If you haven’t seen Michael Haneke’s original Funny Games, not to worry; it looks like you’ll be seeing the same thing this December with recognizable stars and updated technology. I have no idea if that’s a good thing. Haneke’s too much of a bastard for me to decide whether he’s cashing in or subverting the conventions of the standard Hollywood thriller.
If it’s essentially the same film (as I’ve heard from multiple folks who’ve seen this version), there’s a very good possibility that Haneke is looking to indict Americans for their lurid (and geographically removed) fascination with real violence. And if this is the case, there’s an even better chance that this film is going to infuriate audiences looking for a standard home invasion flick. And yet it’s been so long since I last watched Funny Games ’97 that I’m not sure a shot-for-shot remake will provoke as it might’ve a decade ago. A lot’s changed since then.
For those of you who’ve never seen a Haneke movie (my recommendations for the uninitiated: Benny’s Video, The Piano Teacher and, of course, the original Funny Games), this trailer might feel kind of innocuous. If so, good. That means Warner Independent has successfully lulled you into expecting The Desperate Hours. I seriously can’t wait to watch this movie work over an American audience. There could be riots.