I’m in love with this movie. I’m also terrified of this movie and I’m not sure I’ll ever watch it again. I have a love-hate relationship with Lars von Trier films, as I imagine most people do. He’s one of the most original directors of this generation, but that being said, I hate some of his movies, like Melancholia and Dogville. The beautiful visuals and creativity of these films cannot be denied, but oftentimes the storytelling leaves something to be desired
The House That Jack Built is an exception. It has wonderful, albeit horrific, storytelling. The commentary between Jack and Verge serves as a fantastic backbone to hold the “incidents” together and provide context and insight into Jack’s mind.
Like most Lars von Trier films, there are downright disturbing scenes that leave you feeling like your stomach has turned inside out. I won’t go into them here but will leave a warning that if you are sensitive to disturbing content, do not watch this film.
The film follows Jack’s descent into madness. In the beginning of the film he is murderous, but meticulous and structured. By the end he is raging, sloppy, and manic, more or less wanting to be caught. Stick through the movie and you’ll be rewarded with what I am tempted to say is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in cinema: Jack’s descent to Hell.
This movie made me feel like screaming after I saw it. I would easily call it one of the best films of the year, but I’m not sure I would recommend it to most people. It deserves to win an Oscar or whatever award is deemed “the best”, but I doubt it will.