Who are you going to start counting with? Her? And now I'm going to get myself something to eat. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Can I get anyone anything? You're an idiot, Fatty. You don't shoot the person you've counted out, but the one that's left over! - What's wrong with you?! - He tried to escape! So what? That's no reason to get trigger-happy. Have you no sense of timing? What's the time? Just before 12. Shit. We'll get nothing from the others now. - Let's get out of here. - Fine. Thanks so much for the driver. I'll put it back in the bag. O.K.? Thanks. So: have a good evening! Goodbye! They've gone. Do you hear... they've gone! I'll get a knife. Come on... calm down now... Take deep breaths... Come on, darling... Calm down now... Calm yourself... That's it. Take some deep breaths. We've got to get out of here. What if they come back? Do you think you can walk if I support you? I'll try. What's wrong with your arm? Shall I try and make a splint for it? Then I can hold you better. No, it's O.K. Come on. Let's go. O.K.? No! Anna! No! They've locked the door. We must use the window. I can't. Georg! Please! I can't manage it. You go. It's crazy wasting so much time. Run for it. Please! Climb out of the kitchen window. Try to get as far as the inn, or... If we're locked in here, the gate will be shut too. That's true... Take a pair of pliers and cut the fence. But careful on the road. Maybe they're waiting out there. Where are the pliers? I don't know. Here, in the kitchen; no, down at the boat shed. I can't leave you alone here. Go now, please! Put some clothes on. And shoes too, so you can run. Hold on, the bag's still here. Down there. I'll hide down in the wine cellar. The key must be in the door. I'll shut myself in and wait for you to come back. How will you get down there? I'll manage. Go now! Please! The mobile! It's working again! What? It's working! It's obviously dried out. So get on the phone! - Who to? - Anyone! The police! - What's their number? - No idea. Call my mother... your father... no, wait... Call Peter, he's at home, I know, he wanted to... Press 4 and then hash to speed-dial. It's not ringing. Let me listen. But there is a signal! Some of the contacts are probably still damp. Nothing. Get the hair dryer. Maybe it'll help. Can you pass me the chair? It won't work. Leave it, come on. Maybe it's permanently broken. Get going! We're wasting far too much time. Let me do it. Go on! Pull me over there on the chair. I think it'll be easier than walking. Thanks. And now, run! Please, forgive me! It... I love you! Run, please! Help! Peter? It's Georg! Can you hear me?! I can barely hear you! Listen, if you can hear me, send the police over to our lake house, right away! Shit! Peter! Can you hear me?! Stop! Missed! Morning, Captain. Morning. They'll be there any minute. We'll have to hurry then. Right, Beavis? Why don't you believe me? - How old did we say? 37? - 35. Good that the battery charger's in the car! If it's her age, you must start with her. The battery was O.K. - O.K., I'll start with her. - Sorry? Yes, I know. It's time you had another idea. The lady tried that trick before. Count faster, Beavis. Do you think we have no imagination? Without risk, you can't have a bet, that's obvious, Captain. You must have a chance too. The wind blows where it wishes. That's the joy of sailing, don't you think? Right then! ...thirty-four, thirty-five! Don't make the same mistake again: It's the one that's left who's turn it is, not the one who's counted out. Hang on. I can see a new toy. I assume we owe this to the lady? This will make things a bit more amusing. The dumb suffer in unspectacular fashion. We want to offer the audience something... and show what we can do, right?! You can join in again now. We were already on first-name terms, right?! So, Anna, now we're going to play: "The Loving Wife", or... "Whether by knife or whether by gun "Losing your life can sometimes be fun." Hey! No falling asleep! You have to play with us, or you'll be gagged again. That's not very nice, is it? So: here are the rules of the game: Georgie senior has been counted out, so it's his turn. It'll be hard to change that. Unless you want to take his place. Do you want to? I'm sure Fatty will understand. Right, Fatty? - Don't call me Fatty. - You see, he understands. Get this over with. That's enough. That's enough? You think that's enough? What do you think, Anna? Have you had enough? Or do you want to play some more? Don't reply any more. Let them do what they want - please! Then it'll be over quicker. Huh, that's cowardly! We're not up to feature film length yet. Is that enough? But you want a real ending, with