Antichrist (18)

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Horror films

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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jul 21 2009

Click here to read our interview with director Lars Von Trier

I’ve seen Lars von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ twice now and experienced such wildly different reactions to it each time that you might want to consider this review as written in sand, not stone. The film is equivalent to witnessing a wild fight between strangers. It pulls you this way and that and convinces you of different versions of the truth. Its provocations repel, while its honesty attracts.

Von Trier never makes the same film twice. Yet once he finds a new theatre for his stories – whether it’s the musical (‘Dancer in the Dark’), the Brechtian morality play (‘Dogville’, ‘Manderlay’) or, as here, the horror movie – familiar ideas come bubbling to the surface. He’s interested in the control of women by men. He’s interested in how power emerges, persists and perverts. He’s interested in how we, as an audience, process these ideas and the emotions they provoke. Discomfort, too, is a well-used weapon in his armoury. He likes to shock, and there are moments in ‘Antichrist’ – not least two featuring genital mutilation – that threaten to mask the film’s serious side. In person, von Trier displays paradoxes that spill over into his work. He’s the reticent artist who thrives at Cannes press conferences. The loner who loves a crowd. The reclusive showman. No surprise, then, that the study of grief in ‘Antichrist’ is quiet and sensitive, while some of the telling is loud and grandstanding.

On the surface, ‘Antichrist’ is a horror movie about a married American couple – he (Willem Dafoe) a therapist, she (Charlotte Gainsbourg) an academic – who retreat into a forest called Eden to work through their grief after the death of their son. The opening, black-and-white prologue is a thing of shallow beauty as we watch this pair make love (with a thrusting shot) as their child falls from a window. This initial slickness will surprise those familiar with von Trier’s down-and-dirty style, although much of the rest of the film is a more earthy mix of greens, browns and blues.

Grief overcomes Gainsbourg, while Dafoe tries not to mix business and pleasure by treating his wife as both patient and lover. He fails. The mood is claustrophobic as we’re stranded with this couple in despair. Some of these early entirely domestic scenes, although piercing in their sadness, drag a little, especially as some of the dialogue feels false. But there’s no doubting the power of Gainsbourg’s performance, nor von Trier’s sympathy for her, as Dafoe insists on dragging his wife through therapy. Nor is there any doubting von Trier’s attitude to Defoe’s trade: he thinks it’s a sham.

The film moves beyond realism when Dafoe asks his wife to imagine ‘Eden’. It’s best to read this as an invitation to a parallel world – a psychological one – as they travel to a metaphorical cabin in the woods. The forest, the cabin, the animals (including a ridiculous talking fox) are familiar horror symbols, but the gender war is pure von Trier. The forest turns on the couple, while the couple turn on each other. The results are so hysterical that what we witness feels most like a piercing primal scream from within von Trier. At some points it feels deeply feminist, at others deeply misogynistic, although the overriding feeling is of sympathy for the wife and antipathy for the husband – plus pessimism about humans in general. Yet there are moments that defy any clear reading. This is a film best viewed with reason switched off.
What can we take away from it?

A troubling but refreshing sense of an artist uncloaked. A violent conflict of ideas and images. A certainty that von Trier loathes therapists. A suggestion that a man can do his worst to a woman and still come across as a messiah. But any logical, unified theory? Any neat conclusions? Any satisfaction from loose ends tied and questions answered? Forget it. It’s just not that sort of film.

Click here to read all our 'Antichrist' content
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Jul 24, 2009

Duration:

104 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Lars von Trier

Cast:

Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg

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iain

Miike staked out similar territory - grief, vulnerability, and the tensions between (heterosexual) men and women - in his 1999 movie Audition. Thing is, Miike created a genuine milestone of sorts, and did it with ravishing visual flair, made a real assault on violent misogyny, and pins the audience to our seats, open-mouthed, as what one critic called ' a lethally poised Venus Flytrap of a movie' closes in on us. Audition is the real deal, and Miike is a real man of the cinema. The perfect antidote, perhaps, to Antichrist.

Austin

I just wanted everyone to know that this movie fucking sucked. I thought I had seen terrible movies before but, this one takes the cake. You should probably watch this movie if you are either mentally retarded or a fan of dumbass directors.

