VELVET BUZZSAW Review — A Darkly Comedic Fright Flick Based on the Adage: “Art is Dangerous”

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In her Velvet Buzzsaw review, critic Staci Layne Wilson says it’s one of the better horror movies she’s seen lately. And it’s oh-so stylish!

Velvet Buzzsaw reviewVelvet Buzzsaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, John Malkovich, and Toni Collette as ambitious art aficionados clawing their way to the pinnacle of their profession. This is an empty, air-inflated world inundated with cynics, all of them desperate to get their manicured mitts on the next great find. That find comes to them after the death of an unknown artist whose body of work falls onto the market and then worms its way into their lives.

Whether it’s A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess declaring “Art is dangerous,” or Rod Serling warning us not to look too closely at the paintings in The Night Gallery, there’s no doubt that there’s always been mystery and fascination associated with creations that spring from the human mind.

Velvet Buzzsaw is writer-director Dan Gilroy’s third film, and his latest to point a satirical finger at a particular profession. Nightcrawler lampooned viral news hounds, while Roman J. Israel, Esq. cast a jaundiced eye on the systemic shortcomings of the legal profession. This time around, a judgmental supernatural force enacts bloody and brutal revenge on art-investors who allow their greed to get in the way of their appreciation.

The beautifully made and carefully-crafted film starts off as an over-the-top black comedy (think: Zoolander meets Untitled) sizzling with snarky satire. Then about halfway through, it paints over that canvass and becomes a darkly humorous horror parable as the painter stalks his prey from beyond the grave.

Velvet Buzzsaw might just be a little too in love with its own beautiful reflection, though: a good 15 or 20 minutes could have been sheared and we’d be left with more visceral impact in the end. Still, it is one of the better horror movies I’ve seen lately, so I’m… SOLD!

Rated R
1 Hour 53 minutes

Did this Velvet Buzzsaw review make you want to see it? Go to Netflix now.

In her Velvet Buzzsaw review, critic Staci Layne Wilson says it’s one of the better horror movies she’s seen lately. And it’s oh-so stylish!

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

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