plausible plot development, don't you? The bet is still on. It can't be withdrawn unilaterally. So: the game is called: "The Loving Wife". Although Beavis has done the counting, she can choose... who will be next. And... using what implement! Do we prefer the little knife? Or the rifle? Well then, what does the housewife say? Hello, wakey wakey! So, you're not interested? You don't want to play any more. Beavis, show her the game again. Wait. Here you are. Hey, careful! I almost cut myself. Really?! You see. It's the little knife. You can spare him that. You only have to play with us. I understand, Anna. I understand, really! It's not a good feeling, causing the one you love to suffer. But it costs so little to avoid all that. You only need follow the rules, and all will be well. What must I do? You see, it wasn't that difficult. And we'll make it easy too. You recite a prayer of your choice. If you say it flawlessly, God will help you and you choose what happens next. Or shall we carry on with Georgie senior? I don't know a prayer. You don't know any prayers? Not a single prayer?! Is that possible? Tell her one, Fatty. Stop calling me Fatty all the time. I'll stop saying it. Well? "Oh Lord, make me kind. So in heaven, my place may find.' - That's too easy. - I can't think of any others. O.K. "Oh Lord, make me kind. So in heaven, my place may find.' No! Not like that! It's a prayer; you can't just drone on like that. You're asking the Lord God for something. So pray properly. Go on. Go down on your knees properly. Go on! Get on with it! There. That's right. Kneel down properly. Put your hands together. Not on your stomach. Where is the one you pray to? Up there! You have to pray to the heavens! That's it! Right, and now, in a fervent tone, if you don't mind. - Beavis, can you help her a little?! - No! "Oh Lord, make me kind, "So in heaven, my place may find." Well done! You did that well! That was the trial run, and now we're going for Olympic Gold: If you can recite this prayer, which is sadly much too short, from back to front, without any mistakes, you can not only choose which of you kicks the bucket first, but also, and no doubt this will interest you more, how: whether quick and painless by the bullet... Careful! Where's the remote? Where's the fucking remote control? That was the trial run, and now we're going for Olympic Gold: If you can recite this prayer, which is sadly much too short, from back to front, without any mistakes, you can not only choose which of you kicks the bucket first, but also, and no doubt this will interest you more, how: whether quick and painless by the bul... You shouldn't have done that, Anna. One doesn't break the rules. Sorry. You've failed. Say goodbye to Georgie. Would you sit down? Can you give me your gloves? ...only it's all inverted. But of course all these predictions are wrong so as to avoid a panic. But now Kelvin knows how it really is... and wants to warn his wife and daughter in time. But the problem is not only getting from the world of antimatter to reality, - but also to regain communication... - Look! Now that's a sporting attitude! Hey, look out, fatso! I thought you were a nonswimmer. Go and get the widow. She'll feel lonely otherwise. Would you mind cooperating? It's not easy. Otherwise I might hurt you. So. Where was I? The communication problems between matter and antimatter. Exactly. As if you were in a black hole! Gravitation is so strong that nothing can escape it: absolute silence. - By the way, what's the time? - What? What's the time? - Just after eight. - Already? Why? The deadline was at 9. She had almost an hour left! Firstly, it was too hard to sail like that and secondly, I'm starting to get hungry. That's true. ...when Kelvin overcomes gravitation, it turns out that one universe is real, but the other is just a fiction. How does that happen? What do I know! It was a kind of model projection in cyberspace. And where is your hero now? In reality or fiction? His family is in reality and he's in fiction. - But the fiction is real, isn't it? - How do you mean? - Well, you see it in the film, right? - Of course. So, it's just as real as the reality which you see likewise, right? - Crap. - Why? Is anyone awake yet? Who is it? Good morning to you. Sorry to disturb you so early, but I've come from Anna's. And? Don't you remember me? Yesterday afternoon, on the jetty. I'm Paul. Oh yes. - Good morning. - Morning. Anna sent me. We had guests arrive unexpectedly this morning and she wonders if you could spare her a few eggs? I think so. Come in. Wait a minute. <font face="Algerian" color="#ffff00">[ © anoXmous]</font> <font face="Algerian" color="#ffff00">[ © anoXmous]</font>



