Antichrist (2009) Poster

Antichrist (2009)

  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 38,536 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Horror
  • Release Date: 20 May 2009 (Denmark)
  • Runtime: 108 min
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Antichrist (2009)

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  • IMDb page: Antichrist (2009)
  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 38,536 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Horror
  • Release Date: 20 May 2009 (Denmark)
  • Runtime: 108 min
  • Filming Location: Cologne, North Rhine – Westphalia, Germany
  • Budget: $11,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $677,007(Italy)
  • Director: Lars von Trier
  • Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm
  • Original Music By: Kristian Eidnes Andersen   
  • Soundtrack: 'Lascia ch'io pianga' from 'Rinaldo'
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Cabin | Woods | Nature | Cabin In The Woods | Grief

Writing Credits By:

  • Lars von Trier (written by)

Known Trivia

  • Eva Green was considered for the leading lady but rejected because her contract was too complex.
  • The story is divided into four chapters, “Grief”, “Pain (Chaos Reigns)”, “Despair (Gynocide)” and “The Three Beggars”, in addition to a prologue and an epilogue, all displayed over abstract designs by Danish artist Per Kirkeby.
  • This movie received a special anti-award from the ecumenical jury at Cannes. The jury, which typically awards a film that promotes spiritual and humanist values, decided to award this film an anti-award for its misogynistic views. However, Lars von Trier did not confirm in a later interview that he was a misogynist, saying he loved women and understood Her better than Him.
  • ‘Antichrist’ was originally scheduled for production in 2005, but its executive producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen accidentally revealed the planned ending. Lars von Trier was furious and decided to delay the shoot so he could rewrite the script.
  • In 2007 Lars von Trier announced that he was suffering from a depression, and that it was possible that he never would be able to make another film. “I assume that ‘Antichrist’ will be my next film. But right now I don’t know,” he told the Danish newspaper ‘Politiken’. During an early casting attempt, English actors who had come to Copenhagen had to be sent home, while Trier was crying because his poor condition did not allow him to meet them.
  • The title was the first thing that was written for the film.
  • When the filming started, Lars von Trier had just left a mental hospital where he stayed for two months, receiving treatment for depression. He had not completely recovered at the time and was even unable to operate the camera as he usually does, which made him very frustrated. He repeatedly excused himself to the actors for being in the mental condition he was, but, according to him, the actors supported him and throughout production, he did not experience any grave problems, except for his own condition.
  • Producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen revealed at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival that he originally wanted the film to be released in 3D. However, Lars von Trier disapproved of this. Also, the idea of making his next film, Melancholia in 3D, was immediately scrapped, although it seemed to be normal and obvious after the 3D boom upon the release of Avatar.
  • Lars von Trier regarded his post-depression version of the script as some kind of an exercise for himself, to see if he had recovered enough to be able to work again. Trier has also made references to August Strindberg and his Inferno Crisis in the 1890s, comparing it to his own writing under difficult mental circumstances: “was Antichrist my Inferno Crisis?”
  • Several notable names appear in the credits as having assisted Trier in the writing. Danish writers/directors Per Fly and Nikolaj Arcel are listed as script consultants, and writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen as story supervisor. Also credited are researchers dedicated to fields including “misogyny”, “anxiety”, “horror films” and “theology”.

Plot: A grieving couple retreats to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. Full summary »  »

Story: A couple lose their young son when he falls out the window while they have sex in the other room. The mother's grief consigns her to hospital, but her therapist husband brings her home intent on treating her depression himself. To confront her fears they go to stay at their remote cabin in the woods, "Eden", where something untold happened the previous summer. Told in four chapters with a prologue and epilogue, the film details acts of lustful cruelty as the man and woman unfold the darker side of nature outside and within.Written by Peter Brandt Nielsen  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Bettina Brokemper known as executive co-producer: Zentropa International Köln
  • Rémi Burah known as co-producer: Arte France Cinéma
  • Gunnar Carlsson known as co-producer: SVT
  • Jérôme Clément known as co-producer: Arte France Cinéma
  • Madeleine Ekman known as co-producer: Trollhãttan Film AB
  • Meta Louise Foldager known as producer
  • Peter Garde known as executive producer
  • Sanne Glæsel known as line producer: Denmark and Germany
  • Gebhard Henke known as co-producer: Groups Grand Accord, WDR
  • Peter Aalbæk Jensen known as executive producer
  • Lars Jönsson known as co-producer: Memfis Film
  • Andrea Occhipinti known as co-producer: Lucky Red
  • Michel Reilhac known as co-producer: Arte France Cinéma
  • Johannes Rexin known as line producer: Germany
  • Andreas Schreitmüller known as co-producer: Groupe Grand Accord, Arte G.E.I.E.
  • Marianne Slot known as executive co-producer: Slot Machine
  • Malgorzata Szumowska known as co-producer: Zentropa International Poland
  • Meinolf Zurhorst known as co-producer: ZDF-Arte
  • Ole Østergaard known as co-producer: Zentropa International Poland (as Ole Ostergaard)
  • Ole Østergaard known as financial producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Willem Dafoe known as He
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg known as She
  • Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm known as Nic

