With 2016 drawing to a close, and anticipation for the crop of films coming next year and the year after that, few sound more intriguing than Lars von Trier’s new project starring Matt Dillon and titled The House that Jack Built. Production will probably start sometime next year, and many of the roles in the film have yet to be cast, but for now we can enjoy a new teaser poster as we wait.

The poster, on which the title is shaped like a house, doesn’t give too much away. It is only a teaser poster, after all. The story centers around a serial killer, played by Dillon, in Washington in the 1970s — an era in which serial killing seems to have been extremely popular. The film follows the titular Jack through a series of murders as he plans his “ultimate artwork,” which means he and Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal Lecter would probably be great friends. Or frenemies. Hannibal has no friends.

Zentropa Entertainments
Zentropa Entertainments

USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to 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. Along the way we experience Jack's descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge - a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations. The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasional humorous tale.

The House that Jack Built also stars Bruno Ganz as Verge and doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s expected sometime in 2018.

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