Lars Von Trier’s new movie is so violent it causes mass walk-out at Cannes Film Festival 3 years ago

Lars Von Trier’s new movie is so violent it causes mass walk-out at Cannes Film Festival

“Irredeemably unpleasant”

Movies that are so violent that they cause a physical reaction in the audience go down into legend. A screening of the brilliant French cannibal movie Raw at the 2016 Toronto ended in paramedics being called to the cinema. Viewers reportedly fainted at a 2102 showing of found footage horror V/H/S, and back in the 1970s there were stories of vomiting, nausea and even heart attacks when The Exorcist was first released.


Now there is a new film to add to that list: The House The Jack Built.

It comes from director Lars Von Trier, who is no newcomer to controversy. His 2009 horror film Antichrist featured extreme violent sexual behaviour and sadomasochism, and 2013’s two-part Nymphomaniac was a rare mainstream film featuring unstimulated sex.

While promoting Meloncholia, Von Trier was thrown out of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival after comparting himself to a Nazi at a press conference. He returned to the festival for the first time since then this year, with his new film The House That Jack Built, starring Uma Thurman and Matt Dillon. It is supposedly a comedy, about a serial killer who mutilates and strangles his victims - Dillon plays the titular killer Jack, and Thurman is one of his victims. It did not go down well.

More than 100 people walked out of the film during the premiere at Cannes, presumably because of the violence.


Critics haven’t been kind to the two and an half hour ultraviolent epic, either. The Playlist called it “irredeemably unpleasant” and that Von Trier is just “trolling us”, and gave the film an ‘F’.

Von Trier defended the film, saying: “I made quite a lot of films about women, so now I made one about a really evil bastard. And the funny thing is that you actually are with him the whole way.”