When Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier premiered “The House That Jack Built” at Cannes last week, it was no surprise that the brutal serial killer film inspired walkouts by the dozens. Clocking in at two and a half hours, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw declared it “an ordeal of gruesomeness and tiresomeness, quite as exasperating as I feared, but leading to what I have to admit is a spectacular horror finale,” while Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh called it “one of the most unpleasant movie-going experiences of my life.” With such illustrious fanfare, von Trier fans are foaming at the mouth to catch a glimpse of the provocateur’s most controversial film yet.
Von Trier’s production company, Zentropa, has released five images and three clips from the film, including nail-biting scenes between Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, Riley Keough, and Jeremy Davies. Dillon is making a career comeback as Jack, a serial killer known as Mr. Sophistication. Set during 1970s, the film charts five murders that shaped his illustrious career, told from his point of view.
The official synopsis elaborates: “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. The goal is the ultimate artwork: A collection of all his killings manifested in a House that he builds. 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 clips and images below.
Here are the recently released images: