My issue is to do with the villains. I didn't like them at all, but not in the "they're the bad guys, duh!" way. They made me feel unpleasant, and that's not something I want to feel in a movie. I can feel scared, nervous, tense, disturbed even (I would champion a film if it made me feel these things), but unpleasant isn't a feeling I enjoy having. It's a feeling when I don't want to watch the movie anymore. When no matter how good everything is (the acting or whatever) I just feel uncomfortable like I've got an itch under my skin and I ask myself "Why am I watching this?". I felt a really deep repulsion inside of me whenever these characters were on screen and it's a feeling that makes me sick to my stomach, quite frankly. Some people may find this trait in a movie to be a positive thing (especially in a movie such as Funny Games), I most certainly do not. I got this feeling during Romper Stomper. I got this feeling during Saw II. I got this feeling during The Last King of Scotland. And I got it during several other movies. I didn't find Funny Games scary, or tense, or nerve-racking or disturbing. I found it to be an unpleasant experience.
I'm sure Haneke had a reason for doing the things he did in this movie, but doesn't the idea of omnipotent villains sort of defeat the purpose of even making the movie in the first place? If the killers can simply reverse time to stop an attack against them then it renders the entire movie invalid and I feel cheated. Where's the payoff? I was reminded of recent French horror film Ils. That movie had a very bleak ending, but it was an ending that worked for the film. This end here just felt like a cheat, like I was being mocked for, GOSH, having the gaul to want a proper ending.
The scenes that did work were those without the villains (I can't be bothered finding out their names, quite frankly). The scenes after the incident (you'll know it if you've scene it) when the couple are alone in the house were tense and were scary. But then when the villains show back up and start, quite literally, reversing time it goes back to being an uncomfortable - and often silly - waste of time. What is the point of this movie? That filmmakers are manipulaters? Fiction is morphing into reality? By golly, that's a new one!
I will be interested to see how Haneke handles the reigns on the American remake (I will be interested on DVD, mind) to star Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and
It was nice to see Ulrich Muhe though!