This is the kind of film where I can tell that the director has a lot to say. Lars Von Trier has a way of communicating themes that's very unconventional. He uses graphic and explicit content in a way that immerses the audience, but doesn't sacrifice the integrity of the narrative. This film also has a visual grace about it that's oddly beautiful even though what he's showing us is horrific and disturbing. The prologue for this film is one of the most impressively shot sequences I've ever seen.
Another very impressive aspect of the film was the performances. There's only two to speak of, but they totally blew me away. Wilem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are acting titans. They took so many risks and were so vulnerable, especially Gainsbourg. She put herself out there in a way I haven't seen in a long time, and I think that helped me to track with her when she went to those dark places in the last act.
This film was disturbing, ambitious, nasty, chaotic, compelling, dark, nightmarish, and, overall, extremely brilliant. One of the most haunting and original films I've ever seen!
That was one of the first reviews I have ever written on Rotten Tomatoes. I rated it a 0.5/5 stars. When I typed that review, I was fairly new to the world of art house cinema, scrolling through Netflix's selection of films I had never heard of to find something new and different. After viewing "Antichrist," I felt sick. I just couldn't understand why the film needed to be so gruesome. Upon reexamining the film recently (several years and a greater knowledge regarding artistic cinema later), I realized that I didn't fully understand the film the first time. Having seen it with fresh eyes, Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" is a flawless work of artistic brilliance. It's rich in symbolism, features a disturbing performance from Charlotte Gainsbourg, and the cinematography is stunning. It may be hard to stomach, but "Antichrist" is a masterpiece and I hate it.
I would never recommend this film to anybody.
Sorry...God is not evident to be here...clearly...
Antichrist is directed by Lars Von Trier, and tells the tale of a couple, He (played by Willem Dafoe) and She (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg) who retreat to the woods in order to fix...something.
And that's all I'm going to really say plot-wise.
The good? Ok, Antichrist has no actual observable good in it, but it is an impeccable film. And by 'good' I mean things that made me smile and created joyous feelings. No. Pack that up and leave it at the door, because Antichrist is a very, very hard watch. Let's get all the technicalities out of the way first so I can talk more about the themes.
Acting? On point
Cinematography? On point
Seriously, Antichrist has a glorious base to build a kingdom on, and it builds a civilization. How the bloody hell did you do it Lars??? I am outstandingly impressed. The nature (hehe) of Antichrist is that it is the Devil's toybox. What I interpreted, is this being the story of Adam and Eve turned around on its head. A sub-concious mockery of the obscurity and ambiguity of religion with the messages of Hell and Anguish found amongst a sea of sugar-scrubbed lies. A seed of grief is planted in this film, and it physically and metaphorically grows into a woodland in which Satan can display his powers. How interest, sex, depression and torture are used as teddy bears for a live studio audience, 'the three beggars', who watch on this sickly game show take place and cameo in the performance whilst jeering the participants with gleeful ambition.
'Chaos Reigns' so the film speaks, I could hear audible laughter from the cackles of the supernatural as 'He' figured out the circumstances of his stay. It is hilarious for an unknown reason in the back of your mind, something tells you that someone finds this funny and jovial. What's really happening is simply humans being humans. Playing with their flesh, genitals and man-made tools to appease Satan, but it is simply not layered and scientific to be taken seriously. When 'He' reaches the climax of the film, it is rewarding to see a flock of people congratulate him in reaching the polar opposite of enlightenment.
The Bad? This film balances a lot of themes at the same time, and it could be perceived as messy, and even pretentious .However, what it does perfectly is organising the mess for a purpose made evident in the third act. This is not a film in which there is something human to base it on, this is a movie created by a creature and Lars Von Trier has been 'blessed' with the honour of making it visually accessible.
Where has this been all my life? This is a perfect horror movie, or just simply a perfect movie...which I wont be watching again any time soon. This will not become one of my re-watchable favourites due to graphic content (obviously not one to watch with well...literally anyone without being embarrassed) , but it will be preserved as one of the only two perfect films I have ever watched, in my life.
Wow. Oh My Satan.
I do not want to go into the various symbologies that the film back to because it varies the interpretation of each person, but it is worth mentioning some points, our protagonists unnamed go to a forest known as Eden, our protagonist blames himself for the death of the child, if guilt because they have sinned like Eve in paradise, the three beggars (as it is called the fourth chapter of the film) is a reference to the three kings, sacrifice is a way to pay for the sins of humanity to which the interpretation of it, women are the blame for sin, remember the final scene where several women without faces different bodies and ethnicities go toward the cabin, also to expunge their sins, that's some details of a very elaborate plot, the scenes of violence are heavy, especially the scene of genital mutilation was one of the most challenging scenes I've ever seen in a movie (and I've already seen a lot of movie junk stuck to Snuff), and explicit sex scenes too surprising, it is rare in a film, which leaves the performances of the actors in these dramatic moments, "Antichrist" really is not a movie for everyone, and many people will see it as a compelling thriller, others will be dazzled, others shocked, others will find an amazing movie and other will turn off the TV with 5min film is left you find out which group belongs.
Forgive my English by google translator.
Oddly enough, this was probably my favorite Von Trier movie that I've seen. That's probably due to the fact that Willem Dafoe's character was actually a normal dude and not some overly sexed up/sincere scholar who had his head up his ass (though, if the character was played by anyone else, that's probably exactly what he would have been like. *Cough Stellan Skarsgard in Nymphomaniac Cough*) I might give Dogtown a try after watching this movie. That being said, I cannot recommend this movie to everyone, due to its graphic and depressing themes. 2.5/5 stars.