How do I describe this fucking movie? If you're interested in seeing Antichrist and you want to go in fresh, have no worries. I couldn't summarize the plot if I wanted to. I knew that this was a controversial film, but I wasn't prepared for the lunacy that unfolded before my eyes. It's not that I was shocked or horrified. I've seen more extreme stuff than this. I certainly wasn't offended. Let me put it this way; watching Antichrist was like being awakened from a reposed, unruffled nap by the bracing contents of a fire extinguisher. As the end credits rolled, I felt like I had been bludgeoned with the same fire extinguisher.

Prior to production, writer/director Lars Von Trier spent two months in a mental institution. That should give you some idea of how bizarre this film is. I don't even know how I feel about it. I do know that I couldn't look away from the screen during the 108-minute running time. The narrative is divided into four chapters plus a prologue and an epilogue. Oscar-winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle deserves another Oscar for his work on the prologue alone. I've never seen hardcore penetration look so pristine. There aren't many special effects, which ensured that the majority of the budget was allocated for world-class film stock. Either that or Willem Dafoe's price tag (how much is that method actor in the window?).

I can't confirm that they shot their wad on Dafoe, but if they did, it was money well spent. Surprisingly, his performance is restrained in comparison to that of Charlotte Gainsbourg. She steals the show with her topsy-turvy turn as an unhinged, grief-stricken woman mourning the loss of her son. She runs the emotional gamut from crestfallen all the way to schizophrenic. If I was one of those critics whose quotes always pop up in TV spots, I would say something to the effect of, "Charlotte Gainsbourg is fearless!" But she didn't play a struggling country musician, so no Oscar nod for her. I guess she'll have to cry harder next time.

Antichrist reminded me of Audition. If you've seen both films, you know why. Honestly, Lars Von Trier's ode to misogyny strikes me as the more disconcerting film. It goes so many places that other horror pictures wouldn't go to. Unlike A Serbian Film or The Human Centipede, two exploitation flicks that raised eyebrows due to their taboo subject matter, Antichrist predicates its over-the-top symbolism on human emotion. Perhaps that's why it held my attention. A few of the visual metaphors are laughable (the talking fox was too much), and the crux of the story won't appeal to everyone, but I'm going to go ahead and give Antichrist my coveted seal of approval. It's different. You can't deny that.


  1. I really liked this movie, and hope to never see it again, if that makes any sense to you. And yeah, if the Oscars had any legitimacy, this movie would have had a few nominations.

  2. It makes perfect sense. This wasn't a pleasant viewing experience.