“If this movie knows it’s merely a movie, and concedes as much, why should we honor its mayhem with any genuine fright?,” asks New Yorker critic Anthony Lane about Funny Games.
“When Michael Pitt turns to the camera and asks, with a smile, ‘You really think it’s enough?,’ or ‘You want a proper ending, don’t you?,’ we don’t feel nearly as chastened or ashamed as [director Michael] Haneke would like. We feel patronized, which is one of the worst moods that can beset an audience. Would Psycho have been a more profound film if Norman Bates had turned off the shower halfway through, adjusted his dress, and said to us, ‘Don’t worry about the blood. It’s chocolate sauce‘?”