A grieving couple retreats to their cabin 'Eden' in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.
“Nature is Satan's church.”
-She (Charlotte Gainsbourg)
Over on the Internet Movie Database, someone once described Lars Von Trier as, and I quote, ‘an arty wanker’.
Now, although that is perhaps the most unsophisticated and rudimentary way of expressing it, they did have a point. It isn’t hard to see why Trier could be considered pretentious, especially with his most controversial outing yet, Antichrist.
To say it is unforgettable is a gross understatement. Rather, for better or worse, it sears itself into your subconscious, tapping its way into your most deep seated fears. It is a film that will astonish and infuriate in equal measure, a film that cannot be simply watched, but felt. The exact emotions felt will differ…
So.....I guess von Trier took the whole 'torture porn' thing too literally.
I can take the pretentiousness and can forgive the self-indulgent ramblings and thickly laid on self-importance.
I can even stand the yucky bits.
What I can't stand is the shallow, cold and completely unengaging treatment of its potentially intriguing subject matter.
Those were probably the most common sounds/phrases coming out of my mouth while watching Antichrist. After a brilliant and hypnotizing opening, Lars von Trier takes your hand and guides you through a misty realm of wo- "HOLY FUCK WHAT IS THIS SHIT."
I must say. Antichrist is unlike anything I've ever seen. Its like Evil Dead as written and directed by Terrence Malick. Its cold and calculated and is light on the shocks until they sneak up and strike. Antrichrist is labeled as a horror film but its hardly conventional horror fare. Instead its a quiet film that resembles an awkward neurosurgical operation rather than a horror film you're used to seeing.…
I like this film because it is beautiful and insane at the same time. I think many people find the closing act pretentious and obtuse. To be honest, I don't try to interpret the last act. I just view it as a horror, B-movie. I don't care what Lars is trying to say, I just like the way he says it.
As a figurative exploration of the horrors of loss and guilt, Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist" is a wrenching, shocking, bleakly lyrical film. Shot through with imagery and symbolism, the film follows a couple as they deal with the loss of a child. The couple treks down a path that is terrifying, violent, and sad. Atmospherically filmed, the film compares the devastation of the couple's life to the devastating and destructive powers of nature.
As a literal exploration of the above emotions, the film relies on horror film cliches to shock, violence to disturb, and a lack of resolution to prove its point. This trek is full of loathing and remorse from which there is no return. Grim and broken, the…
One of the things that has stuck with me the most from my time spent in therapy, as I'm sure it has for many who have seen a therapist, is that many of the traits of obsessive thinking, personality disorders or even psychological deviance are almost impossible to distinguish from universal expressions of our needs and desires. The feeling of deep connection with another person that we call our soulmate is a perfectly healthy and normal experience, for instance, but the partners of people with BPD often feel a soulmate connection very deeply, even if it's not the product of an honest relationship but their partner's subtle, even unconscious emotional manipulation. Everyone needs somebody, and that's okay, except when it's…
I am torn between the two conflicting qualities that are so frequently used to describe Lars von Trier - pretentious and ingenious.
At first, Antichrist did not appear to be the perfect entry into the works of von Trier; the film being his most controversial work to date, I had not much of an idea what I was getting into. My younger brother, who is a die-hard horror fan, wanted someone to discuss the film after recommending it as "the most atmospheric horror" he has seen. I had been meaning to watch it since its release after seeing its name plastered on many "Best Horror" lists, so I found the opportunity to be inviting.
The problem with Antichrist being called…
After making the Golden Heart Trilogy, films where women are the symbolism for goodness (sometimes too much goodness) Trier makes a horror film about the evil of women, or rather one woman who either believe she is a witch or is a witch (and is afraid to face her own identity). This might have started because of mental problems that started before the death of her son. We learn that she has been torturing her son before he died and she knew he was in danger but did nothing.
There is also an underlying reality to this. We usually see mothers as symbol of love but mothers often torture their children and even kill them. I personally know off incidents…
Lars von Trier is a rotten scamp; a real pain in the backside, but he's also one of the most visionary and thematically bold filmmakers working today and whether you like his films or not, nobody can deny that he isn't doing his bit to push the boat out.
Antichrist is a lyrical film - a mood piece founded upon atmosphere and psychological intensity. The visceral and confrontational imagery are warranted by the sheer depths of emotion that von Trier brutally strokes onto the canvas with his brush. This is a film about depression, loss and the collapse of the human condition.
Yes it features labia slicing, blood ejaculation and a talking fox, but so what...let Lars be Lars and continue making boundary-breaking features.
However it is a given that nobody wants to see Willem Dafoe have sex; not even his wife enjoys that shit...
What an appalling, essentially worthless film Antichrist is. "Pretentious" is such an overused word, but oh god, if Von Trier actually thinks that abruptly shifting from a mediocre character study to unwarranted, disgusting violence should in itself be profound, or that this movie has much at all to say in general, I just don't know what to say. Even as a horror movie it fails, because like your typical torture porn, it relies solely on cold visuals and mutilation to shock the viewer, even when there's that psychological aspect that really provides nothing at all. The only difference between this and something like Hostel is that this film tries to hide its reprehensible, worthless cynicism behind a facade of mystery…
I'm no critic, but i can safely say Lars Von Treir captured something that rivals "the exorcist" with graphic and macabre scenes
Throughout what I saw of it (yes, I didn't finish it, don't kill me), I felt as if some smart Indie band would be playing in the background over the shots, the black and white imagery, the scenes where the dialogue is too quiet to hear, through most of what I saw.
Granted, it still earns a 1.5 for me because it's a gorgeous film. Lars von Trier obviously knows how to point a camera and where, and through the black and white scenes it looks stunning. I would rather have picked another film to be my first from von Trier, like Dancer in the Dark or something else, since what I sat through was rather boring and uneventful.
Quicktake: A bleak, emotionally manipulative, and visually stunning journey through the horrors of depression by von Trier.
My third viewing of Antichrist still remains an experiential challenge which makes me feel exhausted, abused, invigorated and ultimately stronger. A true horror film steeped in the psychology of suffering; but also a reflection of love and pain both nourishing and destructive. The passage of unrelenting brutality 75 minutes in lingers long after; the final black & white sequence even more so due to being open to countless interpretations. Fearless performances from Dafoe and Gainsbourg and far from the "misogynistic torture-porn" some viewers have claimed it to be. It's too complex, ambitious and ambiguous to be labeled with such simplicity.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.