A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage, but nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.
1.It's a Lars von Trier film. He's the only director with two films in my all-time top 10 list ("Breaking the Waves" and "Dogville"), so needless to say, I'll watch anything he does.
4.The Prologue and the first two chapters in the film: the first half or so is an intriguing psychological horror about a couple trying to cope with the grief of losing their toddler son. The film is told in a prologue, Chapter I: Grief, Ch. II: Pain (Chaos Reigns), Ch. III: Despair, Ch. IV: The Three Beggars, and an epilogue.
5.By the end of chapter II, when a fox stares at Willem Dafoe and says "Chaos reigns" (which inadvertently made lots of spectators laugh), you will either see this as a ridiculous scene, not take the film seriously, perhaps even walk out; or see it as Lars winking at the audience, as if saying "If you think this is funny, you have no idea what's coming next" - and stay for the rest of the ride. That will determine whether or not this is the film for you.
1. A different film starts at Chapter III: an extremely gory, absurdly series of graphic scenes made purely for shock factor. While "Dogville" was and still is the most disturbing film I've ever seen (but also brilliant and psychologically stimulating), Antichrist is easily the most sickening.
2. A scene where a penis (Willem Dafoe's character, but certainly a body double's) literally ejaculates blood – is simply something I wish I could erase from my memory.
3. Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose organic, earthy beauty and fearlessness (her parents are Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, damn it!) fits the part very well (and even won the Best Actress prize at Cannes this year for her performance, a trend among Von Trier's female stars, who always deliver strong, memorable performances, although he is constantly accused of being misogynistic), is usually a pleasure to watch. But to see her cutting her own clit with scissors is inexcusable. By the time that happened, I had half of my face covered.
4. More mutilation per square feet than virtually any slasher movie you'll encounter. Personally, I don't think that's even necessary.
5. Dedicated to the Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky, this is a film that, love it or hate it, certainly is impossible to be indifferent to – which also could, and perhaps even should, be an argument to whether one should see it or not. However, in my not so humble opinion, Antichrist is so uncomfortable and disturbing for all the wrong reasons – which doesn't mean I won't keep watching Von Trier's films (bring us "Wasington", the conclusion to the "USA – Land of Opportunities" trilogy already – it's been a long wait!).
- Oct 23, 2009