Adam

Absolutlely breathtaking work of art. Staggeringly beautiful, soul wrenching, heart bleeding and mind shredding. A work of genius.

Adam

Absolutlely breathtaking work of art. Staggeringly beautiful, soul wrenching, heart bleeding and mind shredding. A work of genius.

Paul

A fantastic deep film which has been marred by over the top reviews and terrible marketing (ie scissors artwork, making it look like Saw 6) The controversial scenes, which are brief and not particulary offensive have overshadowed the beauty of this powerful film which is open to multiple readings. The performances are incredible.

Paul

A fantastic deep film which has been marred by over the top reviews and terrible marketing (ie scissors artwork, making it look like Saw 6) The controversial scenes, which are brief and not particulary offensive have overshadowed the beauty of this powerful film which is open to multiple readings. The performances are incredible.

Aristidis

I think LvT seeked out intentionally to create such a movie simply to amuse himself out of depression! All this anger, all this scorn, all this fear would certainly amuse even Nietzsche. LvT cares not for psychology or psychotherapy. A clever educator seeks to better mankind by challenges and puzzles. The question is more important than the answer, try for once not to mud it with agentas and hopless morality systems. On top of the pyramid the He scribes "ME".

Aristidis

I think LvT seeked out intentionally to create such a movie simply to amuse himself out of depression! All this anger, all this scorn, all this fear would certainly amuse even Nietzsche. LvT cares not for psychology or psychotherapy. A clever educator seeks to better mankind by challenges and puzzles. The question is more important than the answer, try for once not to mud it with agentas and hopless morality systems. On top of the pyramid the He scribes "ME".

Vlada

I have just watched it and am clearly in shock. Absurd and abnormal, that what comes first to mind to describe this art work. I guess, von Trier calculated well in his strive to seem original. Perhaps, his unwillingness to give explanations just reveals his own confusion and generally, absence of any meaningful message behind this all. The film just shocks, that's probably the effect it has to make. I give 2 stars only because I managed to watch the film to the end.

James

I kept poking myself in the eye so I wouldn't fall asleep- I couldn't see too well by the second half which turned out to be a blessing- what was the point in all the genital mutilation close ups? gross man, just gross- didn't need to see that. Oh, and what was with the random porn at the beginning? This film is lame lame lame. Lars Von Trier wasn't intelligent or talented enough to pull this off. Unless you take yourself too seriously don't watch it!

jools

I saw this as a brilliant film about psychotic depression, not a horror flick - beautiful and tragic and intense. As a horror film, it's a bit silly, gory and all over the shop, but look beyond the bloody thrills at a portrayal of a woman falling apart mentally. Charlotte Gainsbourg is electrifying - she has one of those faces that changes with the light and I couldn't take my eyes off her.

jools

I saw this as a brilliant film about psychotic depression, not a horror flick - beautiful and tragic and intense. As a horror film, it's a bit silly, gory and all over the shop, but look beyond the bloody thrills at a portrayal of a woman falling apart mentally. Charlotte Gainsbourg is electrifying - she has one of those faces that changes with the light and I couldn't take my eyes off her.

mick

wow, this made a special effort to be bad. I felt sorry for the actors because they went all out and the director only made a half-hearted attempt and most of what they did turned out to be just gratuitous schmuck anyway,

Alex

Whenever an artist does something different, they are always derided and ridiculed by philistines. I agree with kaiser sibi's Van Gogh comparison, and would add Duchamp, Warhol and Mapplethorpe who have all caused public scandal, outrage and condemnation in their time. Some hysterical people have called Von Triers's film 'pornography' which is slightly ironic since the sole function of pornography is to stimulate sexual desire....... the film may turn a few people on, but I'm guessing they're the exceptions. Quite a few people find the film boring; it probably is if you're use to Hollywood films (which probably accounts for over 90% of films shown in cinemas) that are calculated to have an action/comedy scene every 3 minutes to keep people with low attention spans entertained; I'm not slating those movies- they're fun, light hearted and necessary to keep the vast majority of movie goers contented; but it's sad when a lone director bravely creates something daringly original, that's outside the box, without prioritizing commercial profit, and then having a lot of narrow minded people kicking up a fuss trying to stamp out any spark of originality........... but it's to be expected as the history of Art has shown. Time is the real deciding factor.

