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Antichrist - Movie Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}Let's get one thing absolutely clear. This is not your usual run-off the mill horror movie. This is not a slasher flick. This is not a scary ghost story. There are no jumpy scenes or â"look behind you for God's sake" moments. This is unconventional film making that relies on a plot of psychological terror born deep within the bowels of madness. Misery and The Shining are perfect examples of what I'm driving at. Even so, those only manage a tap on the shoulder when compared to what we have here; a film that can give Stephen King a frightening jolt.

Danish film writer and director Lars Von Trier has done it again. Infamously anti-Hollywood though he may be, it is without question that his story telling methods are progressively ground breaking. Additionally, there is also an overwhelming level of art with an unmistakable Von Trier finish. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this year, Antichrist opened to mostly positive criticism amongst audiences either loving it or hating it instantly.

AntichristOn the positive side, Von Trier's mind boggling script was found to be imaginative and terrifyingly original allowing the plot to be carried out by just two characters in the entire film. Cinematography though eerily beautiful, varies from stunning wide angle landscapes to disturbing close-ups to amazingly rendered slow motion sequences by Anthony Dod Mantle whose last contribution was towards the multi-award winning Slumdog Millionaire. Acting forms the best component here and is frighteningly realistic coming from Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as two nameless characters playing a therapist and his author wife.

The plot plays out in four chapters starting with a prologue where He and She are at the height of sexual ecstasy. But even as they are preoccupied in the seconds before carnal gratification, their toddler finds his way out of his crib and onto the ledge of their multi-storied apartment complex. In monochromatic slow motion with the complementing score â"Lascia ch'io Pianga", He and She climax together, unaware of their child's fatal fall onto the snowy pavement below. Chapter one, two and three are depictions of grief, pain and despair as the couple struggle through their loss. Caught between his profession as a therapist and parental grief, He takes it upon himself to get his wife back to a normal healthy state of mind. But blaming herself through negligence, She spirals out of control, until they decide on exposure therapy by spending time recovering in a desolate cabin in a forest called Eden. Wrong move. This is where a dialogue dependant plot ends, giving rise to horrific symbolism and metaphors. Strange things then start to happen in the form of bad omens recurring in an amplified atmosphere of evil in its purest form. Opening Pandora's Box, He discovers a thesis written by his wife connecting the dots between medieval female genocide and her theory that women are innately evil, given their affiliation with Eve's original sin. Before having to cope with his wife's increasingly insatiable and inhuman sexual lust, He also discovers a strange abnormality in his deceased son's autopsy report; a cruel truth his wife may have been trying to hide.

By the end, and if you haven't been paying close attention to the conversations of the bereaved couple, you will be wondering who the antichrist is or what form it manifests. This is exactly what generates some of the film's negative criticism. The person who recommended this movie to me watched it expecting something fresh along the lines of The Omen. But according to him, what he experienced was totally different and in his own words, â"held onto my balls for dear life". Another negative response was the uproar made in spitefulness towards some extremely explicit sexuality, including close-ups of genitalia. Over and above, violence is of an unforgiving brutal nature where the camera refuses to pan away. You see what you hear and will squirm at what you see. That goes for both male and female viewers, provided you get to see the uncensored version.

Given the seasonal ambiance late October brings, wanting to watch a scary movie instead of trick or treating can leave you with two options. If you're the type who enjoys jumping off your seat, then there's the traditional fright fest like H2, courtesy Michael Myers. But if you're the type to sink into your seat and pray for divine mercy for watching something dreadful, then Von Trier's latest evil incarnate may be just the ticket.

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