104 min., 1997
Written by Michael Haneke
Directed by Michael Haneke
My rating: ★
This movie is a fucking joke
* * *
A family is going up to their lake house to get away and meet some friends. We have the father and mother, Georg (Ulrich Muhe and Susanne Lothar) and their son Georgie (Stefan Clapczynski), the average loving family on a vacation. While father and son are setting up the boat, Anna is confronted by Peter (Frank Giering) who has come from another house and asks for some eggs. After he gets the eggs, he drops them and asks for some more. After she gives them to him he leaves and that’s when the dog starts barking. Anna goes to check what’s going on and inside the house is Peter and his friend Paul (Arno Frisch) and it turns out Peter dropped the eggs again after the dog jumped on him. Paul asks to try out one of Georg’s golf clubs, leaves and you hear the dog howl in pain. After a bit of back and forth Georg and Georgie appear at the house and after a little more back and forth Georg gets hit in the leg with a golf club. Now the games have begun.
The acting is pretty good in the movie…I guess. Don’t get me wrong they weren’t terrible by any means, but at the same time I really didn’t get anything from them at the same time. So overall I’d have to say they were just blah.
One of the pluses of the movie (even though it’s very small) is the lack of violence shown on screen. In this day and age where we all want to see every bullet pass through the head and every knife slice a neck, it’s interesting that they decided to not show us anything (except for Peter). I love seeing gore and violence, but I didn’t mind not seeing it the movie. It was done well enough to get exactly what happened and to put an image in your head with is probably worse than any special effects could come up with. So on the subject of effects…I’d say thumbs up.
One of the real problems with this movie is that there is no character development. From the beginning to the end, all of the characters are the exact same. No one grows or changes. Dad is a pussy, mom is the “strong” one and the two “psychos” are still “psychos.” No one changes and it’s hard to like a character that never grows. Another problem with the movie is the slasher elements of it. You have Georgie getting away, running up stairs and climbing out a window. Paul doesn’t even go upstairs until Georgie is at the main gate. After some more running on Georgie’s part, we then see Paul jogging extremely close behind. Now out of all of the places that he could have run (including going through the water) how did Paul know the exact place he was going? With how much space there seems to be between houses, wouldn’t Paul need to search for him at least a little (not even including searching up stairs)? Then when Anna gets away, they just happen to be on the exact street (then again there seems to only be one road). It just seems very slasher to me. Another problem (probably the biggest) I have is with the lack of anything happening, well not really happening but every scene lasts about two to five minutes too long (no joke, there are at least three scenes that are about seven minutes each, and they are doing nothing but sitting there, or the camera is just on one of their faces or the blood on the TV that lasts for about seven minutes). The last problem I really had with the movie was the interacting with the audience scenes. Are we fucking watching Saved By The Bell with one of Zack’s “hold on a minute” breaks? Winking at the camera or rewinding time, REALLY, rewinding the scene? Was it supposed to be witty or funny? Well, they fucking failed, big time. This whole movie was pretty much a big bag of snore.Have You Read...?