The House That Jack Built

Lars von Trier is back with a bloody vengeance in the unsettling new NSFW trailer for his latest film The House That Jack Built.

Dropping just ahead of the film’s Monday evening world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the preview teases a sinister plot hatched by the titular serial killer (played by Matt Dillon), who seemingly succumbs to a relentless impulse to kill — an urge that doesn’t discriminate against men, women, or children, judging by the clip.

His first victim appears to be Oscar-nominated actress Uma Thurman, who plays a woman seeking help when a vehicle malfunction leaves her stranded on the side of the road. “Oops. That was maybe a mistake, me getting in this car with you,” she says in the trailer, which is soundtracked by David Bowie’s iconic “Fame.” “You might as well be a serial killer. Sorry, but you do kind of look like one.” Her hunch proves to be correct when Jack kills her shortly thereafter, setting off a violent spree that claims multiple victims over the course of 12 years through 1970s America.

The film subsequently follows Jack’s attempts to outdo himself on the murder scale, an act he views as an art in itself, though the impending police investigation threatens the undertaking.

“Some people claim that the atrocities we commit in our fiction are those inner desires which we cannot commit in our controlled civilization,” Jack says in voiceover as he attempts to clear his gory trail from a city street. “So they are expressed instead through our art. I don’t agree. I believe heaven and hell are one and the same. The soul belongs to heaven and the body to hell.”

“When I think about all the things I’ve done in my life, without in any way resulting in punishment…” he trails off at the end of the preview while a chance rainstorm washes away the carnage. Though he doesn’t finish the thought, his bloody, grinning face (staring directly into the camera) completes the sentiment.

The House That Jack Built serves as von Trier’s big return to Cannes seven years after the filmmaker was banned from the annual event for making controversial statements about Adolf Hitler during the 2011 edition. Judging by the latest trailer, the project — debuting in the shadow of the Danish director’s equally disturbing projects like Melancholia, Antichrist, and both Nymphomaniac films — looks to uphold his reputation as one of the most notorious storytellers working today.

IFC is set to release the project this fall. Until then, watch the first trailer above.

The House That Jack Built
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