Alex

Whenever an artist does something different, they are always derided and ridiculed by philistines. I agree with kaiser sibi's Van Gogh comparison, and would add Duchamp, Warhol and Mapplethorpe who have all caused public scandal, outrage and condemnation in their time. Some hysterical people have called Von Triers's film 'pornography' which is slightly ironic since the sole function of pornography is to stimulate sexual desire....... the film may turn a few people on, but I'm guessing they're the exceptions. Quite a few people find the film boring; it probably is if you're use to Hollywood films (which probably accounts for over 90% of films shown in cinemas) that are calculated to have an action/comedy scene every 3 minutes to keep people with low attention spans entertained; I'm not slating those movies- they're fun, light hearted and necessary to keep the vast majority of movie goers contented; but it's sad when a lone director bravely creates something daringly original, that's outside the box, without prioritizing commercial profit, and then having a lot of narrow minded people kicking up a fuss trying to stamp out any spark of originality........... but it's to be expected as the history of Art has shown. Time is the real deciding factor.

kjlfwhkofjilfjos

full uncensored version on ninjavideo.net You see everything, including the cliterodectomy roflmao. decent film. possibly better if watched alone in a dark room.

Johnny

worst crap I have ever seen.. very depresing movie. is the first time I regret that I wasted my time

fb

Went to see this at Odeon Panton St last night. It started well enough with a prologue that resembled those poncey perfume ads ("Depression" by Lars Von Trier, anyone?) but revealed itself to be quite beautiful. After that, it was downhill all the way. The next stretch of the film was INTERMINABLE! On celluloid, watching a therapist husband guiding his grieving, guilt-ridden wife through their shared grief at the death of their son should have been eminently watchable. It wasn't. The dialogue was risible (inaudible at times, which was probably a blessing); there was no chemistry between Dafoe & Gainsbourg; and Dafoe's confused and half-baked attempts to treat his wife made for some of the most laboured and boring cinema I've seen for a long time. If VonTrier was trying to convey to us his (surely?) clinical depression by dragging out these scenes, fair enough: I suspect, though, it was just rank bad film-making.Then, to all our amazement, Antichrist suddenly mutated into Saw 6! It was - unintentionally, I'm sure - utterly hilarious! Is Von Trier's depression such that he can't actually feel ANYTHING? Speaking as a man, if I'd had my erect penis lunged at with a slab, then been brought to a blood orgasm before having a hole drilled into my leg and a heavy weight bolted to it, I'd be in UTTER, SOBBING, PARALYTIC, FUCKING AGONY! Not our Willem, who quickly manages to lug himself about and away from mad Charlotte. The clitorodectomy scene made me wonder whether doing the job with a pair of rusty scissors would have resulted in such a neat snip, rather than a ragged howl (I asked gf but strangely, she didn't want to discuss it!). Further hilarity ensued with mad Charlotte's screams of "WHERE ARE YOU, YOU BASTARD?" eliciting uncontrollable giggles from quite a few of us. And as for the talking fox...! Gainsbourg, to be fair, is decent in what is a terrible role in a terrible film. Dafoe, though, is awful, over-emoting like he fears facial expressions are about to be outlawed. There was one good line ("a crying woman is a scheming woman" - must remember to use that one in the next argument!) and I liked the bit about mad Charlotte putting her son's shoes on the wrong feet, but otherwise this was a film that epitomised (and realised) the very worst of what the sneering multiplexers believe any film with artistic intentions to be.

kaiser sibi

Although I have not seen the movie. I can already see that this movie is a masterpiece. Why? Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image. I think this will be one of my favorite films.

kaiser sibi

Although I have not seen the movie. I can already see that this movie is a masterpiece. Why? Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image. I think this will be one of my favorite films.

Luigi

Mixed results in my opinion, but one of that movies one day we'll be probably called a masterpiece. Dafoe totally uninspired and distant, Gainsbourg simply awesome. Visually a masterpiece, dialogs sometimes risible. It is clearly a product of a depressed mind, so you can't expect logical coherence, but simply a disturbing trip in the director's nightmares. As such, it is an interesting movie, that stay with you for quite a long time.

