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May 7, 2011

Movie Review: Antichrist (2009)

Some movies are just bizarre. They throw things at you that don't entirely make sense. They like to pretty well fuck with your head. Antichrist is definitely one of those movies. It starts simply enough. A couple (Willem Dafoe and Chorlotte Gainsbourg) are having crazy wild sex in the shower and on the bed while they think their son is taking a nap. Unfortunately, he is wide awake and decides to climb out of his crib. Excited by the snow he sees through an open window, he ventures out and falls three stories to his death. Let me tell you, that's a great scene to watch while your two-year-old is asleep in the next room in your fifth floor apartment. Awesome.

Buy Antichrist on DVD

Anyhow, the rest of the movie deals with the couple's grief and their attempt to deal with it. It is segmented into chapters which are lead by title cards made of interesting artwork. Early on, we see the husband, a therapist known only as He, counseling his wife (She). He admits that this is frowned upon by the psychiatric community, but he knows what's best for her.

The struggle to help her cope is constant, and it is very sexual. It's like She is a grief nymphomaniac. They decide to get away from their apartment at head to a cabin deep in the woods that She calls Eden. This is where the really crazy stuff begins. As She deals with the different stages of grief, He has repressed them and is beginning to feel them hit.

She appears to get better with time, but He starts to hallucinate. Two of his more interesting visions are a deer with the front half of a stillborn fawn hanging out of it and a fox that eats its own guts and exclaims that chaos reigns. That one actually made me laugh when he spoke. Just when you think He's losing it, She actually does.

The end of this mess is the most disturbing part. There is severe genital mutilation, to which I screamed "Why?" out loud. I know that Lars von Trier was suffering from depression before and during the shoot, so I wonder what he was dealing with when he wrote this. Apparently, one of the producers accidentally gave away the original ending, which is that Satan, not God, created the world. The filmed ending is nothing like that. It's far more bizarre.

If you like oddities, this is most definitely created for you. I didn't like or dislike it. I was more of a casual observer of the unusual. It was interesting, but not something I'd watch again. There were rumors of a video game, but the company that promised that went out of business. I just don't know how scissors to a clitoris would play out on the Wii. Up, down, up, down, B,A, B, A, Select, Start, snip!

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