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The House that Lars Built

In the last blog I looked at Annihilation and another of the potential big films of 2018 in our world is Lars von Trier’s The House that Jack Built (scheduled for a November release).

First up I have to say that I love the poster artwork which has a wonderful Saul Bass feel to it.

Lars von Trier has described the inspiration behind The House that Jack Built as stemming from his wish to show “that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo Trumpus – the rat king.”

I always find films described as thrillers to be interesting. Thriller often feels like a byword for horror, a more palatable packaging for people who don’t like horror and it feels to me that if you’re making a film about a serial killer’s 12 year campaign then there will be some element of horror in the mix.

The thriller/horror debate is one for another blog/pod (it came up in the pod when we talked about Green Room- definitely a horror!).

I’m unsure how I feel about Lars von Trier. Watching films like Nymphomaniac, Dogville and Antichrist have left me cold, bored, engaged, and frustrated (sometimes simultaneously) so I can’t say the prospect of The House that Jack Built excites me. I hope I’m wrong and I get blown away when I see it, but I have to say that the thought of Halloween and Annihilation I find much more exciting.

The way I feel about Lars von Trier is similar to how I feel about Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Prince- all three are undeniably talented with legions of fans worldwide, but I just don’t get anything from their music. Lars von Trier is clearly a talented filmmaker and the premise of The House that Jack Built is intriguing (and with Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman in the cast* the acting is almost guaranteed to be quality) but I found the concepts of Dogville and Antichrist more engaging than the execution so I can’t shake the feeling that I will once again be left cold by Lars von Trier.

*Sofie Gråbøl and Riley Keough make for a strong line-up

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