Liv

Picture this: A slow motion pornographic sex scene as a toddler climbs out of a window. The amorous couple knocks a bottle and as it plummets so does the toddler out of the window. Music by Handel wallows over the top. Does Lars Von Trier think he’s being clever or classy? This is something a student would hand in and pretend was symbolic after pulling an all nighter . Lars Von Trier seems to have a love of gimmicks and he’s truly excelled himself this time. For the next 45 minutes or so, you will be subjected to some very boring try-hard Bergman scenes. Then voila, attentive Therapist husband takes grieving wacko wife off to a forest called ‘Eden’ where she promptly goes even more insane and attacks him (she is obviously a terrible, evil woman). Violence and genital mutilation abounds (be sure to keep your eyes open when she pulls the scissors on herself- there’s a close up!). Murder happens and oh, guess what we get to revisit the Handel music! Oh, and did I mention the talking fox and really terrible religious references (Eden being only one of the oh so subtle religious sub content)? Lars Von Trier has issues with women- perhaps his mother wouldn’t buy him chocolate when he was small or some terrible cow of a woman stamped on his poor little heart- whatever it was it all comes out in this lovely misogynistic, tacky, visually revolting, try-hard piece of self indulgent porn (both literally and metaphorically) masquerading as ‘art’. And the dedication? Trite and insulting. Tacky tacky tacky. Save yourselves! Go watch G.I. Joe- I haven’t seen it but it has to be better than this.

Wai

I was surprised to like the film; it's definitely very different from any film I've seen in a while (I joined cineworld so the choice is pretty limited). Admittedly I did fall asleep sometime during the first half- not because I found it boring, but it has a slow motion, dream like effect that just made my eye lids feel heavier and heavier- which I found quite pleasant really. Then as the 2nd half unwinds the dreamy quality mutates into a frantic nightmare........ It's a really powerful film that's stayed with me even after a 1 week- which is very rare. It reminds me of David Lynch's smaller films and would appeal to the same type of audience; You won't be happy if all you want is a typical horror slasher film or expecting something Hollywood. We desperately need original fearless film makers like Lars von Trier now more then ever with the film industry churning out endless formulaic mindless dross angled on merchandising and sequels.

Wai

I was surprised to like the film; it's definitely very different from any film I've seen in a while (I joined cineworld so the choice is pretty limited). Admittedly I did fall asleep sometime during the first half- not because I found it boring, but it has a slow motion, dream like effect that just made my eye lids feel heavier and heavier- which I found quite pleasant really. Then as the 2nd half unwinds the dreamy quality mutates into a frantic nightmare........ It's a really powerful film that's stayed with me even after a 1 week- which is very rare. It reminds me of David Lynch's smaller films and would appeal to the same type of audience; You won't be happy if all you want is a typical horror slasher film or expecting something Hollywood. We desperately need original fearless film makers like Lars von Trier now more then ever with the film industry churning out endless formulaic mindless dross angled on merchandising and sequels.

Cathy

I feel like I have been witness to The Emperor's New Clothes. I have watched most of Von Trier's films and have, if not enjoyed, then certainly got something out of them. However, I found this film to be quite dull, with a little bit of gore thrown in here and there for good measure. Before anone asks, I was not shocked or appalled and didn't flinch or avert my gaze from the screen for a single moment of the film. I WANTED this to be a great film, but it was just very badly made - the characters as written weren't even two dimensional, (although I have to take my hat off to Willem Defoe who still managed to deliver a very good and convincing performance), the "symbolism" may as well have been a road sign in the middle of the screen and seemed very laboured, something worthy of GCSE drama students attempting "edgy". Right from the outset, you could see the cogs turning and exactly what was going to happen next. Also, can we have just one film where women aren't persecuted, whether by god, blindness or themselves, please? It's getting a bit tired.

