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‘Funny Games’ Makes Me Wonder Why I Like Horror October 20, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in horror, movies.

When some other friends came to visit over the summer,  one asked me a question that I haven’t been able to satisfyingly answer to myself — why do you like to be scared?

Not sure. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush. Or perhaps it’s a way of laughing and coping with a fear of death. There could be all sorts of reasons I’m not even consciously aware of. But it’s when I enjoy watching movies like “Funny Games” that make coming to any sort of reasonably rationale conclusion even more difficult.

“Funny Games” is a remake of a German horror film I haven’t seen. Like “Them,” which I talked about not too long ago, it’s about a home invasion. But whereas “Them” relished in mystery and dark shadows, everything that happens in “Funny Games” is out in the open, in your face. “Funny Games” chronicles two guys (kids? teens?) that torment a mother (Naomi Watts), father (Tim Roth) and their son over the course of 12 hours.


There is no humor. You never laugh. There is, briefly, a glimmer of hope for the ending before the next plot twist squashes it. People die and the tormentors take great joy in it. I later discovered the plot twists that perplexed me along the way were the director’s way of commenting on society’s obsession with violence in the media — i.e. why is the news always so depressing?! — but it never came through that way to me.

Instead, “Funny Games” came across as a torture film, but not in the same sense as “Hostel,” which hopes to horrify you with realistic-looking special effects. All of that happens off-camera in “Funny Games.” It’s actually the on-screen delight of the main villains that makes “Funny Games” so terrifying. These people, if you can even call them that, feed off the emotional destruction of others. You want to run through the TV and kill them yourself.

But you can’t. And maybe that’s part of the reason horror movies are so entertaining to me, even ones like “Funny Games,” which I’d be hard pressed to say I “enjoyed.” They get a reaction out of me. I get emotional to the point that I want to write something down and express it here. Horror makes me feel alive.



1. Liana Carnie - February 7, 2011

Some truly nice stuff on this web site , I like it.

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