Most Anticipated Horror Films of 2018: “The House that Jack Built” (dir. Lars von Trier)

With one week gone so far — and at least two bona fide horror movies released in theaters — in 2018, it’s high (past?) time to look at what the genre has in store for the rest of the year. Cross-referencing the results of a search on Letterboxd with IMDb, I came up with 30 titles that I then researched in more depth to try to cull the list further. Rather than publishing one long post about all of the films, I’m going to do a number of short ones over the course of the year. Here’s the first:

Theatrical Poster for THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (2018)

The House That Jack Built  (dir. Lars von Trier)

This horror drama by written and directed by von Trier (Antichrist, 2009; Melancholia, 2011; Nymphomanic, Volumes 1 and 2, 2013) stars Matt Dillon (Crash, 2004) as the titular 1970s American serial killer, Jack. Co-stars include Riley Keough (It Comes at Night, 2017) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Volumes 1 and 2, 2003/4).

This film references von Trier’s first feature, The Element of Crime (1984), the plot of which also involves a serial killer. Its story is told from the point of view of Jack, who views his murders as works of art. As Jack develops his “art,” he becomes increasingly careless, even though the police are closing in on him.

Originally planned as a miniseries, the project became a feature film that is currently listed as in post-production on IMDb. Von Trier has stated that it will be released this year, most likely in time for Cannes (which is in May). You can follow the film on Facebook for further announcements.

I’m interested in it because von Trier says it will be his “most brutal film ever,” which is saying something. I’m also intrigued by Jack’s method of self-revelation, which occurs in a conversation with the mysterious character of Verge (Bruno Ganz). This dialogue has been described as a “grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations” (IMDb).

There’s no trailer yet, but here’s a brief video of a recent press conference about the film:

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