Listen, you get it. This is a horror game, so as soon as I post something not horror (below), I need to sandwich it so it looks like my tastes are diverse.
So today, we are taking it back to scary with Funny Games.
Before Michael Pitt shook his creep persona from Murder by Numbers and started stealing hearts and liquor as Jimmy Dormody, and before The Strangers was serving us creepy home invasion realness, there was Funny Games. (In fact, even 10 years before that, there was the original).
If you ask me, horror is mostly fun because it is gratuitous and unbeleivable. But the home invasion sub-gendre scares me top to bottom for it’s ability to seem absolutely plausible. Funny Games takes it even further by pulling this sh** in the daylight. *Full body shudder.*
Sadistic Peter and Paul come across the vacation home of a family of three, and take them hostage, forcing them to participate in twisted games. The simplicity of this take on the invasion, paired with the sadistic games, daylight, and helplessness of a family not expecting such an attack makes this film so scary. There is a sense of dread associated with not being prepared for the very simple attack of two unarmed intruders.
Intentionally or not, this serves up the psychotic scare reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange, made more familiar in the psychos’ all white outfits and use of objects for beatings.
While not the penultimate home invasion movie, this certainly stirred up my own fear, and features great performances, including that of Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, masters of the creep, in protagonist positions.
Watch this whatever time of day you want, because it is not going to make daylight feel safe for you anyway.
Great if you liked: The Strangers, A Clockwork Orange, Copycat, Last House on the Left, Vacancy, The Collector, Panic Room, You’re Next, Cape Fear, Fatal Attraction