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Antje Bockeloh known as hair designer
  • Uta Bucklitsch known as special effects body makeup artist
  • Thomas Foldberg known as makeup effects: Soda Aps
  • Morten Jacobsen known as makeup effects: Soda ApS
  • Dennis Knudsen known as makeup artist: second unit, Denmark
  • Johanna Koch known as special effects body makeup artist
  • Nicola Pandel known as additional special effects makeup: White Rabbit FX
  • Sarah Poeck known as special effects body makeup artist
  • Jörg Runk known as special effects body makeup artist
  • Hue Lan Van Duc known as hair designer
  • Hue Lan Van Duc known as makeup designer
  • Silke Weiss known as special effects body makeup artist
  • Sarah Wirtz known as special effects body makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Jean Roch Bechameil known as sculptor: Denmark (as Jean Bechameil)
  • John Campana known as props builder
  • Sune Elskær known as storyboard
  • Thomas Foldberg known as special props: Soda ApS
  • Simone Grau known as set decorator: second unit, Denmark
  • Frank Halbe known as construction crew
  • Andrè Haskamp known as art department helper
  • Jürgen Heinen known as construction crew
  • Peter Hjorth known as storyboard
  • Stefan Höh known as props assistant
  • Morten Jacobsen known as special props: Soda ApS
  • Rüdiger Joch known as construction manager
  • Edda Jónsdóttir known as props: test shoot
  • Michael Kalden known as property master
  • Per Kirkeby known as chapter titles artwork
  • Tobias Lieven known as construction crew
  • Kornelia List known as painter
  • Annika Lodo known as art department runner
  • Jesper Lorents known as property master: second unit, Denmark
  • Bernd Nagel known as painter
  • Pit Paffen known as sculptor
  • Ellen Pechtheyden known as painter
  • Tuba Sarica known as art department trainee
  • Andre Seis known as construction crew
  • Ellen Somnitz known as art director assistant
  • Maurizio Spina known as greenery
  • Philippe Stanzel known as construction crew
  • Sabine Steudter known as stand-by props
  • Falk Wenzel known as stand-by construction
  • Gabriele Winzen known as chief painter
  • Dominik Wipperfürth known as construction crew

..

 

Company

Production Companies:

  • Zentropa Entertainments
  • Zentropa International Köln (co-production)
  • Slot Machine (co-production)
  • Memfis Film (co-production)
  • Trollhättan Film AB (co-production)
  • Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (in co-operation with)
  • Lucky Red (co-production)
  • Zentropa International Poland (co-production)
  • Danmarks Radio (DR) (in co-operation with)
  • arte France Cinéma
  • ZDF/Arte
  • ARTE (in co-operation with)
  • Film i Väst (in co-operation with)
  • Sveriges Television (SVT) (in co-operation with)
  • CNC (in co-operation with)
  • Canal+ (in co-operation with)
  • Det Danske Filminstitut (in co-operation with)
  • Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF) (in co-operation with)
  • Liberator Productions (co-production)
  • Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond (in co-operation with)
  • Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej (in co-operation with)
  • Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI) (in co-operation with)
  • Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) (in co-operation with)

Other Companies:

  • Auto Amlang Köln  taxi service
  • BMW Group  special car services
  • Banque Neuflize  banking
  • Bauunternehmen Struck Ruppichteroth  road construction
  • Brehm & von Moers  legal advisor: Heimafilm (as Brehm & v.Moers)
  • CMC  insurance broker
  • Cabinet Rabourdin  auditor
  • Car Motion Service (CMS)  car rental
  • Cine Block Filmservice  office caravan and filmservice (as Cine Block)
  • Cineblock Köln  location service
  • Cinematic Places  location scouting
  • Dedo Weigert Film  camera equipment
  • Fauna Film  animal training
  • Film & Television Facilities  facility vehicles
  • Film Finances Scandinavia  completion bond
  • Filmobil  trailer and honeywagon
  • Filmservice Andermann  driving services
  • Forstædernes Bank  banking
  • Gerken Arbeitsbühnen Düsseldorf  skylifts
  • Germany Price Watergouse Coopers  auditor
  • Golfhotel Gut Heckenhof Eitorf  hotel
  • Gripdepot Köln  camera crane
  • Heimatfilm  service company: Germany
  • Hotel Schützenhof Eitorf  hotel
  • Interface Media Group  on-set press agent (as Interface PR)
  • JS Revision  auditor
  • Kastelskirken  recorded in
  • Ludwig Kameraverleih  camera equipment (as Kameraverleih Ludwig)
  • Maier Bros Cologne  light and grip equipment (as Maier Bros.)
  • Mainstream ApS  sound studio
  • Mainstream Sweden  mixing studio
  • Media Insurance Brokers  insurance broker
  • Natixis Coficiné  banking
  • Neeb GmbH Co.KG Wuppertal  mighty tiny crane
  • Niedenhoff Transport Agency  courier
  • Party und Catering Service Hermann Koenen  catering
  • Rainbow Helicopters Mainz  helicopter
  • Red Digital Cinema  camera equipment provided by
  • Steigenberger Parthotel Düsseldorf  hotel
  • Taxi Wisser Eitorf  taxi service
  • Tekniks  camera equipment
  • Tekniks  light and grip equipment
  • Text Bild Medienproduktion  animal photography
  • Thöne und Partner Wuppertal  rigging company
  • Transportteam Kreitz  courier
  • Upper Level Travel  travel agency

