Antichrist ★★★★½

This is a film not for the squeamish or those made even moderately uncomfortable by sex.

To put this bluntly at the beginning, I am a man with mental illness. I am bipolar and have literally gone insane. This means that movies dealing with the subject matter of mental illness and insanity really make an impact on me. I tend to identify with them and want to analyze/understand them more than any other that I see.

I find this film to be a brilliant character study of man, woman, & mental illness. This is not to say that the messages I found within it apply to all three of those subjects all the time -- but I felt it did a brilliant job with the characters that were chosen to be portrayed.

It was incredibly tense, uncomfortable, & real. Genuine realness is something I have found myself looking for more and more in film as I get older and I feel Antichrist does this quite well.

The horror and thrill it chooses to showcase is the kind we can see and hear about in every day life, caused by every day things. It shows the brutality of life and nature I find myself thinking we all too often sugarcoat in media, or are made more digestable.

I have heard this film described as "Gore Porn" or "Shockography" from some but I have a hard time seeing it that way myself. The performances from Willem Dafoe & Charlotte Gainsbourg sell every second of the movie to me. They feel legitimate, earned, & performed from real emotion. I feel that these actors, though they may not have gone through the exact subject material -- have gone through something somehow similar that has allowed them to tap into and feel during the course of their performances.

There's also the unsettling cinematography and the choice of lens that in scenes will obscure the image enough to make it seem otherworldly. Must be some kind of post processing going on to make it look like a film from the 70s or so too because there is a very unique and aged look to it that made me look up the cameras used for shooting (which turned out to be a modern RED).

I am a fan of films with small casts and few sets -- so this movie fit within those criteria nicely. I was impressed by just about everything about it and was hooked from beginning to end. The only thing holding it back from being 5/5 is I feel it is one of those movies that no matter how much I appreciated it, I only have the desire to watch it but once.