Movie Review: Velvet Buzzsaw [Some Spoilers]

Think Nightcrawler and Mulloholland Drive and you probably have a grasp as to what to expect before stepping into Velvet Buzzsaw. Jake Gyllenhaal’s latest movie hit Netflix and select theaters on Friday February 1, 2019 and I can successfully say that I feel compelled to get rid of every single piece of artwork in my apartment. Is that a spoiler? From the trailer, it is hinted that there is truly something wrong with the artwork in the film. Prepare yourself for a much, much darker version of Night at the Museum.

We step into an over the top world of pretentious art brokers and galleries, where any stereotype you’ve ever been exposed to about this world is shot through the roof. Seriously, there’s some point a guy looks at a bunch of trash bags and expresses that this piece is “extraordinary”. Every actor is clearly (I would think) poking fun at the eccentric nature of the realm they’re in, which makes you feel that at first, you are looking at the tone of the film/the plot. But, let me tell you that you are wrong, because everything starts taking a dark, eerie turn to downright terrifying.

Gyllenhaal plays Morf, an art critic whose reviews essentially make or break an artist’s career. And while at first he is presented as this one-dimensional character, he is probably the only one to truly see what is going on, and you begin to really put yourself in his shoes, as everyone surrounding him is confused with greed. To the point, they’re willing to forego any kind of warning signs that something is amiss. Those around him only want the fame and profit that is coming from displaying art of a dead man, who originally ordered all of his pieces to be destroyed upon his death.

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Rene Russo, Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton, Tom Sturridge, Natalie Dyer, and Daveed Diggs did wonderful jobs in creating this art community that could have been Zoolander if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a horror movie. It is. A horror movie, thriller, terrifying attack on the senses. You can feel yourself consumed by paranoia and if you start this movie thinking it’s going to be one thing, keep watching so you can see how it transforms into an eerie, haunting film.

My only critique is that the name of the movie really didn’t have to do with anything in the film and the small attempt to throw in any meaning felt slapped on and unnecessary. In reality, they could have called it anything. Either way, please turn on Netflix and enjoy!

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