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Distributors:

  • Interior13 Cine (2010) (Mexico) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film Distribution (2009) (Denmark) (all media)
  • Lucky Red (2009) (Italy) (theatrical)
  • Cineteca Nacional (2010) (Mexico) (all media)
  • ACME (2009) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Budapest Film (2009) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • California Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (theatrical)
  • Central Partnership (2009) (Russia) (theatrical)
  • Discovery Film & Video Distribution (2009) (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Estinfilm (2009) (Estonia) (theatrical)
  • Golem Distribución (2009) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Gutek Film (2009) (Poland) (theatrical)
  • Iae (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • King Record Co. (2011) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Les Films du Losange (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • MFA Filmdistribution (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2009) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Nordisk Film (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Palador Pictures (2009) (India) (theatrical)
  • Pars Film (2009) (Iran) (theatrical)
  • Pro Film (2009) (Bulgaria) (theatrical)
  • Prorom Media-Trade (2009) (Romania) (theatrical)
  • Transmission (2009) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Wild Bunch Benelux (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Artificial Eye (2010) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Ascot Elite Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Criterion Collection, The (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Film1 (2010) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • IFC Films (2009) (USA) (all media)
  • M6 Vidéo (2009) (France) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Medusa Distribuzione (2009) (Italy) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Nordisk Film (2009) (Iceland) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film (2009) (Norway) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
  • Prisvídeo – Edições Videográficas (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Seven Films (2009) (Greece) (all media)

..

 

Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Soda FX (makeup effects and special props)
  • White Rabbit FX (additional special effects makeup)
  • Platige Image (visual effects)
  • Filmgate (visual effects: Sweden)

Visual Effects by:

  • Fredrik Averpil known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Wojciech Baginski known as rotoscopy artist: Platige Image
  • Håkan Blomdahl known as lead compositing artist: Filmgate
  • Piotr Dworaczynski known as rotoscopy artist: Platige Image
  • Kacper Fertacz known as senior compositor: Platige Image
  • Marcin Filipek known as 3d animation: Plaitage Image
  • Jakub Grygier known as matte painting/concepts: Platige Image
  • Krzysztof Grygowski known as senior compositor: Platige Image
  • Peter Hartwig known as cg artist: test shoot
  • Peter Hartwig known as tools programmer: test shoot
  • Sarah K. Hellström known as visual effects coordinator: Filmgate
  • Peter Hjorth known as visual effects supervisor
  • Andreas Hylander known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Adam Janeczek known as senior compositor: Platige Image
  • Katarzyna Jarzyna known as visual effects executive producer: Platige Image
  • Jakub Knapik known as lead compositing and cgi artist: Platige Image
  • Rasmus Lange known as endroller graphics: Filmgate
  • Linus Lindbalk known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Karen Maarbjerg known as visual effects producer
  • Joseph McLamb known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Daniel Nielsen known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Emelie Nilsson known as visual effects artist: Filmgate
  • Rafal Sadowy known as senior compositor: Platige Image
  • Jaroslaw Sawko known as senior visual effects producer: Platige Image
  • Piotr Sikora known as senior visual effects producer: Platige Image
  • Jacek Skrobisz known as senior compositor: Platige Image
  • Lukasz Sobisz known as research and development/simulations: Platige Image
  • Piotr Suchodolski known as modeler: Plaitage Image
  • Pawel Szklarski known as rotoscopy artist: Platige Image
  • Aleksander Szkudlarek known as rotoscopy artist: Platige Image
  • Sean Wheelan known as visual effects producer: Filmgate
  • Adam Wierzchowski known as research and developmet/simulations: Platige Image
  • Rafal Wojtunik known as matte painting/concepts: Platige Image
  • Katarzyna Chodak known as production assistant: Platige Image (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • France 18 May 2009 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • Denmark 20 May 2009
  • Italy 22 May 2009
  • Poland 29 May 2009
  • Finland 31 May 2009 (EKEK Sika säkissä Film Festival)
  • France 3 June 2009
  • Finland 5 June 2009
  • Norway 5 June 2009
  • Sweden 5 June 2009
  • UK 24 June 2009 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
  • Kazakhstan 2 July 2009
  • Russia 2 July 2009 (limited)
  • Czech Republic 8 July 2009 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Ireland 24 July 2009
  • UK 24 July 2009 (limited)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 August 2009 (Sarajevo Film Festival)
  • Spain 21 August 2009
  • Netherlands 23 August 2009 (Noorderzon Festival Groningen)
  • Brazil 28 August 2009
  • Canada 10 September 2009 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Germany 10 September 2009
  • Belgium 16 September 2009
  • Finland 21 September 2009 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Thailand 25 September 2009 (Bangkok International Film Festival)
  • USA 25 September 2009 (Austin Fantastic Fest)
  • Iceland 28 September 2009
  • Romania 29 September 2009 (Iasi International Film Festival)
  • Greece 1 October 2009
  • USA 2 October 2009 (New York Film Festival)
  • Estonia 10 October 2009
  • USA 12 October 2009 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Romania 16 October 2009
  • USA 21 October 2009 (Video On Demand)
  • USA 23 October 2009 (limited)
  • Austria 29 October 2009 (Vienna International Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 29 October 2009
  • Taiwan 6 November 2009
  • Argentina 10 November 2009 (Mar del Plata Film Festival)
  • Canada 13 November 2009 (limited)
  • Australia 26 November 2009 (limited)
  • Slovenia 7 January 2010 (limited)
  • Portugal 28 January 2010
  • Turkey 11 June 2010
  • Hong Kong 8 July 2010 (limited)
  • Hungary 18 November 2010
  • Japan 12 February 2011 (Tokyo Northern Lights Festival)
  • Japan 26 February 2011
  • Mexico 18 March 2011
  • South Korea 14 April 2011
  • Japan 11 October 2011 (Kawasaki Shinyuri Film Festival)

