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Funny Games

FUNNY GAMES

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. HIGHWAY

Posh family types NAOMI WATTS and TIM ROTH are driving with their son DEVON GEARHART, listening to CLASSICAL MUSIC to establish that everything from here on out is going to be really HIGHBROW. Then there is some REALLY LOUD JAZZ-METAL.

TIM ROTH

With such an intricate juxtaposition of musical styles, we're already laying the groundwork for a real holier-than-thou examination of cinematic conventions.

NAOMI WATTS

Call it what it is, dear - art. We're making art.

DEVON GEARHART

Shit, art? I didn't sign on for any "subtext" crap, I just wanted a basic psycho-torture flick.

NAOMI WATTS

Don't worry, it'll give us carte blanche to act like complete morons without having to justify our boggling lack of common sense and initiative.

DEVON GEARHART

But we could do just as much of that in a generic thriller! There's entire tropes built on dumb protagonists like us!

TIM ROTH

But this way, we can excuse our idiocy with the twin pillars of dramatic irony and genre subversion. It's going to be great, just you wait and see.

Or IS IT.

INT. LAKE HOUSE

TIM does some tepid father/son bonding with DEVON in the family boat, while NAOMI opens the door to greasy-haired youth BRADY CORBET, closely followed by his slightly-less-greasy-haired accomplice MICHAEL PITT.

BRADY CORBET

I'm sorry to bother you, but could we please borrow some eggs? Just ignore these creepy white serial-killer gloves that I'm wearing for no apparent reason.

NAOMI WATTS

Of course! Take as much as you want, because I am a flaccid doormat.

BRADY clumsily drops the eggs and knocks NAOMI's phone into the sink, but is UNSUCCESSFUL in his audition to replace the THIRD STOOGE.

BRADY CORBET

Gosh, I'm terribly sorry! It was completely an accident. And by "completely", I of course mean "definitely not".

MICHAEL PITT

(noticing Tim's golf clubs)

Say, what lovely clubs. Do you mind awfully if I use one to hit this golf ball? And by "golf ball", I of course mean "your pet dog".

NAOMI WATTS

Argh, you're both being so unreasonably courteous, and I'm apparently powerless to do anything except get mildly upset!

TIM leaves the boat to see what all the COMMOTION is. There is a PAINFULLY OBVIOUS CLOSE-UP of the knife he leaves behind, which is later revealed to be a RED HERRING, because Michael Haneke is much cleverer than you.

TIM ROTH

As much as I hate to do anything at all of note, can I ask you chaps to kindly leave the premises?

MICHAEL PITT

No thanks!

(hobbles Tim with the golf club)

TIM ROTH

It's probably for the best if I sit the rest of this one out. I really can't see that I could possibly do anything useful for the rest of the movie, anyway.

MICHAEL PITT

By the way, I also murdered your dog. Go see if you can find it! It will be an amusing escapade, a humorous diversion, or perhaps even a "funny game".

NAOMI WATTS

I don't think there's anything funny about this, although in hindsight I may have to laugh at how ridiculously passively we're reacting to the world's politest home invasion by a couple of scrawny kids.

MICHAEL PITT

(to camera)

Meanwhile, I'll be breaking the fourth wall every now and again for some pseudo-intellectual reasons that nobody's able to properly articulate. Yes, it's one of THOSE movies.

NAOMI finds the dog's corpse in the trunk of the car. The OVERWHELMING STENCH of the dead animal serves as a NEAT METAPHOR for the remainder of the plot.

BRADY CORBET

You really killed an animal? Shit, now all you need to do is off the kid and no-one will care what happens to the other characters.

MICHAEL PITT

Hold on, let me just make a note of that...

EXT. LAKE

Some NEIGHBOURS arrive across the lake on a sprauncy little YACHT.

RANDOM NEIGHBOUR

Howdy folks. The three of us were just wondering if you needed any help with anything. Some odds to overcome, violent criminals to subdue, anything like that?

NAOMI WATTS

It's a tempting offer, but for some unexplainable reason I'm going to pretend like everything's ok.

RANDOM NEIGHBOUR

Fair enough. You'll probably kick yourself later, but have a jolly old evening anyhoo!

(sails off into the distance)

MICHAEL PITT

Nice people. I think we just found our next torture victims!

NAOMI WATTS

Wait, you're going to torture us? Damn, if only I'd even considered that as a possibility just a few seconds ago.

INT. LAKE HOUSE

BRADY and MICHAEL TORTURE the family for some interminable period of time.

MICHAEL PITT

Naomi, we need to tick the "gratuitous nudity" box on our "bog-standard thriller movie" crib sheet, get your norks out will you?

NAOMI strips, while TIM refuses to do anything at all, possibly because he is secretly popping a SHAME BONER.

BRADY CORBET

So Michael, what's the point of running through all the major beats of a bog-standard thriller, while also trying to make it abundantly clear that this isn't supposed to be one?

