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The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Lars von Trier is one of the few directors that you never know what to expect from their new films. In general I'm not his fan but he's done some good films (especially Antichrist and Dancer in the Dark). One thing I like and respect in him is that he's never shying away from controversy. Sometimes, as is the case with The House That Jack Built, he even seems to aim for it.

Two and half hours is way too long for this film. I suppose it tries to bluff the viewer but it plays with its hand open and goes to desperate lengths to sell its value. I do like the the concept though and the lack of motives is somewhat fresh approach. On the other hand the film derails into comedy too much (maybe its meant to be a literary reference, I don't know) and by doing that it weakens its shock value.

I'd like to think that The House That Jack Built is basically von Trier's provocative joke that's meant to trigger and offend (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing). I don't personally get all the fuss around the film (like why was this NC-17 worthy) but I do applaud von Trier for breaking some taboos. As a movie it's not very good and often feels like an over-explained joke. Acting is good, there's some nice imagery but too often it just drags on and on. I guess I'd call it a mild disappointment.