Benny's Video

Released 1992


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Movie Summary

Michael Haneke
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Benny's Video is a 1992 psychological thriller directed by Michael Haneke. Benny (Arno Frisch) is a 14-year-old boy who by all rights should have a peaceful and contented life. Born to a wealthy Viennese family, he has all of life's comforts provided for him, but Benny feels bored and trapped. In the confines of his unexciting life, Benny finds a welcome outlet in shockingly violent videos. He particularly enjoys one video that shows the slow-motion slaughter of a farm animal. His mother (Angela Winkler) and father (Ulrich M''he) are too absorbed in their careers to take notice of Benny's strange behavior. They even leave Benny alone in the house while they travel, which gives Benny the idea to invite a girl (Ingrid Stassner) over to visit. When the teenager tries to get his new friend interested in his violent videos, he unleashes a tragic chain of events that will change his community forever.

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    The Seattle Times John Hartl

    Haneke carefully and ingeniously presents the boy's point of view without sympathizing with him. He then does the same with his horrified but protective parents. [18 Nov 1994, p.G35]

  • 63

    San Francisco Chronicle Edward Guthmann

    Haneke directs Benny's Video in a cool, dispassionate style that matches the austerity of his subject, but keeps us at a distinct remove. And even though he introduces a faintly op...

  • 50

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jay Scott

    Documentaries show us what can be seen; fiction features, to qualify as art, should visualize for us the usually unseen. Benny's Video, in which the thought processes of the charac...

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Crime, Thrillers, Foreign Language