The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built – Note: This is my full walkthrough & film summary of this graphic horror movie. Not for everyone. If you are into horror, have a listen 🙂 I recorded this back in 2018 when I was exploring a “Full Walkthrough” approach to movies on the podcast.

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My rough notes (Only included for bots and meta functionality): 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[edit] 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[edit] 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.

The Accountant

I love watching a film I know hardly anything about that has mediocre scores on Rotten Tomatoes and that surprises the hell out of me to be on my best films of the year list. Watching the Accountant was like that for me.

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The rest of this review may contain spoilers

This is a film of two worlds: 1) a history and upbringing of an autistic boy and 2) The path of adulthood and a career for that boy after becoming a man. As it turns out, high functioning autistic people make ingenious accountants. Ben Affleck is this man and he is so good, many underground crime bosses use him to “uncook” their books. Let me reiterate, he is really good at it.

We are catapulted from stories of his youth where his father mercilessly trains him to fight a exist alone to his life as a criminal accountant who’s cool as a cucumber. If you heard he was doing well and not getting caught year after year, you might think to yourself, “Ok, so what’s the problem. This guy has it made.” Wrong. There are some real issues that would prevent the average person from being happy in his shoes. First, he can’t have relationships. His autism gives him tunnel vision and he is literally unable to walk away from projects. He attempts a relationship with Anna Kendrick but it never really pans out because of his disorder. In more than one way, it gets in the way.

In this film we see what Affleck’s character can do as a result of his father’s horrifying training. He is a machine when it comes to fighting. He is able to see details no one else does and this makes him not only an accounting weapon but also what we might call a para-military soldier and killer.

So, these are just some if the amazingly creative particulars written into this gem of a film. Affleck is at the top of his game. There are many shoot-em-ups from which he generally emerges victorious. I loved every minute of this film. They say people with autism are on a different level than the rest of us. This film shows that shouldn’t be looked down on. Someone with autism, trained in this way, could save the world. Would he be happy though? The jury’s still out.

Psycho 2 5/10

I will respect any movie with the Psycho name attached … up to a point. The movie should be connected to the original in cohesive ways and this one is not.

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For starters, Norman Bates is released from the insane asylum after demonstrating his sanity. That wouldn’t just happen. Second he is released back to all the old triggers including the hotel. No psychiatrist on the case would allow that.

At his job (he looks and acts very wooden in the film) he meets Meg Tilly’s character and they hit it off. This also feels forced and unrealistic. This film could have been so great! I haven’t yet seen III so perhaps they got closer to Hitchcock in their conventions. II looks like a cheap TV movie or lampoon on the original. When someone is murdered it’s serious but not so in this film universe. The sheriff gives a knowing laugh when recalling Norman’s story. There was no verisimilitude, it was not entertaining in the least. Worst of all, none of it was logical. 5/10

Diabolique (1955)

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An abused, neglected wife and her husband’s jaded mistress plot the perfect murder.



The biggest pat on the back for this film goes to the writers. The way the characters are developed turns the screw of intensity until finally the ending is revealed. If you haven’t seen it, let me say it is not like other endings, it is a magnificent one, set apart.

Many writers were involved in starting and completing this film. After the final scenes’ power, you will likely agree with me it shows! The director is Henri-Georges Clouzot. He is known for other intensely dark yet compelling thrillers like this one. The films he has done as listed in his IMDB bio are: “Le Corbeau and “The Wages of Fear.” I admit to not seeing these films, but I want to after seeing “Les Diabolique.” He is compared in the bio to Hitchcock except with films that “do not have as much light relief.”

Le Corbeau got Georges in a lot of trouble. The French government thought he presented France in a dark and bad light so he was banned from making films for several years. Though there are many other stories about this director, I feel that one is the most telling about his honesty and integrity as a filmmaker. Thank goodness I don’t live in a censored state like he did. I don’t think I would be able to stand for it. Inevitably, this made him tough and thoughtful about his craft.

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The brutal scene pictured here is a good followup to the director who crafted this amazing film. By today’s standards, it’s tame but for 1955 it was more brutal & mysterious than Hitchcock and that’s why people still love it to this day.

This film takes place in a French boys’ school where most the characters work. The Headmaster has been cheating on his wife for years and his mistress as well as the wife, work at the school. This is where the story is told and the exquisite tension begins.

You see a far different school than ours in America today. The teachers are smoking in the presence of the students, the kids food fight regularly, although it is smart how they just don’t feed them for the malfeasance. It seems to be ameliorated the next day. Funny what a schoolmaster hunger can be right? The headmaster is a womanizer, a rapist (in theory), and an all around unlikable guy. We start to see right away he needs to be killed, or at least we hope. As the two women drive together, they discuss a plan to get rid of this guy once and for all. For all intents and purposes, it seems like a perfect plan for murder.

I want to make a comment about the practical effects. Obviously back then it was all they had to work with but they are so much fun to watch. I recently watched “Eyes Without a Face,” another classic horror, and the car scenes were so funny to me. It looks so fake and yet they probably thought it was so real for the time. The scenes in these cars are even more archaic and also more funny to me. It really shows how far we’ve come with effects. Now back to the idea of this plot, with no spoilers.

