Action / Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 99052


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August 20, 2012 at 10:32 AM

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702.15 MB
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1hr 48 min
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1.60 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 13 / 49

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nigel P 5 / 10

Intense but one-note ...

Lars von Trier's unofficially titled 'depression trilogy' of films begins with this, continues with 'Melancholia (2011)' and concludes with the mammoth and quite excellent 'Nymphomaniac (2013)'. 'Antichrist' isn't easy viewing.

Rutting like animals, He (Williem Defoe) and She (Charlotte Gainsbourg) fail to notice their toddler son Nic climb onto the open window ledge and fall from the balcony to his death. Subsequently, understandably consumed by grief, the couple hike to an isolated cabin in Eden woods, far from anywhere. The husband is a therapist and feels he can manage his wife's at times uncontrollable misery.

What follows is their story in four chapters, each one highlighting different levels of their 'journey'. This often involves manic sex and masturbation in a bid to escape the pain of sadness, woodland animals in throes of death and various scenes of discomfort (graphically shown), the disembodied cries of a child (possibly Nic), violence, and ultimately terror.

I found this a good deal less engaging than the substantially longer 'Nymphomaniac', and approach the final film in the trilogy with an open mind. The story begins on one level of graphic imagery and despair, and remains at that level throughout. There is no real let-up or drifting away from the overwhelming intensity of it all - which becomes less intense because of its ubiquity. Defoe and Gainsbourg are excellent throughout - you really get the impression actors suffered in the creation of these roles. Director Frier has said that 'the film was finished without much enthusiasm' due to his fragile mental state at the time, and while the acting betrays no such lack of commitment, the overall effect sadly in accordance with Frier. I should add, the direction here is magical, if perhaps a little heavy-handed.

Reviewed by felixhofwimmer 10 / 10


I believe most people that watched this movie either had the wrong expectations or generally do not watch this style of movies. This expectedly will result in the bad reviews I'm seeing. If you are familiar with Lars von Trier and movies that explores darker themes as well as flawless cinematography, this movie will not disappoint you. I personally absolutely loved it.

Reviewed by Filipe Neto 8 / 10

Intense, violent but sometimes poetic and challenging... not for any audience.

When I first started watching this movie I thought it would be just another horror junk but I was wrong. It's one of the most painful movies that I've seen in my entire life. Its not properly horror because it doesn't frighten us, despite having shocking and graphic scenes, but it also takes us totally out of our comfort zone. Its not pornographic, although making use of strong sex scenes and the camera, sometimes, do some frontal shots of the actor's genitalia. What is it then? I don't know, perhaps a mixture of everything, wrapped in lots of philosophy and tied with religion strings.

The film is separated into chapters (Preface, Grief, Pain - Chaos Reigns, Despair - Gynocide and Epilogue) and essentially addresses the process of madness of a mother after the death of her child. None of the characters have a name. They are what they are. Its possible that the Wife feels guilty: there is a moment when it seems that she understands what will happen to her son but chooses not to interrupt intercourse. The film uses mourning to address issues such as fear (and the way we face it), pain, anxiety and shock. At one point, Husband, who is a psychologist, decides to take the Wife to a forest that he knows frightens her, to show her that even our worst fears can be beaten. But in the middle of that hostile environment, Wife will conclude that Evil is a part of the Nature and manifests specially in women, so Nature ends up being the Antichrist and Woman ends up being a vehicle for Evil. There's a lot of philosophy and religion implicit in this part of the movie, and so it takes a bit of brain to figure it all out. I will not say how it ends or what happens next, but I think its wise to warn you that there are real shocking scenes, particularly for the women in the audience. In fact, many critics accused Lars Von Trier of being misogynist here.

Although the script can be shocking and even sadistic sometimes, the film presents itself as a work of art. Cinematography is perfect, with a very elaborate color and light, a great care in the details, great visual effects and a wise use of blur and black and white. The prologue is full of sad poetry, and we see everything happening to the sound of the famous aria "Lascia ch'io pianga", from the Handel's opera "Rinaldo" (one of the most beautiful arias of baroque opera). The end repeats this formula. Sound effects are excellent, and the idea of ​​using acorns falling on the roof as a sound effect to amplify dramatic tension was truly brilliant.

There's still time to talk about the actors. We almost only have the two mains characters, starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsburg. Both were fully up to the challenge, particularly her, with a performance that was intense, painful and insane. I really don't know to what extent such a dramatic exercise could affect me psychologically, but I'm not a professional actor. She really deserved the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, and it was really sad that Hollywood Academy didn't valued this film.

This film, according to what I read, is the first of the "Depression Trilogy", as Von Trier was healing from a depression while filming, so his mental state may have had weight in scriptwriting. I don't agree with some critics who said that this movie is full of gore. There's more gore in "Hostel" or any movie in the "Saw" franchise than here. The problem is that the few gore here can shock us three times more because it makes more sense and we almost feel the pain and despair of the characters.

Personally I enjoyed this film, I was quite surprised. It was my first contact with Lars Von Trier's work and I will certainly look for his other films, but I understand who didn't like it. Even my mother would hate this movie, and I can understand why. It's not a movie up for anyone or any audience. You have to be prepared.

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