The House That Jack Built – Note: This is my full walkthrough & film summary of this graphic horror movie. Not for everyone.
My rough notes: The director and buildup 2 levels: the incidents of a serial killer / the walk to hell, escorted by the verge It’s weird because we are in jack’s head but not supposed to relate with him, and yet we may. Ocd etc are relatable things Mr. Verge (Demon) and Jack 1st incident – Uma Thurman’s character is a bit demanding/annoying. She insults him by saying he looks like a serial killer. She gives him tips in jest on how to transport and bury bodies. She’s demanding about having him drive her back. She pushes and pushes, apparently as a joke, about how he is a serial killer. He is being very cruel with her, sarcastic. She STILL gets in a car with him. Then she says she takes it all back, saying he’s way too much of a wimp to be a serial killer. He kills her. As an engineer, Jack sees the act of killing as an engineered art. We see the pencils straight as a sign of his OCD. The walk-in freezer. He bought a retired restaurant freezer. Pizzas included. Put her body in there with the others. 2nd Incident – Door to door killing. Trying to get in. The wolf. The Kirby salesman. She agrees to let him in after much consternation. Once in, he says ridiculous things, almost playing with the situation, proving his ability to kill. Gets her to put a pillow under her head. Pretends to cry apologizing, gives her tea w poison. She still doesn’t die. Gets knife out, counts up the ribs, pierces her heart. Takes a photo of her with a little antique camera. Drags the body out – so much work to this art. Cleans up with bleach it looks like. He is haunted by the idea he left blood at the scene so he goes back to clean again. The OCD coming out. Even with an alarm on full blast, he recalls one place there might be blood and goes back yet again! Sees a police car, pulls the dead body out of the van. Cops come up to his van. Gives the cop another smooth story. This guy is good. Starts demanding the room be inspected. He is so sure of himself. Ties the body to the van. The drive causes her face to be ground down. Grisly sight. “I went to great lengths to fake normal empathy in order to confound the masses. The scythes are beautiful, peaceful. Cutting off the duckling’s foot is grisly, sad, repulsive. The strangling scenes are awful but in truth, probably as bad as this film gets for gore. This film raises the question: what is hell to jack? Preferred the dark negative light “demonic.” Jack had no family. 3rd incident The family shooting. 4th incident “I had a romance” He says he had stronger feelings for Riley Keough’s character than a psychopath is supposed to have. Jack meets Jacqueline (Riley Keough), a woman that he calls “Simple,” as he believes her to be stupid. Jack confesses he has killed sixty people at this point and is the serial killer “Mr. Sophistication,” but Jacqueline does not believe him and thinks he’s lying. She tries to get away and tell a cop, but he dismisses her as a drunk. Eventually, Jacqueline fails to escape and Jack cuts off her breasts with a knife and murders her. He pins one of the breasts to the Cop’s car and fashions the other one into a wallet. 5th Incident Jack has detained six people and tied them to a makeshift post, lining their heads up in a row with the intention of killing them all with one bullet, but he realizes that the bullet he bought from Al (Jeremy Davies) is not a full metal jacket bullet. Al refuses to sell the bullets and instead Jack has to go to the trailer of a man known as S.P. (David Bailie). Knowing that the cops are looking for Jack, S.P. points a gun at Jack and thinks that he has caught him. Jack convinces him to drop his gun and kills him with a knife through his throat and then grabs the one bullet he needs. He then puts on S.P.’s red bathrobe and waits for the police to arrive as his van is now stuck in a ditch and he requires transportation. He kills the cop and steals his car, which he leaves outside his freezer space with the siren blazing. He tries to line up the shot but realizes it’s too blurry. He finally succeeds in prying open a door at the back of the freezer that’s always been stuck shut. He continues to try to line up the shot and sees Verge for the first time. Verge suggests that Jack has unfinished business and has never really built the house that he was intending to build. Using the bodies as material, Jack constructs a house out of them and when he enters the make-shift house, he sees a hole that leads down. At this point, the cops successfully torch through the door, and Jack decides to go through the hole, following Verge. Epilogue: Katabasis In a clear allusion to Dante’s Inferno, Verge is actually the poet Virgil and is guiding Jack through Hell. At the very bottom of Hell there is a bridge and a vast dark space below. The door on the other side of the bridge leads out of Hell and presumably to Heaven as Verge tells Jack. The bridge is completely broken, but Jack notices that one could climb around the cliff and over to the other side, although Verge tells him that he recommends against it and that this is not where he is to deliver him. Jack ignores him and decides to try to climb over anyway. Jack fails and falls off the cliff down into the abyss with the flowing fire below.