Blu-ray, DVD Release: Funny Games (1997)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 14, 2019
Price: DVD $20.67, Blu-ray $27.37
Studio: Criterion

Michael Haneke’s (Amour, The Piano Teacher) most notorious provocation, the tense 1997 crime drama Funny Games spares no detail in its depiction of the agony of a bourgeois family held captive at their vacation home by a pair of white-gloved young men.

In a series of escalating “games,” the sadistic duo subject their victims (Susanne Lothar, Stefan Clapczynski and Ulrich Muhe) to unspeakable physical and psychological torture over the course of a night.

A home-invasion thriller in which the genre’s threat of bloodshed is made disturbingly real, the film ratchets up shocks even as its executioners interrupt the action to address the audience, drawing queasy attention to the way that cinema milks pleasure from pain and stokes our appetite for atrocity.

With this controversial treatise on violence and entertainment, Haneke issued a summation of his cinematic philosophy, implicating his audience in a spectacle of unbearable cruelty.

Presented in German with English subtitles, Criterion’s director-approved editions of the film include the following:

* New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interviews with Haneke and actor Arno Frisch
* New interview with film historian Alexander Horwath
* Press conference from the 1997 Cannes Film Festival featuring Haneke and actors Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Mühe
* Trailer
* New English subtitle translation
* An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri

Buy or Rent Funny Games (1997)

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.