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .

10 Comments

  1. theisbj from Denmark
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    This movie drained me…

    Without a doubt the most unpleasant and despairing movie I've everwatched. It's not just the graphic imagery that got to me, but theoverall tone of the movie was incredibly dreadful and you could almostfeel a presence of some sort of "evil".

    This is a hard movie to review. It crosses all barriers when it comesto movie making…ALL. It makes you question yourself about what art isand if there's anything as going "too far"?

    But don't dismiss this. It's certainly much more than just beinggraphic for the sake of it. First off, the cinematography is absolutelyflawless. The opening scene had me in absolute awe. Beautiful… And mydeepest respect to Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsburg. I could onlyimagine how much this would drain the actors both mentally andphysically. They are amazing and deserve Oscars.

    I have to mention the violence too, since it's a critical aspect. Thisisn't "torture porn" of any kind. It's natural (it's looks almost toorealistic), physical sexual violence. That's why it works so effectiveon the audience. You can almost feel their pain. Never before have Iwatched a movie where I felt the urge to look away. You would thinkthat, in the end, all this violence and self molestation is just ashock tactic, but I assure you it's not. There is actually a plot and asensible progression of the movie. I of course won't say too much.People need to see it.

    I can understand why some people wouldn't like it, and that's okay.This is most definitely not for everyone.

    It may not be a movie that made me feel good, but it made feelsomething and had an effect on me. It's beautiful, sad, poetic,horrific and in the end, oddly uplifting. A genre masterpiece.

    A must see.

    10/10.

  2. Claus Reinhold from Denmark
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    First I have to make a comment to cynibun from United States who wrote"And if you look at the previous reviewers they are from Denmark, wherethe director is from. Perhaps you have to be Danish to appreciate thehorrific torture pornography, who knows??… Americans have more sensethankfully, and do not call everything art simply because the directoris foreign." I have no idea why it should matter where the otherreviewers are from. That has nothing to do with "Antichrist" as a film.Some like it and some don't, no matter what country they are from. If Idon't like an American film I don't go out and bash on reviewers fromAmerica and then state that Danes have more sense – what's that allabout? Sense of what? Personally I don't think it makes much sensemaking movies like "American Pie" or "Hannah Montana", but hey, theyproduce the films anyway – maybe because they have more sense. HannahMontana makes a LOT of sense… And you don't have to come from Denmarkto like "Antichrist" (though it is a very constructive statement), I'mguessing there is one or two people from Russia or Poland who likes thefilm also…

    Back to Lars Von Trier and "Antichrist". First of all – I don't knowwhy everybody keeps saying this film is a gore fest. "Uhhh it's sobrutal, violent and extremely gory". What? Okay, there's more bloodthan in "Hannah Montana" but if "Antichrist" is a sick and gory film, Idon't know what you would call films like "Ichi The Killer", NakedBlood", "Inside" and "Audition"? There is more blood/gore in "Se7en"than in "Antichrist" (or maybe the same amount), so I don't know whatall the fuzz is about… Anyway… I loved the film!!! When I left thetheater I didn't know quite what to think, but it grows and becomesbetter and better. It's a fantastic work of art, the cinematography byAnthony Dod Mantle is amazing and the whole feel of the film is bothbeautiful and scary at the same time. Willem Dafoe is at his best inthis one.

    I guess you have to have an open mind when watching this. The film doesnot give any answers and is rich on symbolism – guess one could call it"experimental horror-drama". Lars Von Trier is back in his hypnoticvisual style and mindfuc*ing storytelling, and this is where he isbest! Not a film for the mainstream audiences, but I recommend it ifyou have an open mind and want something new and different, and have(almost) as much sense as Americans.

  3. Chris_Docker from Scotland, United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    Where does horror reside in the psyche?

