Lars von Trier has just premiered his new film “The House That Jack Built” this past Monday at the Cannes Film Festival and it seems that the feature has already racked up quite an intense audience response. Lars von Trier took on the project as his first feature since writing and directing his 2013 film “Nymphomaniac.” Needless to say, the film industry was somewhat put on edge by the promise of a new violent feature. It now seems audience members were right to be nervous after 100 people walked out of the film’s Cannes premiere screening, according to The Guardian

The director promised the film would be 'brutal'

During a break in the film’s production last year, the director – along with cast members Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman – attended a press conference with regarding the details of the project.

Despite the use of his usual sarcasm and satire tones, the director made it clear that he was planning for the film to be his most "brutal" yet. He went on to explain how a number of actors refused to work with him on the basis of the script itself, which is saying quite a lot given his past projects which include the likes of 2009's “Antichrist” and 1996's “Breaking The Waves.”

The film itself focuses on the story of the character “Jack” – who is portrayed by Matt Dillion – and his development as a serial killer. The feature is set during the 1970s and follows the killer through the process of conducting five murders that shape his “coming of age” experience. After the director stated that the film would be his "most violent yet," it seemed he made good on his promise as the first trailer of the film did little to calm the nerves of audience members.

The trailer, which alludes to the life of the killer and how he sees the world, is full of blood and gore – which only rattled the anxiety around the film’s upcoming release.

Numerous critics have described the film as 'vile'

Despite the warnings from the director that have been reinforced and reinstated during the film’s long-term production, it seems that Cannes audience members still weren’t prepared for what they saw on the big screen.

The film was screened in the 2,400-seat Grand Théâtre this Monday evening and, according to, over 100 guests exited in protest, though many more believe half the viewers departed early.

Taking to social media, numerous members of the press have already deemed the film to showcase continuously “vile” footage and have stated that the movie “should not have been made.” In a report detailing the premiere by, a member of Variety’s press team who attended the screening also described watching the film as “one of the most unpleasant movie-going experiences of his life”.

Likewise, other critics went onto note that the film – which graphically portrays the mutilation of women and children - felt “like a suicide note,” along with being deemed by The Guardian as “pretentious” and “pathetic.” Andrea Mandell, who works as a journalist for West Coast entertainment, even went on to state that the feature was a portrayal of “sadistic murder” but wasn’t surprised with the result given the track record of the director himself.

Von Trier racked up quite a reputation in the past, after releasing an offensive statement in a 2011 press release, a comment that then got him banned from the Cannes Film Festival. However, he was once again welcomed as “The House That Jack Built” was screened outside of the competition this year.

Despite a large number of viewers departing the screening early due to being unable to stomach the narrative of the film, the director still received a 10-minute standing ovation for the movie.

The film will debut in the US later this fall, though we can only expect that there’s going to be even more controversial debate around the feature as more audience members get a glimpse into the disturbing project.