HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
   
 
  Antichrist Hear Her RoarBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Lars von Trier
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Genre: Horror, Drama
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Recently this man (Willem Dafoe) and woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg), married to each other, suffered an unimaginable tragedy which they could not have forseen. While they were energetically making love one winter's night, their young son clambered out of his cot and crawled over to the window. The couple thought he was asleep and heard nothing over the baby monitor, but the child managed to get the window open, totter out onto the ledge and tumble to the ground below. Now, after the funeral and with the burden of massive guilt weighing heavily on their shoulders, they try to come to terms with what has happened...

Antichrist was labelled in the British tabloid press as the genital mutilation movie, and although that does happen, it takes up mere seconds of the whole film. For the most part anyone looking for lurid thrills, or indeed wanting to be throroughly shocked to the core, would find a curiously lethargic examination of grief that builds to violence in a woodland cabin, a sort of arthouse Evil Dead. Titillating it was not, as we were in the territory of writer and director Lars von Trier and the trouble with him was that he was a self-styled controversialist, always on the lookout to find fresh ways to wind up and excite those who were willing to be offended by his particular style of moviemaking.

It's a two way street, the relationship between those who wish to shock and those who are outraged by them, so if von Trier didn't have this reaction from that part of society you get the impression he'd be regarded as a lone voice of lunacy, ranting away mainly to amuse himself. The whole point of Antichrist is to elicit a reaction, although the overtly stated theme of the essential evil of women is not one that is persuasively put across as even the most dyed in the wool misogynist would come away from this feeling that it was overstating its case to a ludicrous degree. Having taunted those who would have sympathy with the likes of the mentally handicapped, European patriots unwilling to face the Nazi past and American patriots who ignore the shady background of their country, von Trier turned his attentions to a more universal love.

That was the love of a whole gender, and having not exactly set the world on fire with those previous targets outwith his loyal cult audience, with Antichrist it seemed as though he might be making some headway in the goal of offence. Alas, horror fans were let down as he could not leave his arty roots behind, and art fans were put off by the absurd stylings of the violence, so after making a few waves most outside the uninitiated forgot about the film pretty quickly. Perhaps he cast his net too wide, as he added the entirety of Mother Nature to his objective, because after half an hour of hushed conversations between Dafoe and Gainsbourg, the only characters we see for most of the time and the only ones who speak, the couple head out into the forest.

The natural world they see about them begins to goad the duo with its imagery, as if to say it encapsulates the despicability of the feminine. Psychiatrist Dafoe has taken his wife out to the remote cabin to continue the therapy he is performing on her, not to any great effect as we can see, but it simply means they send each other round the bend with their proximity to each other, and three totemic animals who keep cropping up: a deer, a fox and a raven. There's a mystical element to this too, as the plot searches about for some kind of archetypes to back up its argument against women, but the problem with that is we have seen the terrible instance of what plunged Gainsbourg's bereaved parent into such despair, so no matter how awfully she acts towards her husband, and she does act extremely harshly, we have understanding of why she has ended up this way which scuppers the spurious theories otherwise presented. Von Trier dares you to hate the woman, but he cannot eradicate the audience's humanity - you'd like to think that was the point all along. If not, Antichrist was no Fatal Attraction in the popular woman-hating stakes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2166 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Lars von Trier  (1956 - )

Notoriously eccentric Danish writer, director and producer, a graduate of the Danish Film School, who has capitalised on international acclaim and disdain in equal measure. Thrillers Forbrydelsens Element and Epidemic started the ball rolling, with distinctive war drama Europa really setting von Trier up as a talent to watch.

Breaking the Waves, the first in a series of victim stories, won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and his fame spread, especially as he had teamed up with three other directors to create the Dogme '95 rules of filmmaking - controversial The Idiots was von Trier's result. Then Dancer in the Dark, a musical starring Bjork, proving he was anything but predictable, and Dogville, a scabrous attack on American small town life.

He was next involved in The Five Obstructions, a documentary which revealed much about his methods. Then, a thematic follow-up to Dogville, slavery drama Manderlay, which was followed by little seen comedy The Boss of It All and most controversially, his relationship goes to hell horror Antichrist. His drama Melancholia won its star Kirsten Dunst Best Actress at Cannes, but he was ordered to leave after a press conference faux pas, then returned with the patience-testing, two part Nymphomaniac. On television, he created the superb horror series The Kingdom, and he frequently casts Udo Kier.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: