Saturday, 25 July 2009


Director: Lars Von Trier
Writer: Lars Von Trier
Denmark/Germany 2009

I'm going slightly off-topic reviewing Antichrist, but as the British press seem to have practically shit themselves in a spasm of outrage I reckon it's relevant enough, even if their anger seems rather quaint and thankfully impotent.

It's controversial of course, but as you might expect the grim bits are a bit of a distraction from the rest of the film, slightly unnecessary and – apart from one very shocking sequence – actually not that bad. I think people reading this blog are more likely to greet the sight of William Defoe spunking blood with hilarity than horror.

But what a gorgeous, atmospheric and downright creepy film they distract from. Dreamlike camerawork, sometimes subtly bending in LSD distortions at the edge of the screen, portrays the awesome nature of a woodland setting beautiful and terrible at the same time, hinting at a theme of chaos versus humanity and the greys imbetween that is unfortunately lost as the film descends into horror cliché, and more interestingly, some rather tacked-on and plastically controversial misogyny.

Von Trier is a director of immense talent with an unfortunate silly streak, and Antichrist is a film of these soaring highs and dullard lows. The subtle build-up when we are first introduced to the forest is filled with dread and wonder, while a talking fox elicited an audible groan in the cinema.

And the genital mutilation? One of the least interesting bits of the film, though it's pretty savvy advertising.

1 comment:

Xorandor said...

I just watched this. Found it extremely creepy. Fascinating stuff. I noticed the Daily Mail review says of von Trier "its maker almost certainly needs psychiatric help". Which is a comment that has foreshadowed great work in the past!