6.8/10
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390 user 254 critic

The House That Jack Built (2018)

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0:24 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
891 ( 72)
11 wins & 20 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
Yoo Ji-Tae ... Man 2
Emil Tholstrup Emil Tholstrup ... Young Jack
Marijana Jankovic Marijana Jankovic ... Female Student
Carina Skenhede 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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirsten Dunst was approached for a role in the film, but chose not to move forward with the project. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jack: Verge?
Verge: I'm here, Jack.
[pause]
Jack: I don't feel so good Verge. There's a sour taste in my mouth.
Verge: You want me to show you the way to the next whisky bar?
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Alternate Versions

The director's cut was release in Europe and Canada with a duration of 155 mins. The US censored version is 150 min and are available in Canada and US VOD. See more »


Soundtracks

The Four Seasons - Autumn (Violin Concerto in F Major Opus 8, No.3, RV 293)
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Takako Nishizaki, Capella Istropolitana and Stephen Gunzenhauser
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User Reviews

 
The Most Accurate Depiction Of A Serial Killer With Absolutely No Restraints
2 December 2018 | by Gresh854See all my reviews

I-scandalously-L-O-V-E-D the direction Lars von Trier derived with this piece! I never would've expected The House That Jack Built to essentially, be a two-and-a-half-hour Satanist's rendition of The Office. Well...The Office if it was about a compulsive serial killer who has an architectural side-hobby. This unanticipated genre blend has birthed quite possibly the darkest comedy that has ever been conceived among mankind. I-scandalously-L-O-V-E-D the direction Lars von Trier derived with this piece! I never would've expected The House That Jack Built to essentially, be a two-and-a-half-hour Satanist's rendition of The Office. Well...The Office if it was about a compulsive serial killer who has an architectural side-hobby. This unanticipated genre blend has birthed quite possibly the darkest comedy that has ever been conceived among mankind.

Have you ever seen one of those "If You Laugh, You're Going to Hell" challenges on YouTube? The House That Jack Built is basically a movie-lengthed version of that challenge, and thanks to this analogy, I can guarantee that I'm 99.9% sure I have about 150 life sentences in Hell right now. Life, meaning, eternities, but that's statistically impossible so, oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Rundown of the Six Acts

1st Incident: Two Words: Uma Thurman. But in all seriousness, it's the weakest act, but it methodically sets up the startling comic mood von Trier has tenderally refurbished.

2nd Incident: THIS. IS. DARK. COMEDY. GOLD. By a landslide, this is my FAVORITE ACT. A true highlight, indeed! The atmospherical presence and dialogue is very reminance of the Coen Brothers's satirical comedy (specifically that of Fargo) when it's at its maximum peak. If the whole movie honestly was continuous like this act this movie would've been punctured with a big, fat A+. Oops, spoilers for my verdict.

3rd Incident: This act was admittedly strenuous to watch and is definitely the act I can predict where people had the most issues with. Despite how much I detested viewing it, I spontaneously was able to wildly appreciate the audacity of both its situation and directives, and additionally, some potent acting bits from the "female character". I was on the edge of my seat throughout; having that extension of terror sincerely conedmned myself into tolerating some of the more informal/serious aspects of the film's memorandums-mainly those about the immortality and irony of "hunting".

4th Incident: Jack calls his girl, "Simple." Jack redefines the phrase, "Completely Stupid." Absolutely ingenious dialogue! The most quotable and possibly the most well-acted act of the entire film. Still...Disgusting.

5th Incident: No spoilers but the "Sirens." The "Sirens" and the "Full Metal Jacket" gags had me belly laughing! This act featured the peak of Jack giving absolute zeros. Crazy stuff.

Epilogue: The epilogue is a tad much artistically and almost seems tonally out of place-not gonna deny though that the visuals are quite tempting and 100% ravishing. It isn't until the last shot and the rapid cut to credits where redemption initiates. F-U-N-N-Y + C-L-E-V-E-R. Best final frame of the year for sure.

The House Jack Built might just be the most accurate depiction of a psychopath, given von Trier's decisions to eliminate ALL restraints-with, of course, the exception of his cinematic, less realistic satire.

I guess if I had to point out a major flaw with the entirety of The House That Jack Built, it would be it's nauseating usage of "repetition". Like von Trier is commonly known to do, he'll beat you over the head a couple of times with the same sequences (AKA that damn piano man), songs, themes, and monologues. Sometimes, this can surfa Have you ever seen one of those "If You Laugh, You're Going to Hell" challenges on YouTube? The House That Jack Built is basically a movie-lengthed version of that challenge, and thanks to this analogy, I can guarantee that I'm 99.9% sure I have about 150 life sentences in Hell right now. Life, meaning, eternities, but that's statistically impossible so, oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Rundown of the Six Acts

1st Incident: Two Words: Uma Thurman. But in all seriousness, it's the weakest act, but it methodically sets up the startling comic mood von Trier has tenderally refurbished.