Phil Ince

I was puzzled that this film's accused of being intellectual, pretentious or laughable. It's horrible in places but it mostly seems to be a straightforward film about a couple who might already be mad whose madness then becomes explicit. There is some comedy early on after their baby's death. The therapist husband dismisses his wife's psychiatrist and the drug treatment although he's unqualified medically to do this; antipathy to psychiatry, professional conceit and perhaps a controlling nature seem to motivate him. He goes on to push his wife into suffering through therapy - encouraging her to experience the most unpleasant things she can think of - and even denies her the comfort of sex because he's now her therapist. She then goes barking mad - bashes him in the crotch with a breeze block, wanks him thereafter until he spunks blood, drills a hole in his leg, attaches him to a millstone and then cuts off her own clitoris. Nothing gory is actually seen but then it’s clear enough without being shown. The photography is often sensational although the script isn't very coherent - is this a quality of Triers'?, that he doesn't want to make films that resolve? By the end, the husband seems to be hallucinating, too. The famous talking fox addresses itself (briefly) to the husband and he throttles to death his lunatic spouse in a punitive way that reminded me of Fatal Attraction. There's some confusion in the ending scenes though. At one stage, the wife seems to have buried hubby alive and then exhumes him quite a while later. If the wounds she inflicts on him actually happened, its hard to believe that he'll even hobble away as he does at the end. I do wonder if the bulk of the film is fantasy. It’s nasty towards the end, brooding in the middle, moving and funny after the tragic start. A 2 star film because it lacks purpose, I think, but has something interesting to ‘say’ at the start and has moments with unique looks.

diane

i think it's funny that people leaving comments about films on timeout which are extreme one way or the other quite often have spelling mistakes, use three exclamations at a time and express themselves in forms such as "if you have different taste than me then you're an idiot", only not so polite. see also the page with comments on 'the hangover'. why do people take the tone that their specific subjective experience of the film gives them the authority to insult people who thought or experienced it differently? the issue over antichrist is probably whether you like 'depressing' films or not; if you don't, you might want to wonder why, when often films which are depressing are that way because the subject matter calls for it. antichrist is aesthetically a beautiful film, charlotte gainsborough is very good in it, there are some flaws to it in it not really being a horror, but more of a psychological drama or tragedy. this last point is probably why people respond in quite extreme ways, because if you're not expecting the sheer amount of attention given to the psychological vilence underlying this unhappy marriage, and want more unexplained blood and guts, then you might feel a bit cheated. It is a bit of a shame that the film is likely to attract people for the sheer shock value they've heard about, the kind of viewer that could take the violence flippantly rather than understand it symbolically.

Josh

Despite all the over the top, rash comments below this film is worth seeing though- obviously- it will not be to everyone's tastes. I was one of the offended and bored people after the first hour or so of watching this in the cinema and was tired of the seemingly endless stream of scenes of Charlottes Gainsbourg crying. I thought that the film was pretentious and felt like I was an unwilling participant in an uninteresting psychology lecture. I even couldn't stop myself laughing during a particularly ridiculous scene involving a talking fox. However, the second half of this film more than makes up for the slow-paced meticulous approach of the first half and von Trier uses the ideas and images that he has set up intelligently. Also, when looking at reviews of this film much seems to be made of the violence and this might be why so many people end up walking out either through disgust or because they were expecting a cheap Saw style horror film; while there are some quite harrowing images in Antichrist, they happen quickly and are usually used to add to the themes being dealt with. I think this film is brilliant though flawed but I can only recommend it with a degree of caution precisely because it is so challenging and requires thought and attention.

Kir

Not challenging. Not haunting. Not shocking. Bad acting. Even worse plot. Very, very poor. If something as shoddy as this challenges or shocks anyone then you need to get out more. Just simply awful.

heather

Squeamish scenes do not a thriller make. Some wonderfully beautiful shots ruined by laughable talking fox (many, many audible laughs in audience - thought I stumbled into Harry Potter), artsy wankoff fumbling storyline and terribly unsexy screw scenes. For 30-something pseudo intellectuals that in '95 thought 'Kids' was a cinematic masterpiece of taboos. Glad tickets were free!

Eric

Loved it. Dark and distrubing but never dull. Trier's finest work since "Dogville". I wonder if the people who commented on the film here have even seen the film, like the Daily Mail critic who dissed it without seeing it, Here's the thing people, you just can't pass judgement on a film unless you've seen it. I live in Sweden and the film has been out for months.

