Funny Games

By Gerald Aaron, April 3, 2008

(18) Ten years ago, Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke made a German-language thriller about two young psychopaths holding a holidaying family hostage, terrorising them and forcing them to “play” the eponymous funny games. It was well directed and acted. It was also shocking, sordid and exploitative. Haneke has now remade Funny Games with English dialogue, relocating the action to Long Island where psychos Paul (Michael Pitt) and Peter (Brady Corbett) invade the vacation home of Anna (Naomi Watts), husband George (Tim Roth) and young son Georgie (Devon Gearheart) and subject them to terrifying abuse, humiliation and worse. Despite fine acting and all-too-believable narrative, it is difficult to see the point of remaking so distasteful — the abundant sadism remains from the original — and (relatively) minor art house movie.

Last updated: 2:59pm, February 18 2011