Writer: Lars von Trier (Screenplay) Jenle Hallund (Story)
Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Hallon Hogan, Sofie Grabol, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies
Plot: 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.
Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Long & Dull
Story: The House That Jack Built starts as we meet Jack (Dillon) who is confessing his kills to Verge (Ganz) he goes on to tell him about five different murders he has committed, first was a stranded lady (Thurman) who constantly goes on about him being a serial killer. Second more daring, taking on a lady (Hogan) in her own home.
As Jack starts to see his OCD become less of a problem, he starts taking more risks when it comes to his kills, the more daring he becomes the easier they feel to him.
Thoughts on The House That Jack Built
Characters – Jack is a serial killer, he has killed dozens of people, with his acts becoming more daring as he becomes more confident in his skills to kill. He is confessing his actions to a priest, which gives us his mindset for each of his kills. Verge is the priest who is hearing the confession that is listening to the stories as he is learning whether Jack is the man he claims to be. We have plenty of victims which offer Jack plenty of different styles of kills, though none of them are very memorable.
Performances – Matt Dillon is the only highlight in the film, where even he struggles to keep the attention of the audience, he is in nearly every scene which means he needs to be the best, only he doesn’t deliver well enough. The supporting cast is mostly forgettable because they are just the victims.
Story – The story here follows Jack as he is confessing his murders to an unknown presence who feels like a priest. The story is told in chapter form which allows us to see each different murder and mindset which caused him to go through with his actions all while having an ending which will only leave you more confused from what we did see. The pacing of this film is awful, as it does drag on and on before getting to the point of the conversation, we could easily skip one of the chapters that offers up nothing to the main story. this is also meant to be a story with a lot of controversy, though I struggled to see just what that could have been.
Comedy/Horror – This is classed as a comedy? I struggle to see why, but maybe there is something in this people could see being funny, the horror is a serial killer that likes to play with his victims, which are slowly waiting for him to do something, the way the story is told holds up the impact though.
Settings – The film takes us to many different settings which each play into the hands of the killer waiting for his chance to kill, he uses his environment to select how he gets the job done. There is one final location which will confuse though.
Special Effects – The effects are basic the kills are basic we don’t go over the top with them, though the final sequence is heavier on the effects.
Final Thoughts – This is a poor serial killer movie that lacks pacing skills and engaging characters.
Overall: Boring horror.