Lars von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’ Causes Walkouts and Outrage at Cannes

Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night.

“It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the Palais.

The House That Jack Built” follows a serial killer (Matt Dillon) as he mutilates and strangles his victims, who are primarily women. The movie is extremely graphic. The scene that initially led to dozens of walkouts involved Dillon’s character shooting a hunting rifle at two small children, as he blows their heads off.

After that, a steady stream of patrons fled the theater, many of them looking furious or muttering under their breath.

By the time the end credits had stopped rolling, the balcony of the theater was half empty. Nevertheless, the movie still received a prolonged standing ovation for von Trier, who is a regarded as a cinematic visionary in France.

Two of the film’s co-stars, Riley Keough and Uma Thurman, didn’t attend this year’s festival, citing scheduling conflicts.

Normally, the temperature of a Cannes movie is determined at a morning press screening, where in the past a bad film has been met with boos. But this year, Cannes did away with that tradition, mandating that critics wait until the next day to see late-night movies. The final verdict on “The House That Jack Built” won’t be delivered until those reviews are published.

More Film

  • Steph Curry Variety Cover Story

    Stephen Curry Takes a Shot at a New Game: Producing for Hollywood

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

  • BFI Sets Out Widespread Plans to

    British Film Institute Sets Out Proposals to Boost U.K. Indie Film Sector

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

  • Robin Hood

    Hungary Raises Production Incentive from 25% to 30% (EXCLUSIVE)

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

  • King Cohen review

    Film Review: 'King Cohen'

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

  • 'The Equalizer 2' Review

    Film Review: Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer 2'

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

  • BiFan: ‘Worm’ and ‘Soul Searching’ Claim

    BiFan: ‘Worm’ and ‘Soul Searching’ Claim Bucheon’s NAFF Awards

    Lar von Trier is no stranger to controversy. But even by his standards, his latest movie, “The House That Jack Built,” managed to alienate enough people to prompt more than 100 walkouts and simultaneous groans at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday night. “It’s disgusting,” muttered one woman, as she evacuated the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content