Antichrist (2009): Lars von Trier’s Most Grotesque Film Feels Like His Least Earned

Antichrist gets one star for its divine, heavenly visuals, a half star for Willem Dafoe, and another half star for some of the motifs it brings up. Now…

Antichrist is the freshmen baby of Lars von Trier’s “Depression Trilogy”—yes, that’s literally what it’s called—where he surveys the grief between a husband and a wife once they lose their child and their attempts to cure the chaos. Trier utilizes religious undertones and analytical haphazardness in order to excuse all the absurd bulls*** he throngs into this nearly two-hour, overripe bore. 

In spite of the movie nearly relying on abrupt, gore-porn shock-value to keep its audience diverted, I found a good 90% of the film to be absolutely tedious. Even when you get to that eventful, gruesome climax, it doesn’t appear all too earned considering von Trier was too busy setting up 500 other concepts and theories in his gloating monologues that he pressurizes his characters to blindly say. An over-stuffing of abstractions in a singular film is never a keen method to provoke.

This is the first Lars von Trier movie that I’ve disliked which is a shame because I’ve been seriously digging his absurdist, philosophically bloated style in practically all of his features so far. I see the potential hidden within this film especially when it concerns itself with the idea of misogyny, but I plainly wasn’t overly fond of the execution of it. There’s just a fine line between penetrating absurdity and tangled absurdity.

Verdict: C-

This Movie is a Part of My List: Ranking Lars von Trier’s Film’s From Best to Worst

“Antichrist” is now available to rent and buy on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and The Criterion Channel.

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