Film Review - The House That Jack Built

>> When a film premieres most people tend to stay in seats and watch the film from beginning to end. However, this is not always the case. Throughout the years, there have been numerous mass walkouts at film premieres. Some of these infamous films that hold a “walkout status” include The Exorcist, A Clockwork Orange, and most recently The House That Jack Built. Directed by Lars von Trier, his latest feature premiered at Cannes after Trier's ban from the festival was lifted. Produced and distributed by IFC Films, the film was released in selected theatres and video-on-demand on the 14th.

The House That Jack Built follows a serial killer (Matt Dillon) over the course of twelve years and the “incidents” that define and develop the psychotic person he’s become. The film (in very clear detail) depicts the mutilation of Jack’s victims, who are mainly women. The character of Jack is so egotistical and seemingly “intelligent”. After the film’s premiere at Cannes, many were outraged yet Trier still received a standing ovation from the half-empty theatre—because this sadistic and sexist man is considered a cinematic visionary in France. Wake up, France!

When trying to dig past the film’s violence and gore, you won’t find anything other than clichéd hunting metaphors. The House That Jack Built is truly a lifeless film that reflects Trier’s isolation from the film industry and his own character flaws. Film by film, Trier has been generating controversy, his prior films are like trojan horses seemingly filled with substance but then someone’s penis gets cut off. However, The House That Jack Built cannot be justified. This film has no cinematic or literary backbone. It stands as a representation of ego and misogyny from a filmmaker who deems it necessary to reaffirm his controversial status.

No one should watch 2.5 hours of people being killed and mutilated—even if it’s just acting. This film has nothing to offer other than a visual feast for the aspiring serial killer. Do not validate this kind of “art” with money. Trust me, you are not missing out on anything other than women and children being brutally killed on camera. Oh, and Riley Keough’s dismembered breast being pinned onto a windshield like a goddamn parking ticket. 0/10 <<