Review: Velvet Buzzsaw is an unusual film. It’s something you’d expect if Woody Allen and James Wan came together. It begins as a roast of the contemporary art world, with conniving dealers, self-absorbed artists and especially critics, who the director believes as narcissistic and agenda driven. Dan Gilroy successfully captures the politics of a world where we’re led to believe that modern art is nothing but perception and hype. The movie embraces all genre tropes associated with cheesy urban comedy, that is until it decides to subvert them entirely. The second half is where things go awry with a deceased painter’s work suddenly coming to life and haunting everyone who ever profited from the artist’s work. What I liked was that the horror aspect of the film was not over the top, but instead very subtle.
Toni Collette, Zawe Ashton and Rene Russo sharing screen space is a treat to watch any day. But as he often is, Jake Gyllenhaal is the star of the show as a critic who is so passionate about his work that he never stops evaluating everything around him, even things like the features of the casket at a funeral. Natalia Dyer was remarkable in Stranger Things, but here she is reduced to a glorified scream queen. The character arc of John Malkovich was unnecessary in an otherwise well-crafted film.
Now, I love IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, and they were once my go-to for my movie recommendations, but their ratings don’t do this movie justice.
My rating is a 4/5.
Who should watch this: If you like horror or slow burn thrillers, then this is a must watch for you. Also check out Hereditary, Blue Velvet, The Haunting Of Hill House, Mulholland Drive and Twin Peaks.