The Film: Coming just after the former TV writer went back to the format to produce his adaptation of Kafka's The Castle, Funny Games ramps up the bleakness, but spices it with a twisted humour and an intent to re-sensitize a cinema-going audience used to placidly accepting murder on screen.
Haneke's View: "My goal there was a kind of counter-program to Natural Born Killers. In my view, Oliver Stone's film, and I use it only as example, is the attempt to use a fascist aesthetic to achieve an anti-fascist goal, and this doesn't work.
"What is accomplished is something the opposite, since what is produced is something like a cult film where the montage style complements the violence represented and presents it largely in a positive light. It might be argued that Natural Born Killers makes the violent image alluring while allowing no space for the viewer.
"I feel this would be very difficult to argue about Funny Games. Benny's Video and Funny Games are different kinds of obscenity, in the sense that I intended a slap in the face and a provocation."