A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away...
A couple lose their young son when he falls out of a window while they are having sex in another room. The mother's grief consigns her to hospital, but her therapist husband brings her home intent on treating her depression himself. To confront her fears they go to stay at their remote cabin in the woods, "Eden", where something untold happened the previous summer. Told in four chapters with a prologue and epilogue, the film details acts of lustful cruelty as the man and woman unfold the darker side of nature outside and within. Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
'Antichrist' was originally scheduled for production in 2005, but its executive producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen accidentally revealed the planned ending. Lars von Trier was furious and decided to delay the shoot so he could rewrite the script. See more »
In the end titles, George Frideric Handel's piece "Lascia ch'io pianga" is wrongly listed as "Laschia ch'io pianga". See more »
Following the death of their child, a therapist insists on helping his wife through her grief himself. She conceptualizes her anxiety as fear of the woods around their summer home and her husband, a proponent of hardcore exposure therapy, takes her there to face her fears. Once isolated at their cabin, however, her mental state rapidly deteriorates into acts of extreme physical and sexual violence.
Reminiscent of the dark, psychological studies of Ingmar Bergman and Roman Polanski, 'Antichrist' is an exceptionally well crafted film from a director working at the height of his powers. A sense of darkness and foreboding begins from the very first frame and is masterfully developed through almost dreamlike scenes of increasing dread to an unbearable last act of brutality, raising fascinating questions about the historical depiction of women as agents of the devil, from the Old Testament to Freudian psychoanalysis. Though the violence, whether physical or sexual, is extreme and graphic, it never once seems exploitation, but rather a natural manifestation of the deeply disturbed psychology of the character. Willem Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourgh carry the entire film with breathtaking performances of startling naturalism, courage and conviction. A powerful, disturbing, beautiful achievement.
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