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Velvet Buzzsaw is a Netflix exclusive that stars a whole slew of Hollywood stars. It's an interesting take on the horror genre that's original, but I'm worried that it may be catering to specific tastes. It might not appeal to the general public.
The main character of the movie is Morf (played by Jake Gyllenhaal). He's a very influential art critic in Los Angeles. His influence on the perception of an artist's work can change everyone's opinion of their work and in turn influence its value.
His friend Josephina (played by Zawe Ashton) is just trying to get a foot in the art world, but is struggling to make ends meet. She's riddled with misfortune throughout the beginning of the movie. That is until one of her neighbors inexplicably dies in her apartment building. She finds out that the neighbor is an artist and had requested that the landlord was to destroy all of his artwork if he ever died. Curious as she is, she walks into his apartment and finds out that her dead neighbor was very talented and she falls in love with his art. Soon, she hatches a plan to take her deceased neighbor's artwork from the dumpster so that she can sell it for herself.
From the trailers, you'll probably know by now that there is something wrong with the artwork. People around the artwork mysteriously die and I guess that's what they want you to think the premise of the movie is. I thought that there was way more to this movie than meets the eye. In reality, I think this movie explores more about the art culture and human greed.
In the movie everyone wants to be an artist, but not everyone is there for the right reasons. Some of the artwork is selling for millions of dollars so people start treating artwork like currency. The movie shows how people can lie, cheat, and steal in order to get artwork. Not because they love the artwork, but because they love the monetary value and prestige attached to the artwork.
On the other side of things, we have small side stories about two other prolific artists. One that has built a great brand for himself, but is in a bit of an artistic block. The other artist is an up and coming artist who has a lot of talent, but must be careful of the sharks I previously talked about. He's conflicted between his artistic integrity and selling to the masses.
Now this is a ton of content to roll up into one movie, and because of this, there are a few pacing issues with this movie. It tries to cram a lot of interesting concepts into one movie. I even think each of the concepts that they bring up could be a movie of its own. The movie tries to do too much. I applaud them for trying, but the execution is a little lost.
Morf is an interesting character who goes through some character changes throughout the movie. I think Jake Gyllenhaal may have been miscast as this character. At times, he looks out of character or that he doesn't fit the character that he's trying to play. That's not a knock to him because it could also be because of the way they wrote his character. He's a little bit all over the place and doesn't really have a consistent look and feel.
Overall, I did enjoy the movie. I wouldn't watch it over and over again. I like how the movie brings in conversation about the art world, but I don't think it will appeal to all audiences. Some of the movie may seem bourgeois for some. I would give this movie a 6 out of 10. It's an enjoyable film for those that are into art. I don't really consider this movie scary enough to be a horror movie though.