Velvet Buzzsaw on Netflix

Jake Gyllenhaal Stars

BY: Zak Wojnar

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of those actors who refuses to be pigeonholed into one style or genre. He can play an introverted geek just as well as a charismatic leading man, and effortlessly balances studio blockbusters with more off-kilter projects. He earned significant acclaim for his performance in Dan Gilroy‘s directorial debut, Nightcrawler. Now, the star and director are reteaming for a new and surreal horror flick, Velvet Buzzsaw.

Set in the world of art and greed, Velvet Buzzsaw follows Morf (Gyllenhaal), an art critic who stumbles into a horror movie when the works of a previously unknown artist begin to surface, leading to a slew of unusual deaths. The supporting cast includes Toni Colette and Rene Russo (whose performance, in particular, has been singled out for praise), as well as young hottie Billy Magnussen and old hottie John Malkovich.

On one hand, the film is a old-timey horror throwback, a nod to 1980s slasher flicks with ridiculous premises matched only by audacious gore, like Chopping Mall or Puppet Master. On the other, it’s a sly satire of the art world, our obsession with intangible “greatness” and a scathing-yet-hilarious indictment of the art critics who are charged with deciding what is good or bad. Whichever camp one falls into, they are sure to be entertained and made uncomfortable in equal measure by the dissonant antics of Velvet Buzzsaw.

Velvet Buzzsaw will see a limited theatrical release, but is also available to stream on Netflix starting on February 1.