News and Commentary

Horrified Moviegoers In Cannes Walk Out Of ‘Vomitive,’ ‘Torturous’ Serial Killer Film ‘The House That Jack Built’

You don’t hear the word “vomitive” too often from a critic reviewing a new movie.

But then, this is a Lars Von Trier movie, and anything goes with this “artist,” who’s put out such wonderful films as “Antichrist” and “Nymphomaniac.”

His new movie “The House That Jack Built,” starring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, drew mass walkouts on Monday night when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Critics hated it — one went so far as to say the director had “gone too far this time.”

“Just left Lars Von Trier’s The House that Jack Built. Gross. Pretentious. Vomitive. Torturous. Pathetic,” another critic said.

Yet another attendee said: “Vile movie. Should not have been made. Actors culpable.”

The Danish director said the new movie is his most violent film to date — and he’s proud of that. Movie review site Rotten Tomatoes summed up the plot this way: “Lars von Trier’s upcoming drama follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.”


In the course of the “art,” women and children are brutally — and graphically — murdered.

That led to a mass walkout in Cannes.

The theater really emptied out.

And Setoodah, a writer for Variety, summed up the night this way: