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Antichrist (2009)

tomatometer

49

Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 162
Fresh: 79 | Rotten: 83

Gruesome, explicit and highly controversial; Lars Von Triers arthouse-horror, though beautifully shot, is no easy ride.

42

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 22

Gruesome, explicit and highly controversial; Lars Von Triers arthouse-horror, though beautifully shot, is no easy ride.

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 27,716

My Rating

Movie Info

A grieving couple retreat to 'Eden', their isolated cabin in the woods, where they hope to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse.

Mar 1, 2010

$0.2M

IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Antichrist

August 13, 2012:
Lars von Trier Announces Community Film Project
If you want to submit something for consideration, act fast -- the deadline is September 6.
April 26, 2012:
Lars von Trier's The Nymphomaniac Will Have Two Parts
He's aiming for a Cannes 2013 premiere.

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All Critics (162) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (79) | Rotten (83) | DVD (5)

Of course, von Trier wants us to react, to be repulsed, shocked, offended. Mission accomplished.

January 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comment (1)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Von Trier, never exactly an optimist, has never been this gloomy and pessimistic. Antichrist is the feel-bad movie of the year.

December 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Comment (1)
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Antichrist is a unique form of cruel and unusual punishment: an unrelenting orgy of graphic sex, violence and cynicism that also manages to be wildly pretentious.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Comments (3)
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Antichrist is a boldly personal film, tossing all von Trier's ideas about faith, fear, and human nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria, full of repulsive visions and fierce scorn.

November 20, 2009 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Self-loathing, mean, ugly and perfectly made, Antichrist is probably the best film ever that you'd recommend to absolutely no one.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (3)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Antichrist ends up being more unnerving than it is terrifying, and a lot funnier than it's supposed to be.

November 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (2)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...absurdly abstract in a way von Trier's best films are not.

March 19, 2014 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Von Trier admits he has no idea what any of this s--- means, but only a filmmaker of his skill could make such an inchoate mess so strangely entertaining.

March 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

Because of its impassioned conviction, placing it on a scale of value is practically irrelevant.

August 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

Before this movie goes careening desperately, hysterically, insanely off the rails, this is an ambitious, scary peek into pulsating, evil human hurt.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

It's audacious, gruesome and pushes to the extreme limits of acceptable cinema content: but it is never any of those things to exclude ordinary viewers.

March 1, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

... another provocation that is at once beautiful and perverse, personal and cynical, and filled with his sour vision...

November 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

It is unrelenting, terrifying and profoundly powerful. And it is really, really ballsy; a claim that viewers will recognise as being highly ironic considering the ball-related events that take place within the film.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

Von Trier is a prankster so any attempt to guess at WTF he had in mind could just end up with the Danish auteur pulling your leg. The Fox may have said it best:"Chaos Reigns"

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Kinetofilm
Kinetofilm

Von Trier tests not just the audience's tolerance for blood-soaked images of genital mutilation, but also our ability to stay awake during some colossally boring and pretentious stretches of filmmaking.

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Functioning as the inverse of the Biblical creation story, Antichrist is the most unique and divisive 'horror' film you are ever likely to see.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

A beautiful and ultimately very sad film.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

A grim film that wants you to feel the pain its characters do.

June 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's a far cry from Nicolas Roeg's excellent 1973 chiller Don't Look Now, which maintains a high-gloss art-house sheen yet draws us into its similar story of a couple coping with the drowning death of their child.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Built on a shallow premise designed to cheaply evoke feelings of disgust while elaborating on a simplistic theme.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies | Comments (2)
Window to the Movies

Despite some strikingly flourishes, von Trier's latest makes him look less like a mad genius and more like he's simply, mad.

March 1, 2010 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Wildly inconsistent, veering from boredom to moments of visual beauty to some of the most ghastly gruesomeness ever seen on screen.

February 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Purely as a visual and visceral experience, puckish writer-diretor Lars von Trier produces an enormously powerful phantasmagoria that deals with and reproduces the effects of fear and depression.

January 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

I cannot recommend Antichrist, but in a culture that hemorrhages death and torture nightly on shows like 24 or C.S.I., I can understand it.

January 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

'Antichrist' begins promisingly for the genre but descends into schlock/slasher-school stuff.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews | Comments (2)
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Antichrist

Lars Von Trier is a unique filmmaker that has a style that I would describe as eccentric, haunting, yet somewhat beautiful. With Antichrist he crafts a film that is horrifying and unforgettable. The cast here is impeccable and Trier's choices are terrific. Willem Dafoe and actress Charlotte Gainsberg deliver great performances here, and the story itself takes its time to unfold, with steady pacing, which is key in telling an effective story. Antichrist may not be a film for everyone, but those who enjoy Art films; well this is a film worth seeing. Antichrist is a tense, horror film with the art house flair, and Lars Von Trier delivers an unflinching. Raw in your face picture that has a powerful sense of visuals. Trier always seems to go for an unsettling way in telling a story, and he more than accomplishes that with this horror drama. Considering that Antichrist comprises of such a minimal cast of actors, I founds the film to be accomplished piece of cinema. If you have varied taste in cinema, then Antichrist might suit your palette. The content expressed on film is disturbing, and unforgettable, but that's what makes it resonate with the viewer. Antichrist seeks to disturb and succeeds in doing so. The film has its flaws, but as a piece of horror filmmaking it does succeed at capturing genre elements through Trier's camera lens. Overall this is a film that will appeal to genre fans, and it is well executed and quite tense throughout and like I've said before, due to its horrifying visuals, Antichrist is a film that you won't forget.
February 25, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A valiant, unsurprisingly ballsy and undeniably beautiful attempt by von Trier at creating a horror movie that goes deep into primal human fears than the popular 'jump scare' genre, but he eventually tries to tackle far too much, including religion and gender issues. As a result, the ending of the film is not just disturbing (as it meant to be), but either confused or simply confusing (whether the fault of the filmmaker or the viewer, a film that loses the audience while trying to shock them can't be seen as a complete success).
October 8, 2013
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

In presenting such a radical and polarizing title, Lars Von Triers asks the central questions: Where does evil come from, and is man an inherently evil species.

Antichrist does not mean the "opposite" of Christ (defined as grace or goodness in this context), but opposed to. Of course it's a fine line, and "opposed" can have several interpretations, just as this film, a two person play of sorts, can leave you arguing about not only who is "good" and who "opposes good", but the aforementioned central question.

As I mentioned, this is a two person drama (with the exception of animals - one who speaks two prophetic words; and an infant who only appears in the film's prologue). Interestingly, the two characters don't use each other's name during the film (perhaps showing a lack of intimacy in spite of all their on screen lovemaking), so Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are simply "he and she".

Von Triers begins the film with a lovely black and white passage, shot in slow motion, of the pair making love, oblivious to their surroundings and unaware that their toddler is able to maneuver his way past the infant gate and is... well let's just say he's a bit curious about the snow outside their loft apartment. This is all beautifully filmed and could stand alone as a short subject. Unfortunately this sequence is only the setup for the film, which is presented in three acts, and in spite of some wondrous and inventive shots, suffers from some truly atrocious editing in its storytelling.

Essentially we're dealing with emotional trauma here, and the stages of getting through said trauma - grief, pain and despair, each given a "chapter" in the film. For its first half, the film manages to keep you involved and wondering where this is headed. There's an overtone of "evil" with a capital E, that may represent Satan or not (as one scene clearly indicates, when He (a psychiatrist) tries to break She from her "abnormal anxiety" by making a pyramid list of her fears - at one point he puts Satan at the top, but then scratches that out).

What begins as a possible treatise on trauma and grief (which would have been a fine film, as it presents how differently two people can deal with the same tragedy), the film makes a sudden turn, if not into the supernatural, then into the psychotic natural and the surreal - which, at least for a time also works, until the surreal clashes heads with the all too real, leaving the film obvious and far removed from better possibilities.

There was so much potential here, but sadly the motivations became trite and oversimplified, as if Von Triers was afraid to leave anything ambiguous, such as She's investigation into Genocide (i.e. the killing of witches), which leads her (and supposedly the viewer) to ponder upon the supposition that women are inherently evil (the spawn of Satan and all that). She is a representation of all womankind - a portrayal of the emotional part of humanity, where logic cannot find a foothold. It is said in the film that nature is the culprit (and nature being the Devil's playground), and that due to nature, women are not in control of their bodies (I suppose meaning the monthly thing). He is portrayed as logic; cold and distant, seeking finite answers to the infinite questions. Again, this is interesting, and perhaps in better hands could have been profound; but here, sadly, we end up with a brutal sadistic bit of film pretending to be "horror".

My final score is in the middle, due to the wonderful opening sequence, some imaginative imagery, an interesting concept and some powerful, raw acting - as opposed to the last half, with some serious wrong choices, and jarring editing. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
May 14, 2013
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Von Trier has never been my cup of tea, and here he is flexing his provocateur nature to the extreme. this vaguely reminded me of some psychosexual themes explored more succesfully by people like Bergman, Cronenberg or Zulawski, only that even the last two could rely a bit more on subtlety rather than plethoric violence. However a demented and deceiving film that provokes my guts and my curiosity is worth the time.
April 23, 2013
pier007

Super Reviewer

    1. He: Exposure. That's the only thing that works. Everything else is just talk. You have to have to courage to stay in the situation that frightens. And then you'll learn that fear isn't dangerous.
    – Submitted by Dov D (22 months ago)
    1. He: Acorns don't cry, you know that as well as I do. That's what fear is, thoughts distort reality. Not the other way around.
    – Submitted by Dov D (22 months ago)
    1. She: Chaos reigns.
    – Submitted by Grace R (2 years ago)
    1. He: The thoughts distort reality, not the other way around.
    – Submitted by Jeshua H (2 years ago)
    1. She: A crying woman is a scheming woman.
    – Submitted by Blake J (2 years ago)
    1. She: When the three beggars arrive someone must die.
    – Submitted by Sam M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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