Velvet Buzzsaw is a new thriller film available on Netflix, and it’s as stylish as it is odd. This drama with horror themes tells a tale within the world of Los Angeles fine art. When art gallery assistant Josephina (Zawe Ashton) stumbles upon a series of paintings from a no-name master artist, she is unaware of the consequences to come. In the dog-eat-dog world of expensive modern art sales, everyone is willing to bleed for the next big buy. As the paintings themselves begin to exude mysterious qualities, the mystery of their origins grows.
How to Stream or Download Velvet Buzzsaw
Velvet Buzzsaw can be streamed or it can be downloaded from the Netflix app. To start, click on the Download button below the review. If you want to have a look at other Netflix supernatural movies check out also Bird Box.
The Movie Review
Velvet Buzzsaw is often exceptionally quirky and presented with a humorous and almost satirical tone. This is in part due to the campy nature of the character performances but extends to both audio design and editing. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a notable performance as Morf Vandelwalt, a renowned art critic at the center of the drama. Morf’s more eccentric and flamboyant tendencies are balanced by the calculated plays of Josephina, played well by Zawe Ashton.
Given that the narrative revolves around supernatural artwork, the visual style of the movie is appropriately colorful and weird. Velvet Buzzsaw never gets as psychedelic as I would’ve wanted it, but the visuals are distinct enough to be commended. In addition, scenes are shot and edited well, and the cinematography is well done. There were a number of scenes in which the framing stood out in particular, providing a unique perspective from behind the camera.
Unfortunately, this eccentric film has a few apparent flaws. The early portion of the movie establishes a satirical and humorous tone, which conflicts with the horror themes and more serious conclusion. As a thriller, it’s not very suspenseful or creepy. Beyond a couple of tense scenes, Velvet Buzzsaw does little to frighten or shock. The majority of the script is consumed by lengthy dialogue scenes, wherein our characters ramble on and on with fancy art lingo and jargon.
The dialogue does a good job establishing and fleshing out some characters, but the script lacks action. It’s quick-witted and funny but doesn’t succeed as a mystery or thriller narrative. Many of the characters feel underdeveloped, leaving the viewer feeling detached. Although Velvet Buzzsaw has some interesting characters and design, it’s consistently underwhelming.
A few standout performances and an interesting aesthetic make Velvet Buzzsaw an attractive watch. Unfortunately, the movie lacks any intrigue beyond the surface. As a thriller, it fails to get the blood pumping or the mind racing as much as you’d expect. As a drama, it works, but the lack of character development makes it hard to care.
Additionally, the core mystery of the film is left unanswered, leaving the conclusion unsatisfying. There’s some entertainment to be had with Velvet Buzzsaw, but not enough to warrant an instant watch. If you want something a bit quirkier, give Velvet Buzzsaw a viewing.
- Great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal
- Interesting visual style
- Drawn out runtime that doesn't fit the story
- Underdeveloped characters
- Lack of closure leaves an unsatisfying mystery