The Clunky Turn of the Velvet Buzzsaw

Velvet Buzzsaw, the supernatural new-world art horror movie, captured the attention of so much of the horror community, with a buzzing cast like Jake Gylenhaal, Toni Collette, Daveed Diggs, Natalia Dyer and John Malkovich, the film emanated with promise. I didn’t watch the film until after the flood of negative reviews but even so, I was disappointed.

The film is convoluted with multiple story lines and arcs, at times it was extraordinarily superficial. However, that is to be expected as it is a satire of the pretentiousness of art culture. The movie is a satire of the art world, a young woman finds a man dead. In his apartment he has thousands of art pieces that capture the viewer, in some cases fatally. The greediness of the ensemble pushes artist’s work into studios and sales. The greed is the motivation of the vengeful spirit. The lust for money overshadowed their appreciation of art and that was their demise. I will say this movie had it’s high points.

The visuals are riveting and beautiful. The movie is artistic and ambitious. There are times where some of the scenes set design nearly make up for the movie. I mean look at these!

This is my favorite visual in the film

Another major highlight of the film is Jake Gylenhaal’s performance. Jesus Christ, this is one of his deepest roles. Jake plays a bisexual art critic who is very eccentric, he speaks a flowery language and is very self righteous . His character dives deep into madness as he is one of the only people who recognize the gravity of the situation. The character’s name is Morf Vanderwalt and he is crippled with hallucinations and fear. The character is arguably the best part of the film.

Outside of that, nothing about the film is impressive. Many of the kills are interesting but too abstract. It is confusing how the supernatural entity is transcending spacial boundaries. The plot is very slow and the movie probably could’ve been 20 minutes shorter. In my opinion, like Birdbox in 2018, Velvet Buzzsaw is this year’s horror disappointment. If this was Macabre Media Podcast, I would give it a 2/5.

The ending, with John Malkovich, is the deepest part of the film. He waltz’ on the beach, using a long stick to draw circles in the sand. Waves come crashing over it and all of the art is washed away.

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