MICHAEL PITT

In order for us to challenge people's expectations, silly! Let's see, what's next on the list of cliches...

Suddenly DEVON escapes! Despite having a brief chance to act with a modicum of intelligence, and actually subvert thriller movie convention as opposed to indulging in pretentious twaddle, he instead elects to try and HIDE in the nearest EMPTY HOUSE.

MICHAEL PITT

Thank fuck for that, I thought we were about to risk some originality there.

MICHAEL easily re-captures DEVON, and finds a convenient SHOTGUN, clearly signposting that the STAKES are about to be raised.

MICHAEL PITT

Now what was that Brady was saying earlier about making sure no-one cares what happens to the main characters... ah yes!

(shoots the kid)

NAOMI and TIM continue to do nothing useful. BRADY's prediction comes true and the audience ceases to CARE about them, due to their ASS-CLENCHINGLY ANNOYING PASSIVITY.

MICHAEL PITT

I think we're done here for now. Give us a call when you want some more bloodshed! Or even anything interesting at all to happen, since I get the feeling there won't be much of that while we're off-screen.

(leaves)

NAOMI and TIM refuse to do anything useful for about quarter of an hour. Eventually they get as BORED as the audience, and NAOMI makes a run for it, while TIM does something useful. Just kidding! He doesn't. At all.

EXT. MAIN ROAD

NAOMI WATTS

Hey, there's a car coming down the road! Finally some hope of salvation! Let me just flag it down by hiding behind this tree, waiting till it drives past, and then shouting meekly after it as it speeds away.

Unsurprisingly, this DOESN'T WORK.

BRADY CORBET

(out of breath)

Don't worry, we ran back here as soon as we heard how tedious it was getting without us!

MICHAEL PITT

(to camera)

You can finish your bathroom break now, there'll be some more gratuitous violence to ogle in a moment.

INT. LAKE HOUSE

After some more torture, MICHAEL taunts NAOMI with the shotgun. In a stunning display of FINALLY GIVING A FUCK, NAOMI grabs the gun and shoots BRADY.

MICHAEL PITT

Oh no you di-n't honey! We've made it this far without any of you showing any cojones, let's not spoil things by daring to be interesting.

MICHAEL grabs the TV REMOTE and somehow rewinds time to bring BRADY back to life. It is probably PROFUND AND MEANINGFUL, or some shit like that, it's hard to give a crap at this point.

NAOMI WATTS

Christ, this is worse than Superman reversing the fucking Earth's rotation. Fine, I accept my fate at the hands of your magic grease-wizard powers. Just please spare my husband!

MICHAEL PITT

Oh right, Tim, I completely forgot you were even still in the movie.

TIM ROTH

You and me both!

(is shot and killed)

EXT. LAKE

MICHAEL and BRADY bundle NAOMI into a boat and set off across the lake. NAOMI grabs the knife TIM dropped earlier, but it morphs into the aforementioned HERRING and flops away into the water.

NAOMI WATTS

So, do I get the usual villainous exposition about your wicked masterplan? Why have you spent the whole night torturing my family?

MICHAEL PITT

It's a good question, and like most anyone, I don't think I can provide a cogent answer. Let me refer you to our esteemed director.

DIRECTOR MICHAEL HANEKE

Well, it's a commentary on society's glorification of, and fascination with, movie violence in all its forms. Are we, as lovers of cinema, condoning the violence of the antagonists or even complicit in their evil? Indeed, what is fact and what is fiction? And just how far up my own ass can I climb before I suffocate?

MICHAEL PITT

I thought it was a treatise on the general illiteracy of moviegoers. Why else would you remake an otherwise mundane foreign thriller with an English-speaking cast, less than a decade after its release, without changing a thing except removing the subtitles?

BRADY CORBET

Personally, I thought it was just a bit of a cash-grab for everyone involved.

DIRECTOR MICHAEL HANEKE

Quiet, both of you! It's a social commentary. That means if you don't "get it", you're just not as smart as me.

BRADY CORBET

Watch out, all that cod-philosophical waffle has bumped us right up against the end of the running time. Better wrap things up and get to the plucky heroine's victory and a final moment of audience catharsis.

But instead of that, MICHAEL absent-mindedly knocks NAOMI off the side of the boat, almost as if nobody CARED about a satisfying resolution.

MICHAEL PITT

(to camera)

Wishing you'd watched the original movie instead, in case it was any better? Well don't bother, you don't have the mental capacity to handle reading subtitles, you obnoxious cretins.

DIRECTOR MICHAEL HANEKE

Steady on Michael, let's make clear it's only the English-speaking audience who are cretins. Now let's go and watch all the money from this cash-cow roll right in to our wallets!

But the AUDIENCE has the last laugh at Haneke's expense and refuses to pay money to see the movie, which is a MASSIVE FLOP.

DIRECTOR MICHAEL HANEKE

Huh, I didn't see that coming. Maybe it's ME who's the cretin after all?

END