Vindictive. Exploitive. Malicious. Audacious. Psychotic. Neurotic. Subversive. Oppressive. Impressive. Disturbing. Outstanding?…Perhaps. Pointless?….Perhaps. For esoteric and darring director Michael Haneke’s American based revamp of his own cult-classic does pack a punch, but why remake one’s own film? Why not? Another question, though- how does a violent film with no on-screen violence obtain an 18 certificate in this day and age? Answer- through a strong, sadistic and sustained use of uncompromising threat and humiliation. With bloody strong performances.
Some may go as far as saying that it’s the kind of film Kubrick would’ve made if he’d still been alive. Imagine, if you will, Hard Candy by the way of A Clockwork Orange. Only with a dash of Cape Fear and a semi-surreal, nom de plume psychotic edge. The result? one of the better films of 2008.