Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Countdown To Halloween // Day Twenty-Four

Look who's back, back again. Conor's back, tell your friends. Another guest post for you today and this time, on a nïche German film, because why not.

Halloween Film List Funny Games 1997 Review Belle Chaton Blog

Today's film is Michael Haneker's 1997 film Funny Games. If you're looking for this online you will also come across a 2007 version also directed by Haneker, but as I'll explain, you'll only want to see the 1997 version as it has so much more ooomf to it.
When I pitched writing this to Sophie she was a bit confused as to why I'd want to write about another 'typical home invasion horror' but oh it's so much more than that. The premise, while may seem like a home invasion horror, is actually a commentary on the Hollywood horror genre and manipulates it to make the audience feel exceptionally unnerved. Focussed on a family vacation, two strangers appear at their door and throughout the course of the film play sadistic games with the family under the promise by sunrise they will all be killed. And while I will try my hardest to avoid spoiling this film, please note that if what I have said so far in any way peaks your interest, please go and watch it now, just so nothing gets even the slightest bit ruined.

Halloween Film List Funny Games 1997 Review Belle Chaton Blog

Now playing off the idea that by sunrise that the family will be killed, we as a Westernised society watch the film with the expectation that a character, usually the female will survive and live to tell the tale. I shan't say whether or not it meets this expectation, but throughout the film it toys with this using red herrings to leer our perception in a direction then for the film to take it down an entirely different route and for that I love it.
The main characters are also a commentary on American culture, with the antagonists changing their names from Beavis and Butthead to Tom and Jerry, which not only confuses us the audience, but throws their victims off too. Which when you take into consideration some of the later punishments of the film, and how they pan out, it goes to show how this film truly diverts and toys with expectations in order to gain a strong response from audiences. Hell even the opening credits gives an indication of how much you're going to played as a viewer, allowing your voyeurism and understanding of comfort in cinema to be tested and teased before the antagonists even enters the scene.

Halloween Film List Funny Games 1997 Review Belle Chaton Blog

I shan't say much more than that because I am so worried of saying too much about it. Please go and watch Funny Games, preferably the German version, as the divide between German and Hollywood cinema is a lot stronger and more defined, as opposed to a Hollywood film critiquing the system in which it was created.

Halloween Film List Funny Games 1997 Review Belle Chaton Blog

Where to watch: YouTube / Amazon
Click here to see full current list: Link

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