The House That Jack Built (2018) is a crime horror movie directed by Lars von Trier. The movie is familiar to many, for its controversial news and its eccentric climax. Here is the detailed plot explanation of the movie which you didn’t notice while watching the film.
Lars von Trier returns to the director’s chair to present the world with his most daring and provocative work to date, The House That Jack Built. This time the topic of discussion is violence and art, and violence as art.
In a mesmerising career best, Matt Dillon plays failed architect turned serial killer Jack who leads us through his thought processes behind his increasingly more depraved acts of murder which he names “incidents”. As he retells his crimes to Verge (Bruno Ganz) as if they were all individual works of art in themselves, the audience is invited to question the nature of artistry, where its limits lie and when is far too far? And with pitch black humour and undeniable cinematic vision, von Trier delights in taking us there.
As Jack says, “The greatest cathedrals have sublime artwork hidden in the darkest of corners for only God to see.”
The House That Jack Build Movie Ending Explained
* * * Spoiler Alert – If you haven’t seen the movie yet, turn back now! * * *
The movie starts with an architect Jack of the 80s who wanted to build a perfect building but failed. His career was destroyed and become a serial killer.
At the beginning of the movie Verge Takes Jack to the nine circles of Hell and Jack confesses his five murder incidents. The rest of the movie is about these five incidents from Jack’s flashback.
1. Kill a woman by a tire jack
In the first murder event, Jack encounters a woman in the middle of a forest road. Her car’s tire is punctured and the jack is broken too.
She wants help from Jack. Initially, Jack denies it but later agrees to her insistence. They start moving towards a repair shop where the lady can fix her tire jack.
In the middle of the trip, the lady says he looks like a serial killer and this is a kind of insult. Jack gets hurt but does not respond.
After fixing the tool when they back to the lady’s car, she again tries to insult Jack. This time Jack takes the tire jack and hit her forehead.
The lady dies in an instant.
Jack takes the corpse to his home and collects it in his freezer. Jack throws the woman’s car into a pond.
2. Kill a widow inside her house
In the second incident, Jack convinces a woman that he is an insurance agent. She let him inside her house when Jack tells her that she is going to get some insurance money for his recently dead husband.
Suddenly Jack becomes violent and kills the woman. Then he cleans every piece of murder evidence.
After a while police come to the place and ask Jack about the woman. At first, the police suspect Jack, but after searching the house, his suspicions vanished.
Jack puts the dead body in shrubs and drives away dragging it. It makes a clear long tail by blood on the road. The scene is so brutal to watch frequently.
Jack becomes scared but then the mighty rain comes and washed everything.
Read similar twisted horror movie Cam (2018).
3. Two sons and her mother
Jack has an affair with a woman who has two boys. One day Jack invited them for a hunting trip in a forest.
There Jack kills the boys with a rifle in front of their mother. Then he also killed her.
As usual, Jack preserved those bodies in his freezer.
4. Another girlfriend
Jack is in a relationship with a girl named Jacqueline. One night they are drinking in her house and Jack gets drunk.
In the middle of this, Jack reveals that he is a serial killer and already killed 60 people. She believes in him and becomes frightened. She comes down the street and informs the patrolling police.
But Jack can convince the police that an argument was running between them and that’s why she wants to falsify to him.
This makes sense to the police and they leave.
They are back in the apartment and Jack cuts off her breasts with a knife and murders her.
5. One bullet, six head
In the fifth incident, Jack kidnapped six random people. He tied them as if their head is in a straight line.
This time Jack wants to kill six people with one bullet in their headshot.
He realizes the bullet is too small to pass all these heads at once. So he goes to the shop for a large bullet. But doubts arise in the firearm shopkeeper’s mind. He wants to show Jacks’ ID card. Then Jack runs from the store and goes to one of his friend’s cottages.
His friend SP also doubts Jack and calls him a police officer. Jack kills SP by stabbing him in his throat. Middle of this a police officer enters the scene and Jack also kills him.
Then he takes the police car and back to his freezer with a large bullet.
This time when he is going to shoot, he notices that the space is too short for focusing on the target. So he decides to move them into the basement freezer.
Jack goes to the freezer to visit at first and here he meets the Verge for the first time.
The Verge and Jack’s House
Verge reveals to Jack that he is here for taking him to the nine circles of hell. Before that, he tells Jack to build a house by the corpse that he wanted for his whole life. And yes, he does.
There is a hole in the floor of the house and Jack & Verge go towards Hell from the hole.
When they reach the bottom of the hole there is a broken bridge in there and a river of lava flowing under it. Jack asked what is on the other side of the bridge. Verge answers that is a haven but he can’t go there because of his sins.
Jack becomes sad and confesses his five incidents of murders which we already discussed above.
Then Jack tries to climb the wall to reach the haven but he falls into the lava. That’s means finally Jack thrown into his final destination Hell.
And the movie ends here.
Who is Mr. Sophistication?
The lead character of the movie, Jack takes a pseudonym for revealing his serial killing to the public. And that name is Mr. Sophistication. In the press & media, the missing people and serial killers are known as Mr. Sophistication, hiding his real identity.
What is the meaning of Virgil in the movie The House That Jack Built (2018)?
From Verge’s quote, we know that he is concerned about Jack’s every life activity. And at last, he took Jack to the ninth circle of Hell. He makes Jack remind and realize what had he had done wrong in his life. After that, he throws him into Hell for punishment.
What symbolize the broken bridge in the film?
The other side of the bridge is Haven and behind it is Hell. But for Jack, the bridge is broken. Jack reminds his sins and confesses them while standing in front of the bridge.
In the movie, this is symbolizing the path of Karma in human life. If anyone works well in life then the bridge will help him to go to Haven. On the contrary, the bridge will be broken and open a path to Hell if anyone harms others.
Is The House That Jack Built based on a real serial killer?
In the movie, the crimes are similar to Dante’s grand design. The layer goes deeper the similarity also matched accurately.
Jack is a psychopath killer with OCD. His first murder was so perfect and unable to trace. But as the story goes on, he becomes careless and at last, he openly shoots his friend & a police officer. All of these are going for Inferno’s character.
How disturbing is The House That Jack Built?
The House That Jack Built is one of the most controversial movies of the last decade.
The brutality, violence, mental disorder(s), anxiety & depression, lust, greed, and heresy are so excessive in the movie.
The director of the movie Von Trier was banned from the Cannes festival in 2011. Because he sympathized with Hitler and likened himself to be a Nazi.
Is The House That Jack Built (2018) worth watching?
This is a 2hr 32min runtime movie with so much brutality and mentally unsatisfying scenes. Therefore the movie will be on slow pace mind burner for common users. Considering all aspects this is a ‘one time watch’ horror movie.
Original Title The House That Jack Built
Other Titles La maison que Jack a construite (Canada), La casa de Jack (Mexico)
Genre Horror/ Gore/ Crime
Runtime 2hr 32min
Original Language English
Directed by Lars von Trier
Written by Lars von Trier, Jenle Hallund
Tagline If you feel like screaming… you definitely should.
Release date November 28, 2018 (USA)
Awards 11 Wins, 22 Nominations
Cast of Characters
|Actor/Actress Name||Characters Name|
|Uma Thurman||First victim|
|Siobhan Fallon Hogan||Claire Miller|
The movie gets polarized reviews from viewers and critics but above all of these, the core concept is unique.