Eric

Loved it. Dark and distrubing but never dull. Trier's finest work since "Dogville". I wonder if the people who commented on the film here have even seen the film, like the Daily Mail critic who dissed it without seeing it, Here's the thing people, you just can't pass judgement on a film unless you've seen it. I live in Sweden and the film has been out for months.

GEr

The director is either scared of women's sexuality or he thinks it is very dangerous , I certainly the filn "Don't Look NOw" than to this crap

James Irwin

@ Dan T & Noel - your comments and ratings only seem to confirm that you haven't even seem the movie as you are not able to relate to it in a meaningful way. Maybe the movie is over your head - which is a shame... for you. However, don't blame the movie if you don't have the mental capacity to absorb it.

Dan T.

Any words would be too many to spend on this pretencious and utterly self obsessed film. It will probably didvide the critics and create a lot of noise, which is a same because that will only bring more attention to it than it deserves...just as Terminator Salvation has...dear, oh dear!

D Nicholls

Can't TimeOut get some more objective reviewers? Or is reviewing all about getting all emotional and trying to mock somebody's work? I think that 'Antichrist' is pretty amazing personally but opinions aside, can we have some more intellectual and informative writing on these pages?

D Nicholls

Can't TimeOut get some more objective reviewers? Or is reviewing all about getting all emotional and trying to mock somebody's work? I think that 'Antichrist' is pretty amazing personally but opinions aside, can we have some more intellectual and informative writing on these pages?

toby

I´m baffled by the almost hateful reaction of the reviewers regarding this film. As another reader puts it in here: great art causes reflection, and I don´t recall being this interlectually challenged by a movie for a long time, dealing with unpleasant, talntalising but essential themes regarding the power-balance between men and women, lust as a weapon for good and bad and the balance between intellect and instinct. Its not for everybody - and it definetly unsettles you. Theres no easy, positive morale, which you can take with you, no comfortable confirmation of your world, and thats probably what pisses the critics of. In my opinion this movie will stand out as a cinematic masterpiece i n a couple of years, and the critics writing it of will stand as conservative ignorants

toby

I´m baffled by the almost hateful reaction of the reviewers regarding this film. As another reader puts it in here: great art causes reflection, and I don´t recall being this interlectually challenged by a movie for a long time, dealing with unpleasant, talntalising but essential themes regarding the power-balance between men and women, lust as a weapon for good and bad and the balance between intellect and instinct. Its not for everybody - and it definetly unsettles you. Theres no easy, positive morale, which you can take with you, no comfortable confirmation of your world, and thats probably what pisses the critics of. In my opinion this movie will stand out as a cinematic masterpiece i n a couple of years, and the critics writing it of will stand as conservative ignorants

Poul J. Basse

'Antichrist' is a film about the schisma between untaimed sexuality ('the nature' in the humans (in women)) on one hand, and on the other hand, its about guilt. The theme of the movie refers to the philosophy of Nietzsche, who has the idea, that you should let Dionysos rule, and that christian morality is bad. I think the point of view of Lars von Trier, the director, is, that he sees this schisma as a conflict in human life, and that he thinks, that it is not possible for a human being to live like an animal. (In the movie the female character is punished by her own feelings of guilt and is eventually also punished by her husband). The movie is very 'rough' in its form of expression. You have the feeling, that no form of censorship has been utilized). Also the pictures in the movie are beautiful, and the actors play wonderfully. All in all - its a 'tough' but intellecutally and emotionally provocative movie.

Beth Aynsley

I haven't had a chance to read the full review yet, so perhaps I shouldn't be commenting at this stage but I think this is a film well worth seeing if you enjoy being challenged. It is troubling and bold and will leave you wanting to discuss it for days. Of all the films I saw in Cannes this has stayed with me the most. Please check it out if you are able.

Beth Aynsley

I haven't had a chance to read the full review yet, so perhaps I shouldn't be commenting at this stage but I think this is a film well worth seeing if you enjoy being challenged. It is troubling and bold and will leave you wanting to discuss it for days. Of all the films I saw in Cannes this has stayed with me the most. Please check it out if you are able.

