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Cannes Selection “The House That Jack Built” Triggers Mass Walkout

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | News

BY ROCCO THOMPSON

Danish master provocateur Lars Von Trier’s (ANTICHRIST, NYMPHOMANIAC PARTS ONE AND TWO) latest feature–marking his triumphant return to the Cannes Film Festival after being declared persona non grata in 2011–was met with mass walkouts at its recent premiere. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT stars Matt Dillon as a serial killer during the 1970s and follows him over twelve years of perfecting his craft. In characteristic fashion, the Director has described the film as a celebration of “the idea that life is evil and soulless.” 

Co-starring Uma Thurman, Riley Keoh, Bruno Ganz, and Sofie Gråbøl, the two and a half hour long killer chiller was flagged with a notable content warning in the notoriously permissive French festival’s official schedule. This did little to prepare the over one-hundred journalists and audience members who fled from the screening, some after just forty-five minutes. Deadline’s Pete Hammond reports that one attendee said the experience was “like spending two hours in Hell.” 

Yet, those that remained celebrated the divisive director’s newest voyage into depravity with a six-minute long standing ovation. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gushed that the film boasts a “spectacular horror finale,” while IndieWire’s Eric Kohn praised Dillon’s performance, saying: “There’s no question he delivers an impactful movie monster, with darting eyes and a toothy smile that makes Jack at once seem empathetic and bonkers.”

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT does not yet have a release date. 

Rocco Thompson
Rocco is a Chicago-based writer, editor, and programmer with a fondness for Italo-sleaze and Japanese ghosts. An avid devotee of all things weird and outrageous, he seeks to bring attention to and recontextualize forgotten or misunderstood films through impassioned study and analysis.