Staff Pick: Fright Club presents “Funny Games”

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From the June 19, 2014 edition

Around 1999, a movie critic acquaintance invited me and a couple of friends over to watch an early screener of the much-buzzed “Blair Witch Project,” which was supposed to be the scariest movie ever, if the hype was believed (it wasn’t). But to warm up for that, we screened the original 1997 German version of Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games.”

Now that was scary.

Haneke — eventually an Oscar-winner for “Amour” — remade this visceral tale of a family who is terrorized in their summer home for American audiences in 2007, and made basically the same movie (with a cast that included Naomi Watts) with basically the same chilling results.

The English-language version of “Funny Games” is presented this Friday night in the Drexel’s new monthly Fright Club series, which is curated by fellow film critics Hope Madden and George Wolf. Be there, and be scared.