Lars von Trier’s latest film takes inspiration from the titular nursery rhyme. The phrase ‘The House that Jack Built’ can have a few different meanings – it is often used as shorthand for a shoddy project or build, and it can also refer to a never-ending endeavour with constant add-ons, often in repeating patterns. Von Trier’s film combines both: it is a shoddy project resulting in two and a half hours of a seemingly never-ending, repetitive tale that fails to excite or even shock.
This 1997 space horror film’s premise is that an spaceship (called “Event Horizon”) with a revolutionary new “gravity drive” disappears on its first mission, only to mysteriously return seven years later near Neptune. A rescue/recovery mission is launched, and the film follows the fortunes of the crew of this ship as they explore the vast and seemingly empty ship.