    Lars von Trier has established himself as a maker of serious,avant-garde drama. He came to fame through Breaking the Waves, acontroversial story of how far someone would go for love. He foundedthe Dogme movement of verite cinema, and made The Idiots, where lunacyand sanity are cleverly mixed. Next came Dancer in the Dark, an almostJanacek-like musical where a blind girl takes inner fantasy toextremes. There were experiments like The Five Obstructions, and twohighly theatrical Brechtian pieces called Dogville and Manderlay, withchalklines instead of sets. One of the few uncontroversial films he hasmade is Boss of it All, an extremely clever comedy that didn't receivemuch attention.

    If someone like von Trier makes a horror movie, it is hardly likely tobe standard fare. He makes films that provide himself and his audienceswith thorny intellectual challenges. This results both in adherents andthose which dismiss his work as pretentious. (Inasmuch as this reviewis partly interpretative, other viewers may find their own preferredreadings which differ from the approach given here.) With Antichrist,although there are standard 'fright' moments, the main horror is deeppsychological manipulation that stays with you for days afterwards.Instead of lashings of gore that can retrospectively be dismissed as'more CGI,' von Trier seems to do exactly the opposite of what aFreudian psychotherapist would do in releasing obsessions. He locks theterrifying nature of the horror to the most extreme sexual images. Thenarrative itself follows a similar process. A psychotherapist, with thebest intentions, leads his wife into the darkest recesses of her mind.But instead of releasing psychological trauma, he reinforces it, untilhe has to defend himself when she becomes the controlling force.

    A psychotherapist (Willem Dafoe) and his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg)are making love as their young toddler climbs onto a desk to look atsnowflakes outside. And falls to his death. This opening prologue isoperatic in its soundtrack and intensity. Exquisite monochromephotography captures water droplets in slow motion to Handel. There isa very brief, aesthetically contextualised glimpse of penetration,setting the audience up for the psycho-sexual horrors that followlater. In the trauma of bereavement, He asks his wife to visualise herworst nightmares in order to help her overcome them. She pictures thewoods as symbolising her fear, and they both retreat to an 'Eden' – anisolated cabin surrounded by woods.

    The film is divided into six parts, including a Prologue (thelovemaking and death), Grief, Pain, and Despair; The Three Beggars, andan Epilogue. At the end of the prologue, the next three chapters areheralded by three toy soldiers from the dead son's toyroom, eachappropriately named.

    With Grief, comes very palpable sorrow from both leads. The playersbecome substantial rather than dramatis personae. Colour is added tothe previously monochrome palette, literally and in terms of fillingout their characters.

    As we go through Pain, his wife seems eventually cured. Our nerves,however, are frayed. This is compounded by the rhythmic, hypnoticpounding of acorns falling on the roof of the cabin, and his irritatingbut inescapable smugness as he treats his wife as a patient rather thana human being needing support. He forever has a self-satisfied, smartanswer. Retreating to her own area of expertise, she comes out withever more unanswerable metaphors, including, "Nature is Satan'sChurch." (She had been working previously on a book about 'Gynocide'and witch-hunts). The chapter finally introduces openly surrealelements, when a fox is unearthed. (The cunningness of foxes suggests areliance on logic, whereas the subconscious can rely more on symbols,introducing chaos to a 'logical world.') Chapter three is entitledDespair (Gynocide). He learns things about his wife he didn't knowbefore but perhaps should have. He is pulled into her nightmare. We seehim soaked in the rain, at the mercy – for the first time – of theelements. The fourth chapter gives form to the imaginary content of thepreceding three, and includes the most upsetting and outrageous scenes(which some viewers will find objectionable). The epilogue provides anarrative and psychological resolution in the only way possible whenthings have come to such a head. We also see the story relate now tothe whole of humanity.

    The title of the film contains far more than is at first apparent,although there is also some weakness for the film there. In ancient(pre-'Christian') mythology, the 'Christos' was the enlightened soulwithin, a central experience of the Gnostic 'heretics.' Their pureaspiration enflamed prayer to reach this exalted realisation. Thedanger, of course, was that they would mistake an experience along theway for the 'ultimate truth' and become 'obsessed.' This also relatesto why so many mystics and spiritual seekers form their own sects. Froma Roman Catholic viewpoint, it might be used to explain many differentchurches that fall short of the ultimate authority. Von Trier is alapsed Catholic, and describes himself as increasingly atheist. He hassaid he keeps a copy of Nietzsche's Antichrist at his bedside. InNietzschean terms, any (traditional) religious conviction is anobsession that falls short of ultimate truth. In New Testamentorthodoxy, an Antichrist is what (or who) precedes the Second Coming.Obsession as a temptation along the way works in all mythologies.Psychologically, this is simple description of a process in the mind.But von Trier's use of Christian symbols complicates the issue andobfuscates an elaborate tragedy that is already nearly Shakespearean inits format.

    Antichrist is sure to get reactions, even from audiences not geared tohis work. For them, the extreme and graphic sexual imagery may be apsychological device too far. For others, among whom are a rare breedof horror aficionados that enjoy a challenge while being outraged andviolated, it is a gem of inestimable value.

  4. arturo-45 from Denmark
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    Antichrist is an excellent and not often seen chance to see amagnificent piece of art. The director Lars Von Trier has alwaysattempted to go beyond the limits of what could be shown in a moviewithout compromising his artistic vision. And in antichrist hesucceeds. A sometimes hard and gruelling movie to watch – I am at thispoint, a mere 1½ hour after exciting the movie theater, still deeplyaffected by the fantastic imagery and the cruel nauseating violence andself molestation. This is definitely a must see movie – if not foranything else, then at least for the splendid acting performances andthe absolutely genius photographing. Von Trier has succeeded increating a movie that is going to shock and must likely offend – butalso assure movie buffs like myself – that there are still moviedirectors about that knows how to create masterpieces in a time wheremainstream seems to be all there is.

  5. Jack` Harding from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    An eerie yet gorgeous tapestry of lingering close-ups; parallels, cutsand slow-motion photography, Lars Von Trier's Antichrist is a gruellingtale of mythical grandeur: a bizarre yet beautiful film chock full ofsadism and shagging, Satanic dogma and similes. Most of which, I don'tunderstand. So you'll be pleased to know that I have no intention ofharping on about the director's bent meditation on gender, nature,genocide, motherhood, misogyny and astronomy. I find all that stuffinteresting, don't get me wrong, but when things get Freudian I'm wayout of my league. Therefore, I'll stick to what I know.

    Albeit seething with emotion, Antichrist refuses to adhere to some ofthe general "rules" of the classical Hollywood narrative, meaning itlacks clarity, unity and closure. For example, there're only twocharacters, both of which remain nameless and have indefinite; pasts,motives and are somewhat difficult to identify with. The film rejectsconventional morality. It is a difficult and uncomfortable experiencethat'll unnerve even the most robust of film fans. So if you like yourfilms light, clear and conservative, stay away. If, however, you're afan of, say, Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now, director David Lynch oryou just dig a bit of alternative cinema, then brace yourself for ahugely demanding tableau that film critic Anita Singh of the SundayTelegraph dubbed "the most shocking film in the history of the CannesFilm Festival." Willem Dafoe plays "he", a therapist and husband to"she" (Charlotte Gainsbourg), the female half of the cast whose line ofwork we never really learn. After a quite miraculous opening montagethat juxtaposes the couple making love with the accidental death oftheir child, the embedded tale follows the pair as they flee to "Eden",their isolated cabin in the woods, where "he" attempts to aid aseverely grief stricken "she" through her bereavement.

    Book-ended by a masterfully conceived prologue and epilogue and splitinto four focal chapters entitled "Grief", "Pain", "Despair" and "TheThree Beggars" (don't ask), the film takes on a ghostlike tone from theoutset as the boundaries between the real and surreal become blurred.Alas, things get weird, edgy and very, very nasty. The sheer mass andrate of dense motifs and metaphors at hand regarding sex, Freud, thedevil and the soul is a little overwhelming. Not to mention the forceand intensity of both Dafoe and Gainsbourg's turns in addition to thefilm's strong, emotional undercurrent.

    In spite of large and sustained periods of quite brilliant film-making,Antichrist contains some of the most violent and deplorable images evercommitted to celluloid. For the ladies there's self mutilation. For thegents there's…I, I, I can't even say it. Put it this way, it ain't goodlads…Anyway, add to the unthinkable gore a whole host of outlandishset-ups, half a dozen scenes of a sexual nature and one or two jolts intone and you'll be scared silly. Remember- sometimes in cinema, youfear what you don't understand, especially when the camera is anunflinching eye inside the head of a disturbed, Danish poet. Lars VonTrier is an excellent filmmaker, but even his biggest fans will find ithard to swallow this, never mind stomach it.

    Dedicated to the memory of legendary soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky,Antichrist is truly as haunting, delicate and poetic a film as you'reever bound to see. Though shrouded in scenes of unspeakable cruelty,the film eludes to the work of Tarkovsky in a big way: Von Trier'swarped Adam and Eve parable is a moody, metaphysical affair cloaked inhypnotic, dreamlike imagery that calls to mind the likes of Mirror,Solaris and the brilliant Stalker. The trancelike photography; sound,score, and editing demonstrate a predilection for atmospheric,art-theatre sensibility. Tarkovsky would have loved it. This, afterall, is a film that simply has to be seen to be believed. Notnecessarily for its aesthetic grandeur, gore or technique, but for itsharrowing portrayal of a soul in torment.

    What's it all about? Who cares?! Antichrist is an unusual, atmospherichorror film that's guaranteed to provoke. The performances are honestand strong, the aesthetics are bold, the direction is brilliant and theoutcome is something that is ultimately hard to come by these days:authentic film-making.

