We here at Screen Relish love a good horror movie. So much so, we’ve decided every Saturday to bring you a retrospective look back at perhaps some of those genre entries that have been underrated, unfairly forgotten, missed and abandoned or just so damn good that we needed to scream it from the rooftops. Today’s title is…
Here’s the rare, quality picture in this genre. Saturated in the cinematic equivalent of melancholy poetry, punctuated with truly, deeply shocking moments of violence and brutality, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist takes the cabin-in-the-woods horror to brand new places, sharing his auteur cred with the horror genre.
A nameless couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) is wracked with grief after the death of their young son. They retreat to their remote cabin, hoping to speed the healing process.
Things do not go well.
Dafoe and Gainsbourg give terrific, courageous performances. They are the only two actors onscreen for 99 percent of the film, and they do not shrink from the challenge. These are deeply flawed characters, and the performances are haunting.
ANTICHRIST is surely von Trier’s most personal film, and can easily be taken as his free-form meditation on human nature. His misanthropic and misogynist tendencies are in full bloom, as are his talents as a filmmaker.
And what an imagination he has for the uses of common household tools.
Those used to Von Trier’s work will come in expecting a punishing test of endurance – and that is definitely what you will find. But ANTICHRIST will stun even the most hard-core Von Trier fan, and will floor those new to his tendencies.
His film is so gorgeous to see and so punishing to watch, the result is an amazing if bruising experience. His tone ranges from somber to insane, and one or two of the more vivid weirdisms feel terribly out of place. But there is no forgetting ANTICHRIST, hard as you may try.
Do keep in mind: this is NOT a date movie.
Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly horror movie podcast, FRIGHT CLUB.
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