The House that Jack Built
This is as solid a piece of film writing that I’ve seen for a while. Solid stuff. And, I imagine it’s on point? That its analysis and sort-of conclusions are spot-on-ish? I haven’t seen the film, I mean. Don’t think I’ve seen any Lars Von Trier, actually. People always tell me Anthichrist can kind of reprogram you, show you stuff you can’t shake for forever, but . . . guess that’s not completely an enticement for me, finally. I kind of like my head being screwed on the way it’s screwed on. It’s certainly not perfect, or even that tolerable, finally, but I’ve figured out how to work around it, can get stuff done, and don’t necessarily want to have it all messed up.
Too, talking this kind of cinema experience: when you’re a horror writer, people are always slipping you the new & extreme stuff. Serbian Film, Martyrs, all those. I never watch them, though. I prefer slashers, right? Sure, slashers are gory and transgressive, but they’re basically all Scooby-Doo episodes, too. Which is great, I think. The slasher is a genre (mode?) you can dip in, dip back out, no harm no foul. It’s a contained system, and—this is important—it’s one that’s built to entertain, not necessarily challenge. Sounds like I’m voting for wimpy non-confrontational art, I know. And, may be, I suppose. Or it could just be self-preservation.
Also? I hardly ever watch possession films. They scare me too much, a lot more than this The House that Jack Built might. And, I mean, of course I’ve read and absolutely love American Psycho, and I’ve got Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer lodged somewhere in my mind and life, and both versions of, say, Maniac are shouldering around for room in there too, and that Korean No Mercy definitely gets a bit intense, in the best way, and I’ll forever believe in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (especially the second one). And, yeah, I wrote The Least of My Scars and Interstate Love Affair, each of which traffic in that same twisted terrain. But? Writing Scars, I lost nearly twenty pounds, because it made me physically sick each time I sat down to go back into that apartment, that mindspace. Too? I’ll probably do it again at some point. It’s nice to see what dark stuff is oozing around your own head, shying away from the light.
Still and all, though, I can’t say for sure whether I cue up The House that Jack Built, finally. Possibly, I guess? It looks funny in places, and I’m all for that. If I do, though, I’ll watch it through my fingers, like I do a lot of horror. Because I’m a wimp. Also, though, it’s because I’m a wimp that I write horror, I suspect: when you’re scared of your own shadow, the horror comes pretty easy, is always right there waiting.
Anyway, mostly just wanted to show off this extremely well-written piece on The House that Jack Built. As an added bonus, there’s a word in here I don’t think I’ve ever seen: “inefficacy.” Seems such a roundabout way to get at something there’s ten other words for, that don’t require a negative prefix and a big slowdown, to unpack. But it kind of works, too. Sometimes that slowdown is just what the prose doctor ordered: