Antichrist (2009) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Lars von Trier
Producers: Meta Louise Foldager
Writers: Lars von Trier
Date Released: May 20, 2009
Willem Dafoe – He
Charlotte Gainsbourg – She
Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm – Nic
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Antichrist (2009) begins with a couple who were having sex when their son died. As a result, the wife suffered from depression and grief and it was the husband’s responsibility as a therapist to get her back to normal. As part of the therapy, they went to the woods they call Eden to explore and overcome her fears. Strange things started to happen as the husband saw a doe with a supposedly newborn fawn still hanging on her behind. Subsequently, the wife starts acting strange and worsens. When the husband discovers research of witchcraft that the wife had conducted as part of her thesis, he begins to question the wife’s sanity all the while continuing to have violent sexual intercourse with one another. Furthermore, upon discovering the child’s autopsy, the wife feared that the husband would leave her and begins to act violently towards him as well as herself. As a result, the husband is faced with the difficult decision how to handle this situation.
Brutality and violence started when the couple stayed at the cabin in the woods. The apparitions of strange animals representing the three beggars were just the beginning. The most notable scenes of blood spill include the wife smashing the husband’s penis with a block of wood, drilling a hole in his leg and securing a bolted grindstone through it, and cutting her clitoris with scissors. The film is full of disturbing and grotesque imagery.
The Grave Review
This movie might not be appreciated by everyone. Antichrist (2009) is a film that invokes more philosophical and psychological symbolisms than the usual “antichrist” themes that we are used to seeing.
As a creation of Director, Lars von Trier, it’s more of an art film, especially with the way the visuals are presented such as the black and white slow motion epilogue and prologue, the dreamlike sequence in the woods, the falling acorns, the bodies in the forest, and the animals which are all subject to interpretation.
Even with just two characters, they pulled off great acting in this movie. Actor, Willem Dafoe and actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg were believable in their performance and really seemed like the dysfunctional couple they were depicting. They were not afraid to do everything and show everything, even the horrific genital mutilation scene.
The actual horror comes from the fact that the wife was obsessed with evil as people’s true nature. She is trying to prove this with her gynocide thesis and research on witchcraft. She even mentioned that nature is Satan’s church. Towards the end, she reveals herself as an actual witch and evil incarnate with her powers and participation in the death of the child. In this way, Antichrist (2009) had an interesting method of incorporating the horror element into the plot.
The ending is also obscure because of the faceless women in old clothes going up the woods. It could be proof that the wife was indeed a witch or the “antichrist” and these were the followers but again, everything is subject to one’s own interpretation.
Overall, this movie is good if you are more into art films and mindboggling symbolisms and as such then this film is for you.
For the foregoing reasons, Antichrist (2009) receives three graves out of five graves.
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