Antichrist (2009)

The first five minutes of the 2009 Lars Von Trier film Antichrist is a slow motion black and white “prologue” to his full story and features not only full on penetration but a toddler jumping out of a window to his death. Now if I was going to start a movie, that is definitely the way I’d go. However the rest of the movie? Not so much. Filled to the brim with pretentiousness, storytelling that can best be described as “completely ridiculous”, and two scenes that will challenge your gag reflex, Antichrist is a very loud misfire and a movie better left unwatched.

After the death of the child, the movie goes from black and white to color and truly begins. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Gainsbourg’s character (never named, but classified in the credits as “She”) goes into a deep depression and begins have violent nightmares and panic attacks. Dafoe (as “he”) is her loving husband and a psychiatrist who decides that he can do better than any other doctor at treating his wife and sets about making her better. When quizzed about what she fears the most, the forest of “Eden” is brought up, where they have a cabin set up. In an attempt to get her to face her fears, He brings her there to help…but things quickly turn evil as the forest itself has other plans for them…or something like that. I think.

After that ridiculously insane opening, I was completely hooked into the story…but it was quickly followed up by horrible inane dialogue and a story that was more head scratching and annoying than engaging. “He” puts her through all sorts of mental tests to try to get her to face whatever she is afraid of, but all it results in is weird dream-like sequences where Von Trier tries to get the film school kids hard with pretentious shots and editing. It’s of no fault to the actors themselves; Dafoe and Gainsbourg actually do really good with the material they are given and act the hell out of a script that should have never left the draft stage. It’s just that the story is so confusing and stupid that it doesn’t lend itself well to watching it play out.

To add to the pretentiousness, the parts of the film are split into three chapters, a prologue, and an epilogue, which was highly unnecessary and just added to my annoyance of the film. Again, kids who go/went to film school probably would dig this, but I like my movies NOT to suck.

The last twenty minutes of the movie…goddamn. Just goddamn. I cannot unsee what I just saw, but I wish I could. It’s explicit and violent and seems to serve no purpose other than for Von Trier to shock the audience and appease people who are too stuck up to admit it is stupid. However, it also made the movie interesting again in a “trainwreck” way; after an unspeakable violent act occurs, you can’t help but watch and see how they will top it…and top it they do. Trust me.

Antichrist features some good acting on the part of its two leads, but it’s an all around painful watch, devoid of any logic, shocking for shock’s sake. It’s convoluted, very misogynistic (for reasons I can’t say without spoiling it), and you can practically feel Lars Von Trier rubbing his boner through his pants as he shot this. If Lars Von Trier is truly the best film director in the world, then I want to quit watching movies forever.

Final Verdict:


If you aren’t convinced Antichrist sucks, or are one of those people I mentioned in my article, feel free to give it a whirl on Netflix Watch Instantly.


2 Responses to “Antichrist (2009)”

  1. April 10, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Ouch 1/5! I really did not enjoy the movie much as well but I did appreciate the wonderful cinematography and the fact that Gainsbourg and Dafoe gave outstanding performances. The movie itself seems to be shocking and grisly just for controversy’s sake and I did not see any point to it.

    • April 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      I did like the lead performances and I agree with the cinematography, but I can’t recommend this even on those levels because it’s just not a good watch. Lars Von Trier is a very overrated director, save for Dancer in the Dark.

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