Review: Netflix’s strange ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’

A Netflix original with a star-studded cast so bizarre it’s almost satirical

From Jake Gyllenhaal to Toni Collette (above), it’s a surprise ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ was lackluster.

Diving into the world of wealthy art dealers and reviewers, “Velvet Buzzsaw” sways between the genres of sci-fi and horror.

The star-studded cast is what drew me to the film, as well as its unique spin on the same-old same-old horror flicks.


At times the acting seemed to dip its toes into the realm of satire, with the actors exaggerated haughtiness. I thought to myself, “Are the rich and famous art snobs really like this?”

The egocentric characters made the otherwise great actors come off as stiff and fake.

The haunted art of Vetril Dease comes into the spotlight when Josephina, an art dealer, stumbles upon his dead body in her apartment building.

Dease left behind thousands of paintings, which contained literal pieces of himself.

“Velvet Buzzsaw” was full of less than comical clichés. There wasn’t one museum that wouldn’t “kill” for a piece of Dease (cue eye roll).

Art dealer John Dondon hires a private investigator to dig up Dease’s past. It was discovered that he was abused as a child and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital where he was subject to horrific tests.

Later in his life, he faced his personal demons through art. Unfortunately, those demons came to life and killed anyone who was involved.

Critic Morf Vadewalt begins to unravel when he sees the art come to life. When he comes to the conclusion that there is a spirit haunting the art, no one believes him.

He seeks to have the art destroyed, but dies in the process.

One by one, people involved with the work begin to die.

Their greed is the true killer in this story.

Kudos to writer and director Dan Gilroy for a unique, satirical play on a slasher film, but the film was shallow, and not even A-list actors could give it the depth it needed.

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