    Jack Harding

  6. ngo-jacki from Denmark
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    Lars Von Trier is a director who's always been going his own ways, andthis can definitely be seen in this movie. Antichrist is a movie thatdoesn't hold anything back when it comes to gore, and the stuff thatyou see in the film won't leave your mind the next couple of days. Butthe movie itself is much more than that… The movie is beautifullyshot, the story and setting extremely uncomfortable and the acting isfantastic. The movie is sometime painful to watch, not in a "Saw" or"Hostel" kind of way, but when you leave the theater you feel genuinelyuncomfortable, and that is one of the reasons why i liked this movie.It's a movie like nothing i've experienced and I'm glad that we havedirectors like Lars Von Trier that dares to make a film like this. It'snothing like the mainstream movies that are being made nowadays, and itmakes your mind race when you leave the theater, something very fewmovies does. You aren't served with facts, as with any other movies,but are left to interpret and think for yourself. It's a bizarre movieand not one for the faint of heart, but if you dare to be provoked andsee a movie like nothing you've ever seen, then go see Antichrist.

  7. from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    I loved this movie, not because of the gore and violence, but becauseit's… well I don't know how to say it, but it moved me in a lot moreways than the usual movie, this movie makes Tarantino look like amainstream instructor, this is as much an art piece as it is a movie,it'll make you feel things that you never thought a movie would evermake you feel.

    I for one are tired of all the mainstream "good guy's life is good, badguy ruins it, good guy takes revenge" predictable movies, sadly itseems to be what 99% of the American population prefere, we seem to goto the movies to get a good feeling of justice will always prevail andgood conquers bad and so on.

    I'm pretty sure that the movie will be received pretty well outside ofthe states and Australia, probably because our country is excellent atkeeping anything that doesn't paint the world pink with flowers allover it, far away from our narrow minded and fragile minds.

  8. hamarriet from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    Films invariably provoke emotions on the part of the viewer. I havebeen shocked, awed, amused, saddened and comforted by a feature lengthbefore but never have I been so annoyed. For the hour and 40 I was satin my seat I was bombarded by a free-fall of blatant and obviousmetaphors sandwiched between edited clips of the selfish tripe that wasflowing from His and Her "grief-addled" minds.

    The cinematography was brilliant, the shots were beautifully composed,most wouldn't be out of place as still images on their own. The soundand post production was perfect, a litany of heart thudding moments andbreath holding captured by the crescendo of rushing winds and thuddingacorns. But even these can't make up for the fallacies of thestoryline.

    He never left his therapist mindset. Even with his leg weighted withconcrete, or as he was strangling his patient his face was blank. Thefilm was essentially all about Her and her evolving stance on women,nature and their corresponding evil.

    I'm sure a film student would love to study this piece as the bulls**tthey could write on how sex juxtaposed with a dead tree symbolises thisand that till the end of days. And indeed, the people who rated thisfilm highly have plenty to wax lyrical about, but I didn't want to beforce fed Freudian messages through talking foxes and circumcision viascissors as I find it a tedious affront on my intelligence and abilityto come to my own conclusions.

  9. tieman64 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    Prologue: Whilst a husband and wife have sex at home, their toddlerclimbs out a window and falls to his death. In the film, the husband isa therapist and is known simply as He. Similarly, the wife is aresearcher into the history of witchcraft and is known simply as She.Note: He is played by Willem Dafoe, who famously portrayed Jesus Christin Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ".

    Chapter one (Grief): She collapses at her child's funeral and ishospitalised. He takes over her treatment, believing that He can cureher with the miracles of Science. His theory is that she must re-liveher deepest fears. She says she associates fear with Eden, a cabin inthe woods where she spent the previous summer trying to finish herdissertation on "Gynocide" (the killing of women). They travel to Eden(the Biblical cradle of mankind) and start hiking through the woods. Hesees a deer whose stillborn fawn is still partly contained in its womb.At this stage, Mother and Child, Nature and Birth, are stillintertwined in an uneasy harmony.

    Chapter two (Pain): He directs her in therapeutic exercises. "Iunderstood that everything that used to be beautiful about Eden wasperhaps hideous," she says. "Now I could hear what I couldn't hearbefore, the cry of all things that are going to die." Out walking, Hesees a wounded fox which speaks: "chaos reigns."

    Chapter three (Despair): He confronts her with an autopsy report andexplains that their son's feet were deformed because she forced the kidto wear his shoes on the wrong feet. Why was she trying to harm thekid? She knocks her husband unconscious, batters his genitals,masturbates him, and bolts a lathe wheel onto his leg. He manages tocrawl into a foxhole where he finds an injured bird. It is unable tofly, he is unable to walk, both creatures bound to the land. Handsreach out from the Earth, man and nature re-embrace.

    Chapter four (The Three Beggars): It is revealed that she was watchingtheir son as he climbed up to the window. She let the kid die. Shemutilates her own genitals with scissors. Her scream alerts the deer,fox, and bird, which come to the cabin. Seeing Him about to extract thewheel, she stabs him. He fights back, strangles her, and burns hercorpse on a pyre. A modern man of science becomes a medieval witchhunter.

    Epilogue: He limps away from Eden. Human bodies litter the landscape.He watches a host of women, their faces smudged, climb up a woodedhillside. The film ends.

