Saturday, June 7, 2008

Funny Games vs. The Strangers...

Hey guys! So, during my review of Kung Fu Panda, I ended the post with an apology to director Bryan Bertino, who was at the helm of The Strangers. In the apology, I said that the film was really similar to Funny Games, and in that comment, I have been asked to go into it in deeper detail.

So, when I say "It's not an amazing movie, but if you can't handle Funny Games, but like the plot, check The Strangers out", I mean a couple of things. With the Strangers, the plot is that this couple goes out to a cabin, and begin to be terrorized by a group of people. The story unfolds, and "the Strangers" terrorize the couple in a deeper, more violent manner as the story goes, until ultimatley they are caught and the "game" is over. Now, with Funny Games, you get the couple and their son, who go into their summer home, and begin to become terrorized by a duo of kids. Now, as in the Strangers, the terror increases as the story goes, until the "game" ends. The plots to me seemed really similar. Also, they both open with interaction between the two groups of people (the couple and the family), which really helps the viewer become emotionally attached to them.

Also, and I think this may be the root of the question that sparked this post, Funny Games is INSANELY dark. It may be one of the darkest, and most emotionally effecting films I've seen in a long time. There is one shot for example, of Naomi Watts, struggling to get untied, and just the strain on her face, the tears running down her cheek, makes it almost unwatchably uncomfortable. Oh, did I mention the shot runs for about three-five minutes. There are many shots like that in FG. The ending is also really intense, and the setup right before it will polarize everyone who watches it. Thats just not the type of film The Strangers is. It's a dark film, but it doesn't play so much on the psychological aspect of the terror. It's a conventional horror film that plays for the "scares". They have very similar plots, but when taken as films, are really almost two different genres.

There is one other, really big difference. There isn't much in way of interaction between the two groups of people in The Strangers, which does hinder the terror that is felt in the theatre. The film is scary, but in Funny Games, the two kids who terrorize the family have personality, and dare I say charisma. Hell, the main kid, played by Michael Pitt, talks directly to you in the theatres. Also, Funny Games is a much more cinematic film. I think I said this in my review, but it's like Michael Haneke hung out with Gus Van Sandt the whole time while filming, and during down time, watched A Clockwork Orange. It's a long and almost lyrically shot film, and that really increases the horror that the viewer will feel. It's not that the Stranger's isn't scary, it is, it's just a different style.

So, all in all, the films are different, but the plots just seemed very similar to me. Really though, Funny Games comes out on DVD on Tuesday, so check that out, and go see the Strangers, it's a solid, hollywood horror film.

Check out their respective trailers...



Hopefully this has cleared up any thoughts!

Go see something good!!!

1 comment:

  1. Your second to last paragraph about Funny Games is great.

    And for what it's worth, I really liked Funny Games but didn't enjoy it. (Which I'm happy for)


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