With films like Cache and Piano Teacher, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke has shown a desire to observe unsettling human behavior and dramatize the response to it. That said, the purpose of Funny Games is to provoke and disturb the audience as much as possible. While Funny Games is likely to scare some to the point of not being able to watch it, those that already saw Haneke's 1997 German version of the film may be a bit perplexed as to why the director chose to do a virtual shot-by-shot remake of his own film.
As the movie begins, a seemingly upper middle class couple Ann (Naomi Watts) and George (Tim Roth) are heading out to their summer home with young son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) and a boat in tow. As they ride along, they're guessing who's singing arias; from this we can establish they are young urban professionals, or "yuppies" if you prefer. Despite the bucolic scene, we are alerted to the troubles to come by the thrash metal that blasts out of the film's soundtrack, as the shiny family continues the trek to their country home.
As the family approaches the gate of their vacation home, Ann and George see a neighbor couple in their garden with two young men. Chatting breezily from a distance, the two couples make a date to play golf the next morning. Ann senses something is wrong, but she can't quite figure out what. Dismissing her concerns, Ann goes about her business.
As Ann prepares dinner, a young man in a tennis outfit and golfing gloves drops by; He says his name is Peter (Brady Corbet) is staying with some neighbors and asks to borrow some eggs. Anna gladly hands them over but on the way out, Peter drops the eggs, apologizes profusely and Anna gets him some new eggs.
Meanwhile, Peter's friend Paul (Michael Pitt) appears also dressed in tennis whites and golf gloves. While both boys are unfailingly polite, there is something very odd about them. While the boys' language is perfect and non-threatening, they ask questions that don't seem to lead anywhere and their answers are often non sequiturs. In the "egg scene" no one is doing anything reprehensible. Something just feels very unsettling.
Things turn brutal quickly after the second set of eggs is supposedly dropped. The family soon finds themselves the victims of unimaginable torture. After the family dog is killed with a golf club, George's leg is broken, rendering him helpless as his wife and son are mentally and physically brutalized. Viewers soon learn that Peter and Paul are full blown psychopaths; happily picking off the members of this exclusive lakeside community. To them, it's all a great big game and everyone has to play.