Haneke wanted to make a film set in the United States, but for practical reasons he had to set it in Austria.[3]

After the 2007 American remake directed by Haneke used the same house including props and tones, Robert Koehler of Cineaste wrote that this "proves for certain that—whether he uses the great cinematographer Jürgen Jürges [de] (for the 1997 version) or the great Darius Khondji (for the new film)—Haneke is fundamentally his own cinematographer exercising considerable control over the entire look of his films."[3]


The film begins with a wealthy Austrian family—Georg, his wife Anna, their son Georgie, and their dog Rolfi—arriving at their holiday home beside a lake in Austria. They spot their next-door neighbor Fred accompanied by two young Viennese men, Peter and Paul, one of whom Fred introduces as the son of a friend.

The two men begin imposing themselves on the family's courtesy. First Peter asks to borrow eggs which he keeps breaking, supposedly by accident, also destroying the family's phone with his apparent clumsiness. Eventually, a frustrated Anna demands that the men leave, asking Georg to eject them from the premises. Peter breaks Georg's leg with the latter's golf club while Paul reveals he has killed Rolfi, and the two men take the family hostage, forcing the members to participate in games of pain and death.

Paul asks if the family wants to bet whether they will still be alive by 9:00 the next morning, though he doubts that they will win. Between playing their games, the two men keep up a constant patter, and Paul frequently ridicules Peter's weight and lack of intelligence. He relates contradictory stories of Peter's past. No definitive explanation of the men's origins or motives is offered. When some of the family's other neighbors arrive for a visit, Anna passes the men off as friends until the visitors leave—much in the same way Fred did at the beginning of the film. Georgie eventually escapes to the house next door, but finds the family dead. He attempts to shoot Paul with a shotgun, but it is not loaded. Paul returns him to the house, along with the gun. After a few more games, Peter plays a counting-out game between the family members and shoots Georgie while Paul makes sandwiches in the kitchen. After this, both intruders leave.

Georg and Anna weep for their loss, but eventually resolve to survive. Anna flees the house while Georg, with a broken leg, tries to get help with the malfunctioning phone. Anna struggles to find help, but eventually Peter and Paul reappear, capture her, and return to the house. They kill Georg and take Anna out on the family's boat early the next morning. Around 8:00, Paul casually throws the bound Anna into the water to drown, thus winning their bet. They knock at the house of the neighbors that had previously visited the family, and ask for some eggs, thereby restarting their cycle of murder.



The film frequently blurs the line between fiction and reality, especially highlighting the act of observation. The character Paul breaks the fourth wall throughout the film and addresses the camera in various ways. As he directs Anna to look for her dead dog, he turns, winks, and smirks at the camera. When he asks the family to bet on their survival, he turns to the camera and asks the audience whether they will bet as well. At the end of the film, when requesting eggs from the next family, he looks into the camera and smirks again. Only Paul breaks the fourth wall in the film, while Peter makes references to the formulaic suspense rules of traditional cinema throughout the film.

Paul also frequently states his intentions to follow the standards of movie plot development. When he asks the audience to bet, he guesses that the audience wants the family to win. After the killers vanish in the third act, Paul later explains that he had to give the victims a last chance to escape or else it would not be dramatic. Toward the end of the movie, he postpones killing the rest of the family because the movie has not yet reached feature length. Throughout the film, Paul shows awareness of the audience's expectations.

However, Paul also causes the film to go against convention on a number of occasions. In thrillers, one protagonist that the audience can sympathize with usually survives, but here all three family members die. When Anna successfully shoots Peter, as a possible start to a heroic escape for the family, Paul uses a remote control to rewind the film itself and prevent her action. After Peter shoots Georgie, Paul scolds him for killing the child first because it goes against convention and limits the suspense for the rest of the film. At the end of the film, the murderers prevent Anna from using a knife in the boat to cut her bonds. An earlier close-up had pointed out the knife's location as a possible set-up for a final-act escape, but this becomes a red herring. At the end of the film, Paul again smirks triumphantly at the audience. As a self-aware character, he is able to go against the viewers' wishes and make himself the winner of the film.

After killing Anna, Peter and Paul argue about the line between reality and fiction. Paul believes that a fiction that is observed is just as real as anything else, but Peter dismisses this idea. Unlike Paul, Peter never shows an awareness that he is in a film.

Haneke states that the entire film was not intended to be a horror film. He says he wanted to make a message about violence in the media by making an incredibly violent, but otherwise pointless movie. He had written a short essay revealing how he felt on the issue, called "Violence + Media." The essay is included as a chapter in the book A Companion to Michael Haneke.[4]

Critical reception

Austrian critics argued that the intention was to undermine the heimat genre and its values, which are bourgeois and based on the home. European and English-language critics, according to Robert Koehler of Cineaste, "generally set their criticism against the backdrop of the American slasher movie that the film was subverting" and "expressed mild forms of outrage along with admiration".[3] In an interview, the film director and critic Jacques Rivette made his displeasure with the movie clear, calling it "a disgrace", "vile", and "a complete piece of shit."[5]

Funny Games received generally positive reviews, garnering a 64%, based an average score of 6.8/10 by 28 critics, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The site's critical consensus states: "Violent images and blunt audience provocation make up this nihilistic experiment from one of cinema's more difficult filmmakers".[6]


American remake

An American remake of the same name was released in 2007. It stars Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, Brady Corbet, and Naomi Watts, and is also written and directed by Michael Haneke.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Funny Games (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 13 March 1998. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Funny Games". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Koehler, Robert. "Funny Games." (Archive) Cineaste. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
  4. ^ Haneke, Michael (2010). "Violence and the Media". In Roy Grundmann (Ed.), A Companion to Michael Haneke, pp. 575–579. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-8800-5
  5. ^ Bonnaud, Frédéric (25 March 1998). "The Captive Lover - An Interview with Jacques Rivette". Senses of Cinema. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Funny Games". Rotten Tomatoes. 11 March 1998. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  7. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2008-03-12). "Funny Games". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-03-16.

External links

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