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Funny Games

DVD Review: ‘In Their Skin’ Rips Off Michael Haneke, Tacks on Sentimental Finale

In Their Skin DVD

CHICAGO – I may never know how “In Their Skin” came into being, but I have a pretty good theory. Screenwriter/star Josh Close was so appalled by the unapologetic bleakness of Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” that he took it upon himself to make the exact same movie, more or less, but with a much happier ending. It’s a noble effort but every bit as pointless as Rod Lurie’s proudly non-misogynistic remake of “Straw Dogs.”

Film Review: Horror Hits Home in Disturbing ‘In Their Skin’

In Their Skin
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – The set-up for the domestic horror of “In Their Skin” immediately brings to mind excellent thrillers like Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games,” David Moreau & Xavier Palud’s “Them,” and Bryan Bertino’s underrated “The Strangers.” There’s something inherently terrifying about being assaulted in a place you consider safe – your home. When home is no longer protected, what is?

Blu-Ray Review: Masterful ‘The White Ribbon’ Dissects Root of Evil

The White Ribbon

CHICAGO – Michael Haneke is one of our best living filmmakers, having already delivered at least one masterpiece in the amazing “Cache” and a few other notable works like “Funny Games,” “The Piano Teacher,” and “Code Unknown.” Those familiar with the quality of his filmography may be stunned to learn that “The White Ribbon” is arguably his best.

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Final Destination’ Succeeds in Making Death Boring

The Final Destination Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – In Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games,” a couple and their young son are subjected to a night of physical and psychological torture. Their captors are two smirking psychopaths who only aim to please their thrill-seeking audience. The funny thing about “Games” is that it spares viewers from enjoying any explicit violence, forcing them to feel the characters’ excruciating suffering instead.

Despite its Title, ‘The Strangers’ Actually a Familiar Repeat of Horror Film Conventions

Bryan Bertino, The Strangers (1)

CHICAGO – Poor Liv Tyler. She’s stuck in a remote vacation home with nothing but the blank-stare acting of Scott Speedman to “save” her. What’s a rock daughter who becomes an actress to do? First, she shouldn’t sign onto yet another version of the couple-in-terror cliché.

With Surreal Madness, Strange Boys Play ‘Funny Games’

CHICAGO – Imagine a film with no redeeming or uplifting emotional qualities with evil that tortures the soul, squirm-inducing narrative elements and a relentless anxiety that practically has us – like the characters in the film – screaming for mercy. Imagine also that this film is excellent.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Everybody, Brown Paper Box Co

    CHICAGO – When is the last time a stage play, based in an intimate setting, made you think about your life, death, and the destiny inherent in both? “Everybody,” staged by Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo), is such a play, and the energetic aura and sense of surprise that the show contains is soul soothing wonder. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the Pride Arts Center in Chicago run through August 12, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Not One Batu

    CHICAGO – The State of Hawaii may be one of the most misunderstood in America. Because of its reputation as a tourist mecca, the fact that native peoples live and work there like any other place is hard to imagine. Also unimaginable is the drug use of island residents, but playwright and Hawaiian native Hannah li-Epstein wrote about it in her stage play “Not One Batu,” now in its Premiere Chicago run at the Berger Park Coach House through July 28th, 2018. For more information, including tickets, click here.

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