The House That Jack Built movie review - Aussieboyreviews


The House That Jack Built is a sadistically extreme, horrifyingly violent and blackly humorous serial killer tale. It’s directed by Lars von Trier and features a phenomenal performance by Matt Dillon.


Jack, a highly intelligent and psychopathic serial killer, recounts five incidents of murders which he sees as works of art he committed over the course of twelve years.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Lars von Trier
Cast: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies
Writer: Lars von Trier
Release Date (Australia): 19 October 2018
Runtime: 152 minutes/2h 32m
Genre: Crime, Drama, Horror
Country: Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (R18+)

The film features disturbing depictions of children and adults being murdered, sadistic cruelty and animal cruelty. A man implicitly cuts a woman’s breasts off and murdered corpses are depicted.

Violence (R18+)

The film features multiple disturbing depictions of stabbings, bludgeoning and strangling murders that are accompanied by bloody sprays and graphic depictions of blood and injury detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains aggressive use of the word “f**k”, in addition to use of the words “s**t”, “hell” and “damn”.

Nudity (M)

The film contains multiple depictions of female breasts nudity.

mpaa rating

R (for strong disturbing violence/sadistic behavior, grisly images, language, and nudity)

Aussie boy's thoughts

This serial killer movie delivers extremely disturbing and unpleasant depictions of murder and cruelty, but also involves with an extremely black sense of humour and an impeccable performance from Matt Dillon, making YOU feel like an actual psychopath. There are so many movies out there that try to be really impactful or heavy, but then only a rare few can achieve making an audience feel absolutely horrible or depress you successfully. Well, this film is extremely violent, cruel, sadistic and disturbing, something to AVOID COMPLETELY for the faint-hearted.

The House That Jack Built features a psychopathic but also a very intelligent serial killer played by Matt Dillon as he recounts five horrific incidents of murder and cruelty he committed. You’ll realise the film runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes and he only takes around the first 20 minutes to describe his first incident, so you’ll probably wonder how slowly the rest of the stories flow if it’s gonna take up a lot of time. But there is constant tension present throughout the film, when there’s always something big happening, probably except for the concept revolving around how the main character wants to design and build a house and a lot of documentary-like sequences that feel like they just don’t belong in the story of this complex serial killer.

It’s also a shame that director Lars von Trier really has an ego where he tries to depict and relate to subject matter that’s very controversial or disturbing,  which is where a lot of viewers who hate his ego will hate this movie. Not only are innocent adults murdered, but there’s also murdering of young children and depictions of animal cruelty that are all extremely difficult to watch. The film is already shocking and just horrible to watch, which is probably the most memorable thing about it, but his ego of having big attempts to upset viewers are just too far and unnecessary.

But his writing for the film is very good, especially if this the first movie you’re seeing that’s directed by him. Matt Dillon delivers such a convincing and faultless performance as a psychotic, cruel and nasty serial killer. And not only does the extremity of the film’s content make you feel horrible, but there’s a shockingly bleak sense of humour as well. It’s entertaining, but highly unpleasant and not for kids, and it’ll make you feel like a psychopath as it connects you with the main character.

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