The film is black and white of course and filmed almost entirely at the house which is the school for boys. The swimming pool that is part of their plan is at the school. They do a great job distracting the viewer with activities of the children. We find that the husband/headmaster has a lot to lose if his wife divorces him. He hits her and treats her miserably. As the viewer it’s hard to not imagine killing him, he’s that bad. BUT as we all know in the civilized world, it’s never appropriate to kill someone. We watch these two women make their plans, as he equally humiliates the mistress though not as badly, and their path takes them to another location: a holiday hotel.

The little couple that manage the hotel are side-splittingly funny. They are innocents and it’s funny how people intending to kill can look at innocents with such jealousy. Once the deed is done, there’ll be no going back.

I’ll leave my summary there for you. I haven’t given anything away except the fact that there is a great ending. I would challenge you to be brave and watch this old film. It’s better than so many modern murder mysteries.  If you’ve seen it, do leave some thoughts in the comments. I enjoy discussing this and other murder mysteries in this genre. Thos eare my thoughts, what did you think of this film?

 

21 Grams

No, this film isn’t about drugs as the title hints. It’s a people study. In this heroic film by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, a handful of characters are under the microscope for us to try to analyze. Their lives intersect in odd ways but that really isn’t the amazing thing to watch for. It’s their drives and why they do things that should captivate the viewer. I know it did that for me.

21 Grams (2003)
R | 2h 4min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 16 January 2004 (USA)
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A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (as Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Stars: Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts

Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, & Naomi Watts are the top stars in this dramatic film about what drives people. The writer Guillermo Arriaga has done a fantastic job giving us a dollhouse type view of these normal people engaged in their lives. I first became interested in the director when I saw “Birdman,” another film that puts regular people right up to the screen larger than life. In watching what they do, we can quietly and privately look at ourselves. These films cause us to question our motives.He is an excellent director but I find some of his formulaic conventions unnecessary to make us introspective.

If you like deeply portrayed characters, look no further. I greatly enjoyed this film but personally didn’t need all the “coincidences” to make it powerful for me. I give this film an 8/10.

Secret in Their Eyes

Jess: Life Sentence
Ray Kasten: For you as well.”

When you catch murderers for a living, it must bite that much harder when they murder your child. When you know the wheels of justice grind slowly, it must be hard not to take the law into your own hands.

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Secret in Their Eyes (2015)
Cast
Chiwetel Ejiofor

as Ray Kasten

Nicole Kidman

as Claire Sloane

Julia Roberts

as Jessica Cobb

Directed by
Billy Ray
Written by
Billy Ray, Juan Jose Campanella
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Mystery, Thriller, Crime
Rated PG-13
1h 11min

Secret in their Eyes is a mystery thriller that started advertising far before it was released. The Julia Roberts factor was likely the reason there. Her movies almost always draw in the minions but sometimes they do fail to convince them. I wonder if her being listed at #3 on the IMDB cast page has to do with that. In the days of “Erin Brokovich,” “Pretty Woman,” et. al. the list goes on, she would likely have appeared first. Now, the two above her are a much hotter commodity.

It’s a great thriller! I don’t understand exactly why the critics have been so hard on it. It has a strong backbone of a story that was adapted from a 2009 Argentine film, “The Secret in Their Eyes.” That film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards. As I watched this film I felt empathy, revulsion, anger, and so much more. I felt I was among the characters, not just in the audience. I think it’s a universal theme of revenge.

There’s a twist at the end some may not see coming. The movie is made very well but it was a little predictable for me. Some viewers will enjoy the thriller aspect of this film as it unfolds while others will find the locations limiting and the events unbelievable. Takes on face value, this is an excellent thriller. I definitely enjoy watching it to the credits even though there were times I could clearly see what was going to happen next. After all, Jess Cobb’s daughter is brutally murdered and she becomes a basket case. I knew for sure some sort of retribution would happen, and it does. The manner and details of that retribution are what they hope you’ll go to see after the trailer. It’s a very cool thing, I recommend it!

Luke Cage

Luke Cage is the latest output from Marvel. I just started watching the early epsiodes on Netflix. The show has it all: a tough, relatable hero, villains, a few attractive love interests, and a superpower that will be hard to beat throughout the show. It may be considered different in that Cage is black but I find the immersion in his small Harlem community entertaining and enlightening. How many seasons will it power out? Time will tell.

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Cage is a hangdog dishwasher trying to make ends meet with two jobs. He lives alone in a small apartment and gets chased down by the little old landlady. I think they are trying to show us a good-hearted guy, humble, and trying not to use his superpowers. He hangs out at a barbershop and gets to know “Pops,” the owner quite well. In fact, he is like a father figure to Cage. There is another surrogate son in the picture, he’s the mafia leader running an organized crime ring in the city. I have a feeling there will be a lot of friction between these two. It could perhaps resemble a Lex Luthor/Clark Kent rivalry.

Cage’s superpower appears to simply be indestructibility. He gets stabbed and knives break, shot and bullets fly off. It doesn’t appear he has a weakness yet, I am only on e3. I find it a highly entertaining show. I recommend it for anyone who likes Marvel superheroes or thriller tv.