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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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  • Stephanie Buxbaum

    CHICAGO – In the history of “Reality TV” there has been periods of up-and-down popularity, shows that have been around seemingly forever (“Big Brother,” “Amazing Race”) and spinoffs to new styles like “documentary series” as networks like the National Geographic Channel emerged. In all those permutations, producer Stephanie Buxbaum has experienced it all, and has the career and stories to prove it.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

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