2nd Incident: THIS. IS. DARK. COMEDY. GOLD. By a landslide, this is my FAVORITE ACT. A true highlight, indeed! The atmospherical presence and dialogue is very reminance of the Coen Brothers's satirical comedy (specifically that of Fargo) when it's at its maximum peak. If the whole movie honestly was continuous like this act this movie would've been punctured with a big, fat A+. Oops, spoilers for my verdict.

3rd Incident: This act was admittedly strenuous to watch and is definitely the act I can predict where people had the most issues with. Despite how much I detested viewing it, I spontaneously was able to wildly appreciate the audacity of both its situation and directives, and additionally, some potent acting bits from the "female character". I was on the edge of my seat throughout; having that extension of terror sincerely conedmned myself into tolerating some of the more informal/serious aspects of the film's memorandums-mainly those about the immortality and irony of "hunting".

4th Incident: Jack calls his girl, "Simple." Jack redefines the phrase, "Completely Stupid." Absolutely ingenious dialogue! The most quotable and possibly the most well-acted act of the entire film. Still...Disgusting.

5th Incident: No spoilers but the "Sirens." The "Sirens" and the "Full Metal Jacket" gags had me belly laughing! This act featured the peak of Jack giving absolute zeros. Crazy stuff.

Epilogue: The epilogue is a tad much artistically and almost seems tonally out of place-not gonna deny though that the visuals are quite tempting and 100% ravishing. It isn't until the last shot and the rapid cut to credits where redemption initiates. F-U-N-N-Y + C-L-E-V-E-R. Best final frame of the year for sure.

The House Jack Built might just be the most accurate depiction of a psychopath, given von Trier's decisions to eliminate ALL restraints-with, of course, the exception of his cinematic, less realistic satire.

I guess if I had to point out a major flaw with the entirety of The House That Jack Built, it would be it's nauseating usage of "repetition". Like von Trier is commonly known to do, he'll beat you over the head a couple of times with the same sequences (AKA that damn piano man), songs, themes, and monologues. Sometimes, this can surface as an overdone and less adequate practice of assimilating a moral out. The dude is a bit, too big-headed at times, being he is von Truer and what not, and I firmly wished he owned up to this movie simply being a full-on, insightful, dark comedy, but him being him, he always has to insert his pretentious you-know-what.

Glorification of blood and guts though? Yeah, I can take it.

I personally feel like, these days, the popularity and acceptance of dark humor is continuously decreasing. What is considered "dark humor" now, is merely, more so, just being unexpectedly edgy, instead of legitimentally pushing the boundaries of discomfort through gruesomely comedic pleasement. This could obviously be due to how sensitive the media and this generation's privelage has built us up as. What is considered humor is now considered offensive, etc., etc., etc.

I think y'all just needa take a deep breath and realize that this is just a movie, not reality. Yah sure, films can influence the real world's perceptions and behaviors, but nobody is going to come out of the satirical, dark comedy known as, The House That Jack Built, saying, "Man, I think I'm gonna become a serial killer now, because this movie has persuaded my perception of the world so much that now, it has, from the heavens above, told me that that's what I've always wanted and was destined to be. I am enlightened." If anything it's going to counteract the opposite effect, meaning, the audience is generally going to be disturbed by the main character's acts rather than enlightened.

What happened to the good'old Kurt Vonnegut days when we could reflect on the trauma of the repetition of death, but in unison, laugh at the finatics behind it in order to blockade our awareness of society's capacity to violence.

Also, I don't think people really understand/ know how psychopaths/serial killers function. Most of the time, they're born like that, not necessarily influenced. People who murder based on influence for the purpose of achieving an advantageable goal (blameful criminals) and people who murder out of genetic disorder/desire are two completely different factors (psychopaths).

So, in the end, it's absolutely okay if you don't like the movie especially if you don't like it for being too pretentious which I absolutely can get behind. Those who hate it simply for the accessive violent I can get behind too-just don't be a little you-know-what about it and say it should be banned in every country and that anybody who likes it should be sent to solitary confinement. We need to learn to suck it up and move on with life. There are real world issues you should be complaining about right now, not a damn movie.

Conclusively, what I'm saying is that you can't deny the craft. You can hate the movie-absolutely-but you can't deny how in terms of dialogue, writing, and just the overall comedic presence, The House That Jack Built is unlike anything ever created, in a morbidly entertaining fashion.

Okay, I'm done with my rant. Sorry for my Tom-foolery!

I don't know how Lars von Trier does it, but he's able to disturb you once a murderer occurs and then instantaneously, make you chuckle after it happens. He's making us sick individuals and I don't know if I like it. All I know is I really, really like The House That Jack Built. I guess we'll just have to leave it at that for now. (Verdict: A-)


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Details

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:

$3,081,913
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
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