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'Velvet Buzzsaw': Watch the trailer for Netflix's art world thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal

'Velvet Buzzsaw': Watch the trailer for Netflix's art world thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Art attack

Text: Aravin Sandran


Image: Netflix

Art can be macabre. Just take a look at the oeuvres of Francisco Goya (Saturn Devouring His Son), Edvard Munch (The Death of Marator Francis Bacon (Figure with Meat), and you'll get a good idea that art is not only about all pretty Impressionist landscapes and abstracted Cubism (ahem Van Gogh and Picasso). Netflix's dark satirical thriller Velvet Buzzsaw is taking it one step further with demonic canvases that wreak murderous havoc on the glitzy and moneyed art world of Los Angeles.

Uninspired and jaded — eccentric art dealer Morf Vandewalt's (Jake Gyllenhaal) fortune takes a dramatic turn when he meets gallerist's PA Josephina (Zawe Ashton) who discovers a cabinet of hauntingly "mesmeric" canvases in the hotel room of an anonymous deceased man. They start wheeling and dealing to cash in, but the paintings have other gruesome ideas of their own. Imagine Ben Stiller's comedic Night at the Museum (2006) had an unfortunate lovechild with supernatural horror The Omen (2006), funny but bloody.

The film is not short of megawatt star power either. The trailer features the long-forgotten Rene Russo (Nightcrawler) as the gallerist, cult figure John Malkovich (Bird Box) as an alcoholic artist, indie darling Toni Collette (Hereditary) who unfortunately is destined for a grisly death and Stranger Thing's Natalia Dyer who witnesses a suicide in the studio.

Watch a bunch of rich, privileged and money-hungry arty types get slaughtered by devious art in the trailer below, and you'll find new perspectives on Singapore Art Week's humdrum affairs.

Velvet Buzzsaw is coming soon to Netflix on 1 February.

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