    So what we have here is the product of director Lars Von Trier'sserious and prolonged depression. The film is his rejection of allreligion, a sort of post-depression admittance of both atheism andhopelessness and also a nightmarish desire on Lars Von Trier's part topenalise himself for all the "wrongs" and "persecutions" ofCatholicism. The film calls itself anti-Christ because it is completelyagainst Christ, Willem Dafoe becoming a collapsed version ofpseudo-science and Christianity who is symbolically castrated andturned over to a now hostile world, the director fetishizing hisnewfound awareness of the hungry ugliness of nature, vagina, birth,death- the spiralling ugliness and baseness of life – God symbolicallysodomizing the holy child back out of Mary whilst faceless women areresurrected from the very bowels of the Earth.

    Everything is now wrong and we are already in hell. Nature has revealeditself as the relentlessly cruel, profoundly disgusting and indifferentmonster it always was. Human nature is even worse, and women are asdisturbed and disturbing as anything because they are nature embodied,able to create, bound to the cosmic cycles of menstruation, pregnancyand birth. Discovering this leads the wife to self hatred,self-mutilation and infanticide. Destroy the penis and the vagina andend the spread of Satan's church.

    The film is graphic, but more so for the paradoxes it raises. Men findit hard to reconcile the comforting warmth of the vagina with themonstrosity it becomes at birth within sanitised hospital surroundings.Menstration is itself now ambiguous, the regular heavy flow of bloodstymied by a world of plastic bags, air fresheners and pre-cooked meat.Female nature, like all modern nature, is experienced in a bizarre,almost entirely individualised way. Biology, sex, defecation, in theirraw and visceral states, have receded back into the realm of theprivate and the professionally managed. Eyes are shut. Doors areclosed.

    When the couple are later kept awake by acorns falling on the roof ofthe cabin, She tells Him that it takes a hundred years for an oak toreproduce itself just once. The tragedy of the only child dying is thefear of the modern age. Less than a century ago, over-investment in anygiven child would potentially be a massive waste of time – far betterto churn them out and hope that some survive. Nature: brutallypragmatic.

    Antichrist is not, however, straightforwardly an anti-Christian film.It is a heretical film in the Gnostic non-tradition. There is no hope,no salvation, no righting of order, a fact which brought about aprofound state Antonioni-like depression in Lars Von Trier. ButDespair, Grief and Pain (the 3 encountered animals), as Dafoe'scharacter points out, don't even exist. There is no separating thenatural from the unnatural, right from wrong, life from death.

    7.5/10 – A rip off of "Cries and Whispers", director Lars Von Trierfails to produce a new mythography of despair. He serves up "BlairWitch Project" with a sprinkling of Herzog, Antonioni and Dreyer, butfails to film Nature in a way that makes it seem truly bleak andoppressive. Of course the scenes of mutilation and have a visceralpower, but this is cheaply achieved.

    Worth two viewings.

  10. Stay_away_from_the_Metropol from Minnesota, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 7:13 am

    First, let me just say that although I consider Antichrist a 5 starfilm – I understand that it's not for everyone. It's pretty clear whymost people would not enjoy it.

    First of all, it is entirely a piece of art. Most people don't pick upmovies hoping for what could be considered a painting which justhappens to be moving, for an hour and 40 minutes. But, that's how I seethis movie and I personally appreciate art films more than mindless"entertainment" (ala explosions, fast cars – and worst of all -characters who are seemingly unable to have conversations with anydepth or personality in general). You have an open mind and a certainamount of depth to appreciate this movie.

    Second, the amount of explicit sex and violence brings modern film to anew height… And based off of what you read about this movie, it'sclear that MOST people cannot handle it (Hundreds walked out of theearly film festival showings earlier this year). Understandably. Ihaven't had my hand over my mouth, fighting so hard to keep looking atthe theater screen…probably in all my life.

    I have NEVER seen such grotesque violence involving genitalia in aserious movie… only Troma movies and the like. We're talking straightup trash art. But this movie is anything but trash art – There are bigbrains behind it, insane theories and thoughts, and one of the mostwell acclaimed directors of our time in control of it all.

    It pisses me off when so many people try to call the movie pretentious- since when is flat out getting creative and doing what you want todo, and expressing things the way you feel them as a director… sincewhen is that pretentious??? We need to appreciate the small amount oflegit directors who are still making art films and getting them intotheaters… Soon, actual personality in film will be extinct if theindustry keeps heading in the direction it is…

    Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg easily carry the entire filmalmost completely on their own. They don't have too much of apersonality but it's because they're not supposed to – they are justvessels or bodies, representing the terrible emotions they are feelingas they try to recover from the grief felt by the death of their onlychild. Not only emotions… but even more so, they represent humannature and how it causes us to react to terrible things – and the factthat there is nothing we can do about it…

    OK… I'm getting carried away already. I could go on and on.

    Antichrist may genuinely be the darkest, most morbid film I have everseen. It's definitely the most brutal. It's easily the most horrifyingexperience of the year. If you're smart, Antichrist will scar you.

    The feeling of dread was unbearable. I haven't felt so effected in along time.

    Antichrist is completely worthy of it's name. It's pure evil. And Ilove it.

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