Written and directed by German-born Michael Haneke, FUNNY GAMES combines thriller conventions "with a number of Brechtian devices that catch audiences in a voyeuristic trance" (Stephen Holden, The New York Times).
A succession of "sadistic, insufferable, clever and relentlessly compelling" (David Sterritt, Film Scouts) games between victims and perpetrators -- and between auteur and spectator -- Funny Games opens with an aerial shot of an SUV maneuvering through an idyllic landscape. Inside the vehicle, Anna, Georg and their son Georgie play a guessing game en route to their lakeside vacation home.
But a soporific rural escape rapidly turns into a home-invasion nightmare as Paul and Peter break into their house, claiming to be neighbors' relatives. Young and articulate, the serial-killer duo of Peter and Paul inexplicably imprison this upper class Austrian family, irrationally switching from physical assaults to moments of emotional harassment and vicious psychological tortures.
"This beautifully acted and paced German variant of Cape Fear" (Holden, The New York Times) is one of Michael Haneke's most acclaimed portrayals of unspeakable, and ever unjustifiable, acts of violence.