Mads Nygaard Pedersen

Anticrist is a brilliant movie. True - the movie deals with taboos such as mental ilness, sexual repressions and personal violence. Those themes alone are too controversial for some to handle without being offended. Some - probably a lot - just wont be able to fit this movie into their belief system. They will reject it as controvery worshipping or throwing cheap 'below the belt' shots simply to promote immorality. Its neither. Antichrist an origial artistic masterpiece that elevates and transcends the horror genre of our time. The brutal expressionistic vibe of Trier's narration and the disassociated character development is a journey into the realms of basic human instinct and . The themes are classic - there part of humanity and our culture and beings (though some will have a hard time facing it). The honestly haunting images and Trier's unusually personal take is a breath of fresh air to the genre. At best is haunted by unexpected plottwists as their main vehicles (Take for instance M. Night Shyamalan's movies or the recent series of Japanese horror movies such as Ringu / The Ring). If Anticrist is as testament to Trier's own problems (he suffers from depressions) it not the first time in history catharsis is obtained through release of artistic creation. Well, the isolation factor is a human phobia and a classical horror cliche isn't it? The primal fear resides in desolation - after all it's a method of torture for some to be left alone and people die from getting lost in nature. On the other hand the wilderness can be a release of the self for others. The protagonist transformation in the wilderness is classical. Personally, I do not think such a setting has been explored this intelligently on film before. In books - Margerat Atwood's "Surfacing" comes to mind in regards to character development and loss of self - albeit in less violent terms. If you are willing to take on Trier's premise with an open mind chances are you'll experience a movie that you'll want to see more than once. It will potentially haunt you - but you'll have to let it in first. Once you have invited it inside you will probably have a hard time deciding what to think of it - and that's the magnificent accomplishment by Trier. You'll be oscillating in the sphere between certainty and uncertainty for a long time. You'll need to reflect to figure out what the hell just happened. Great art causes reflection. In the end you'll love it or hate Antichrist. That's the point. Are you afraid to confront humanity and look yourself in the eye. Do you dare to listen to the snake? Or do you prefer to cling on to your rational and harmonic vision of Eden?

Mads Nygaard Pedersen

Anticrist is a brilliant movie. True - the movie deals with taboos such as mental ilness, sexual repressions and personal violence. Those themes alone are too controversial for some to handle without being offended. Some - probably a lot - just wont be able to fit this movie into their belief system. They will reject it as controvery worshipping or throwing cheap 'below the belt' shots simply to promote immorality. Its neither. Antichrist an origial artistic masterpiece that elevates and transcends the horror genre of our time. The brutal expressionistic vibe of Trier's narration and the disassociated character development is a journey into the realms of basic human instinct and . The themes are classic - there part of humanity and our culture and beings (though some will have a hard time facing it). The honestly haunting images and Trier's unusually personal take is a breath of fresh air to the genre. At best is haunted by unexpected plottwists as their main vehicles (Take for instance M. Night Shyamalan's movies or the recent series of Japanese horror movies such as Ringu / The Ring). If Anticrist is as testament to Trier's own problems (he suffers from depressions) it not the first time in history catharsis is obtained through release of artistic creation. Well, the isolation factor is a human phobia and a classical horror cliche isn't it? The primal fear resides in desolation - after all it's a method of torture for some to be left alone and people die from getting lost in nature. On the other hand the wilderness can be a release of the self for others. The protagonist transformation in the wilderness is classical. Personally, I do not think such a setting has been explored this intelligently on film before. In books - Margerat Atwood's "Surfacing" comes to mind in regards to character development and loss of self - albeit in less violent terms. If you are willing to take on Trier's premise with an open mind chances are you'll experience a movie that you'll want to see more than once. It will potentially haunt you - but you'll have to let it in first. Once you have invited it inside you will probably have a hard time deciding what to think of it - and that's the magnificent accomplishment by Trier. You'll be oscillating in the sphere between certainty and uncertainty for a long time. You'll need to reflect to figure out what the hell just happened. Great art causes reflection. In the end you'll love it or hate Antichrist. That's the point. Are you afraid to confront humanity and look yourself in the eye. Do you dare to listen to the snake? Or do you prefer to cling on to your rational and harmonic vision of Eden?