The House That Jack Built sparks walkouts at Cannes

Daily Mail

Dozens walked out of the Cannes premiere of Lars von Trier’s new movie The House That Jack Built, declaring it horrifically violent.

The Danish director called it his most violent film to date and at least 100 viewers couldn’t handle it and left the screening on Monday night.

Matt Dillon stars as Jack, a serial killer with more than 60 deaths to his name who relishes bloodshed and plots increasingly horrifying ways to inflict death.  

The plot takes place over a 12-year period and shows the killings that develop his character as a murderer.

As such, the film included many extremely violent scenes where victims including children were graphically murdered on screen.

Several film critics tweeted their disgust with the movie as they joined the many others who left the screening before it was over.

‘Walked out on LarsvonTrier. Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable,’ Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman wrote.

Someone else's cup: @showbiz411 tweeted, 'Walked out on LarsvonTrier . Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable'

Someone else’s cup: @showbiz411 tweeted, ‘Walked out on LarsvonTrier . Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable’

Al Jazeera reporter Charlie Angela said she left midway through ‘because seeing children being shot and killed is not art or entertainment’.

New York magazine’s Kyle Buchanan said many were horrified, especially given the setting, with one saying: ‘He mutilates (actress) Riley Keough, he mutilates children… and we are all there in formal dress expected to watch it?’

The Oscar Predictor wrote: ‘Just left Lars Von Trier’s The House that Jack Built. Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic.’

Variety’s Ramin Setoodah managed to stay to the end despite ducking out to speak to a few viewers as they were leaving, but was scathing of it in a series of tweets.

He called it ‘the worst movie of the year’ and worse than the infamous 2003 Vincent Gallo film The Brown Bunny, considered one of the worst of all time.

Setoodah then called it ‘one of the most unpleasant movie-going experiences of my life’ and noted how fast the theatre cleared out after it was over. 

In another scene, a woman played by Riley Keogh had her breast sliced off, and a flashback scene showed a child cutting off a duckling’s leg with a pair of pliers.

Archive footage from Nazi concentration camps was also included.

The film did, however, get a six-minute standing ovation from those who remained in the theatre, indicating that it was not universally hated.

However, the premiere is supposed to be a cordial affair where actors and filmmakers are given adulation no matter how bad the film is.

‘They’ll clap for anything,’ Setoodah noted the person next to him said at the time.

Only a few reviews have yet been published and at best said it was von Trier’s ‘least forceful’ work, while others panned it with two stars out of five.

Controversial director von Trier was in the audience for the premiere in his first appearance since 2011, when a press conference got him banned.

In the disastrous remarks after his film Melancholia he joked that the he was a Nazi who understood Hitler and sympathised ‘with him a little bit’.

The 62-year-old, who is also fighting sexual harassment claims, did not risk another press conference after the screening this year.

The’s film’s titular star Matt Dillion showed up to promote the film alongside von Trier, but Keogh and Uma Thurman, the first to be killed, were absent.

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