The serial killer who inspired Matt Dillon’s Jack

Lars von Trier’s horror film from 2018 The House That Jack Built stars Matt Dillon, who used a notorious serial killer to bring Jack to life.

IN The house Jack built, Jack’s crimes are representative of each layer of Dante’s great design. The further he goes into murderous details, the further into the inferno the characters go. Dante is without a doubt the architect behind the modern concept of hell and its punishments, while Jack in contrast proves to be an architect of his own murderous design. In order, the circles of hell include limbo, lust, gluttony, greed (greed), anger, heresy, violence, deceit, and betrayal. Satan and Judas live in the ninth circle as they are known for treacherous acts as Jack joins the infamous traitors at the end of the film.


Related: American horror story: Every real serial killer who appeared in “Devil’s Night”

In his research for his role as Jack, Dillon used none other than the prolific serial killer Ted Bundy as inspiration for the characterization of the film’s killer. Dillion stated during the filming that Bundy was the perfect influence for the character, with Dillon’s performance as well as the crimes included in The house Jack built perfectly crystallizes the actor’s security. While Bundy committed his crimes during the 1970s, he was considered the human incarnation of evil, without empathy and remorse. This equation alone makes Ted Bundy and Jack two of a kind, the epitome of evil, but there is so much more to their similarities.

How Ted Bundy inspired Matt Dillon’s Jack

the movie that jack built the house

Ted Bundy was known for his charm and good looks, which made him grow a large number of young women who fought for his innocence despite the certainty of his guilt. Inspired by the infamous killer, Dillon used the sociopath diagnosis Bundy to create a character who outwardly presented the archetypes of psychopathology. Jack is also in various relationships with women who are completely unaware of his crimes, just as Bundy was before the start of his murder spree in the Pacific Northwest. Both of these killers, real or fictional, have been shown to use their charisma to manipulate women into relationships or situations where they are alone – which eerily highlights Bundy’s primary modus operandi.

Historically, when the sociopathic killer Bundy was alone with his victims, he would continue to kill them in the most sinister ways. Similarly, Jack describes several incidents in the film in which he gets women alone to chase them to sports or brutally kill them in any way he wants. While Bundy’s official toll is thirty, it is presumed by law enforcement that he killed far more people. Conversely, according to The house Jack built, Jack has killed over sixty people, which can be attributed to the presumed number of Bundy’s true body numbers by some law enforcement agencies.

When Lars von Trier wrote his script, it is difficult to deduce whether he used Bundy as inspiration for the character, or whether it was an artistic license on the part of Matt Dillon. Either way, Dillon undoubtedly saw the similarities between his character and Bundy and subsequently explored every detail, facial expression and subtle manners of the infamous serial killer to bring Jack to life. The house Jack built wisely examines the rise of a serial killer and gives a unique look into Jack’s mind; differs from similar offerings by creating a fictional character that is still imbued with eerie reality. Dillion’s achievement and dedication to his craft by cleverly connecting the dots between Jack and Ted Bundy only contributes to the horrors of von Trier’s compelling film.

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