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The House That Jack Built (2018)

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The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

Director:

Lars von Trier

Writers:

Lars von Trier (screenplay), Lars von Trier (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
516 ( 56)
4 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Dillon ... Jack
Bruno Ganz ... Verge
Uma Thurman ... Lady 1
Siobhan Fallon Hogan ... Lady 2
Sofie Gråbøl ... Lady 3
Riley Keough ... Simple
Jeremy Davies ... Al
Jack McKenzie ... Sonny
Ed Speleers ... Ed - Police Officer 2 (as Edward Spleers)
David Bailie ... S.P.
Mathias Hjelm Mathias Hjelm ... Glenn
Ji-tae Yu ... Man 2
Emil Tholstrup Emil Tholstrup ... Young Jack
Marijana Jankovic ... Female Student
Carina Skenhede ... Little Old Lady
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Storyline

USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years 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, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. 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 psychopathic explanations. The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasional humorous tale. Written by Zentropa Entertainments

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing violence/sadistic behavior, grisly images, language, and nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Denmark | France | Sweden | Germany | Belgium

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

17 October 2018 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The House That Jack Built See more »

Filming Locations:

Copenhagen, Denmark See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR8,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,273, 16 December 2018

Gross USA:

$258,106

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,172,934
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The old nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built" was quoted in Lars von Trier's feature film debut The Element of Crime (1984). See more »

Goofs

In the closing credits, "Miscellaneons Crew" can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Imagine a man walking down a street underneath the street lamps. Right under a lamp, is shadow is the densest but also the tiniest. Then, when he starts to move, his shadow grows in front of him. The shadow becomes bigger and bigger while it thins out. And the shadow behind him from the next lamp post emerges and becomes shorter and shorter until it reaches its ultimate density, as the man stands directly underneath the light. Let's say that the man standing underneath the first lamp post is me...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

An R-rated version exists alongside the unrated 'director's cut'. The UK/Irish release is of the unrated version, as confirmed by the press invitation. See more »

Connections

Features The Element of Crime (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

St.James Infirmary
Performed by Louis Armstrong and the All-Stars
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The House That Jack Built (2018) Review
19 September 2018 | by ethancarmanmooreSee all my reviews

I just saw Lars Von Trier's new film 'The House That Jack Built' at the Atlantic Film Festival. I'm not extremely familiar with Trier's other work (I love Antichrist and Dancer in the dark is one of the most depressing films I've ever seen), but I've still been looking forward to this one since its premiere at Cannes. The subject matter peaked my interest and the trailer looked great. The early reviews got me even more invested as everyone was saying it was Trier's most disturbing and violent film yet.

'The House That Jack Built' was fairly brutal, yet oddly comical (if you can look past the disturbing material) and widely entertaining. I was not expecting it to be as funny as it was considering all of the 'hype' around the film's dark brutality since its screening at Cannes. Having said that there are some extremely gruesome and disturbing scenes which are effective in what they set out to do.

The film is divided into 5 sections plus an epilogue. A strange structure but ultimately I think that it benefited the film as we see a slight progression of Jack's character throughout. Though it can feel a bit repetitive at points, it never gets boring and is continuously engaging. Matt Dillon was excellent as the truly psychopathic serial killer Jack. It was honestly probably the best role I've seen him in (seriously, he should be in more movies).

There are many philosophical discussions about the nature of art throughout the film. This can either come off as super pretentious or can actually add to the film. I thought it worked fine in the context of the film as it relates very much to the character of Jack and how he views himself and his, so to say, 'art'

The film portrays the violence in a fairly realistic manner and does not hold back. At all. Seriously, the movie is not for the faint of heart. But it never came across as gratuitous or 'edgy'. It felt like Trier was just showing us what these scenarios would look like if a serial killer viewed his killings as art.

If you're a fan of Trier's work then definitely try and see this one. Even if you're just a fan of disturbing art-films, check it out. It has a screening at VIFF in October but other than that I have no idea where you can see it. Surprisingly, the Atlantic Film Festival (Halifax, Nova Scotia) had a one-night screening for the film. Either way, try and see it if it looks interesting to you. I highly recommend it. 9/10.


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