The last time Jake Gyllenhaal teamed up with director Dan Gilroy, they made 2014’s Nightcrawler, which offered up a creepy tale about sleazy journalism and the exploitative nature of media driven by money. For their next pairing, Jake Gyllenhaal and Dan Gilroy are taking on the art world in Velvet Buzzsaw. Take a look at the film’s trailer below to see Jake Gyllenhaal going crazy for what proves to be some truly killer artwork.
You have to love when a trailer zigs when you think it’s going to zag. What could have been a satirical look at the art world with a group of greedy characters concocting an elaborate lie to make money quickly turns into a story about killer paintings. The trailer for Velvet Buzzsaw goes from Exit Through the Gift Shop to a horror movie in a hurry.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s character seems to relish criticizing people’s art, and in so doing denying their art the perceived value that his praise would bring. He is surrounded by people who value not the meaning of art or its purpose, but the status it confers upon them and how it can enrich them monetarily. They then find out that some art has real power and a trail of blood will leave no ambiguity about what this artist’s intention was.
What’s brilliant about this trailer is that Velvet Buzzsaw seems to offer plenty of satire and humor to go along with the horror. The horror genre is great for satire and this trailer delivers some hilarious horrific moments, like when Jake Gyllenhaal’s art critic who, as if to lean into the absurdity and pretension of the art world, is named Morf Vandewalt, shouts “Something truly goddamn strange is going on!”
The end is also hilarious and a scathing critique of the superficiality at play as someone’s death is perceived as an art exhibit, and is photographed and uploaded to the point that it is trending. The horror on display is also wild and weird, and it looks like Velvet Buzzsaw will have no shortage of jump moments.
This film looks like a rioutous ride and the actors in this trailer all seem to be having a ton of fun with their absurd characters. Rene Russo looks deliciously diabolical, as her character seems to orchestrate the fraud surrounding the paintings. Jake Gyllenhaal also looks hilarious as the smug art critic who completely loses it over these killer paintings. And Toni Collette, coming off her brilliant turn in last year’s Hereditary, is always a welcome presence.
What’s especially appealing about this trailer is how unique it looks, both in story and tone. We’ve seen horror set in the worlds of dance (Black Swan) and fashion (The Neon Demon), but the art world is less traveled ground, and unlike many of the films in the horror renaissance, Velvet Buzzsaw appears to have a more playful tone with the satire and the scares going hand in hand. And judging by Dan Gilroy’s work in Nightcrawler, this film will also have plenty to say.
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