This shocking cult ‘thriller’ not recommended for sensitive people is still just as chilling 25 years after its premiere

The cinema is full of radical, disturbing, sometimes unbearable works, capable of challenging and/or rebelling the spectators. And this impressive film by Michael Haneke released in 1997 is situated in this register.

The history of cinema is long and over the years it has provided us with such an extensive collection of world cinematographic productions that it is practically an impossible task to count them. It’s almost magical that ideas never run out and that directors, screenwriters, and other industry figures still have the potential to surprise viewers, whether through storytelling, storytelling, or incredible evolution. of techniques at your service. Among endless genres and subgenres, masterpieces, endless sagas and a long etcetera, there is no shortage of what we could call impressive works. Feature films that dare with stories capable of opening anyone’s eyes and that are often not afraid to bet on the sick, ultraviolence and even gratuitous sadism.

Now they are almost more common, but other more or less recent productions have taken on the task, fortunately for those who adore this type of project, of establishing certain background. It is the case of the amazing Funny Games, a powerful film that was released just 25 years ago.

The projection of Funny Games by Michael Haneke in the official selection at Cannes in 1997 was one of the most eventful in the festival’s history, even for those, as former Festival president Gilles Jazob confessed, who are used to certain titles generating controversy. Such was the controversy that the film, far from going unnoticed, created a huge division between defenders and detractors.

The tape was the story of a normal and peaceful family, formed by Anna, Georg and their son Georgie, who were preparing to spend a few days off in a small country house until some strange neighbors who have stayed in the house next door side begin to make life miserable for them. A violent and dangerous attack that will make it necessary for the family to bring out all the strength that it has inside.

In it, the Austrian filmmaker, who had already made himself known with films that were already chilling and fascinating in themselves, brought the malaise to a point of incandescence never reached with FunnyGames.

Armed with a sober and relentless stagingRegularly breaking the fourth wall, Haneke gives the viewer no let up in this story of a family kidnapped and tortured by a duo of sadistic young men. Paralyzed by the abject spectacle unfolding before his eyes, the viewer is a prisoner of his desire for voyeurism and his taste for violence. An experience that remains intact even 25 years after its premiere.

The impact left by the film, which was the subject of an American ‘remake’ also signed by Haneke in 2008, remains as overwhelming as ever. And reserved for a public that is not particularly sensitive and knows what it is coming to see. Funny Games is available in ‘streaming’ for AContra+ subscribers.