In news that will surprise absolutely none of you, there have been mass walk-outs from the premiere screening of Lars von Trier’s latest film at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter states that over 100 people left the film, with it being described as “disgusting”, “torturous”, “vile” and “vomitive”. Lars von Trier makes a controversial film – shock!
It’s business as usual for the director who recently made his first appearance at the festival in 7 years, after being banned for his comments about sympathising with Hitler. His back catalogue of films are all pretty nasty and I wonder what audiences were expecting when they sat down for his horror offering about a serial killer. Rainbows and butterflies? Or grotesque violence and mutilation?
The House That Jack Built takes place in 1970s USA. We follow the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) through 5 incidents and are introduced to the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view. He views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world. Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police intervention is drawing ever near (which both provokes and puts pressure on Jack) he is – contrary to all logic – set on taking greater and greater chances. Along the way we experience Jack’s descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge – a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and in-depth explanations of, for Jack, dangerous and difficult manoeuvres.
Check out the first trailer for the film below. It teases the film’s violence and horror, but we’re sure it doesn’t quite manage to touch upon just how disturbing and gruesome this film is going to be. I, for one, can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about.
In addition to Dillon, the film features Oldboy antagonist Ji-tae Yu, Riley Keough, Uma Thurman, Bruno Ganz and Sofie Grabol. The House that Jack Built will be released by IFC in the USA.
Words: Jessy Williams (@JessyCritical)