James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (18)
D: Lars Von Trier
IFC/Nordisk/Zentropa/Väst/Eurimages (Louise Vesth)
Denmark/France/Germany/Sweden 🇩🇰🇫🇷🇩🇪🇸🇪 2018
W: Lars Von Trier
DP: Manuel Alberto Claro
Ed: Molly Malene Stensgaard & Jacob Secher Schulsinger
Mus: Victor Reyes
Matt Dillon (Jack), Bruno Ganz (Verge), Uma Thurman (Lady 1), Siobhan Fallon Hogan (Lady 2), Sofie Gråbøl (Lady 3), Riley Keough (Simple)
Matt Dillon delivers a quite mesmerising performance in this arthouse psychological thriller about a failed architect turned serial killer whose acts of violence become increasingly depraved.
Dillon's psychopath recounts his crimes via voiceover to an unseen source, who he refers to as Verge, starting with his first murder in the late 1970's and continuing into the 1980's.
The film initially begins with tinges of black comedy, becoming increasingly more disturbing before a finale which parallels Dante's Inferno and probably more deep for me to appreciate when I watched the film at 1am.
Nevertheless, The House That Jack Built is an unpleasant film to watch, captivating only due to Dillon's unhinged performance, but I wouldn't bring myself to watch it again - even if I wanted to solve its cryptic ending. I'm really not a fan of writer-director Lars Van Trier's previous films, but those who are will probably find this more rewarding than I did.