movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Watched in glorious 720p!

HAIKU REVIEW BY CAROLYN: There’s a suspicion
that these two boys are creepy.
You should be alert.

PEOPLE: German director Michael Haneke brings us a scene-by-scene American remake of the exact same movie he made 10 years prior (Funny Games). But this time with Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Michael Pitt, and Brady Corbet (who reminds me of Mcauley Caulkin a bit, and apparently was in 6 episodes of 24).

QUIRKS: A disturbing thriller/horror about a family taken hostage and tormented by 2 charismatic-but-creepy psychotic young men. Sometimes described as “a punch in the stomach”.

It’s also pretty realistic in the way violence is depicted. It really doesn’t take a lot of violence to take a family hostage.

VISUALS: The most horrible acts take place off-camera. I found this to be a mistake. But I understand why they did it: The focus is on how casually the antaganists do what they do. So in terms of gore: This movie is actually very low.

Also in terms of visuals — Naomi Watts in her underwear, in bondage. Struggling. Mmmmm. It’d be more erotic if the situation wasn’t so disturbing!

SOUNDTRACK: A couple songs by a band called Naked City that really reminds me of The Boredoms. Some classical music. But mostly, there is no real soundtrack, and absolutely no score whatsoever. Even the closing credits are dead silent. This definitely increased the tension and realism of the movie.

MORALS: The antagonists clearly have zero morals whatsoever. And the good guys? They have some very bad self-preservation instincts. [highlight for spoilers] If you’re trying to kick someone out of your house, don’t turn your back on them! If you’re investigating a suspicious noise and have a knife on hand… bring it. If you’re running away from a house full of people who want to kill you, don’t stop and knock on the house next door. Go at least 2 houses away. And for chrissakes, have a landline if you care about your safety — though that could easliy be cut. And if you have a boat — perhaps that is your best route of escape. And if you can’t get the attention of authorities, and think you might die — set your house on fire. That will get somebody’s attention!

BAD STUFF: There’s also one surreal scene thrown in there just to mess with you — and many people hate it. The bad guys also talk to the camera a couple times, which may put some people off. This movie definitely acknowledges that it’s a movie. This will really bother some people.

CONCLUSION: This was definitely one of those horror/thriller movies where you just feel bad knowing that something like this can and does happen to people in real life — which is what makes it good. No punches are pulled, other than not showing much gore; this movie goes all out, but tries to keep it psychological (by suppressing gratuitous gore). The bad guys basically play with their victims like a cat plays with its food — if a cat had a human IQ.

RATINGS: 4/5 stars on Netflix, 8/10 on IMDB. Definitely a couple cuts above your generic horror movie, but at the same time, not a perfect movie.

RECOMMENDATION: High-tension horror movie aficionados should like this. Some people did not. This got a 6.4/10 on IMDB.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Not a movie, but remember the carjacker scene from Six Feet Under? The one that traumatized the gay son (who went on to play Dexter in the series Dexter)? This movie is a lot like that. Not quite as intense per-minute, but way longer.

MOVIE QUOTE: Anna: Why don’t you just kill us?
Peter: [smiling] You shouldn’t forget the importance of entertainment.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian really liked it.

Mood: amused
Music: The Church – Trance Ending