Confessions of a Film Junkie: A Review of “Antichrist”
By: Brian Cotnoir
By: Brian Cotnoir
In 2009, I heard a lot of positive things about a film called “Antichrist”. I heard some people say it was one of the “Best Films of 2009”, and I also heard a lot of talk about being extremely controversial. The film was never released in the United States so I was quite excited when I found a copy of the film on-line (courtesy of NETFLIX) in 2010. It took me a whole year to watch the entire film in one sitting! This film is the absolute WORST piece of cinematic garbage I have ever seen. So what’s so bad about this film I decided to claim it to be the worst movie I’ve ever seen; Well let’s dive into the plot of this cine-massacre and find out!
The film only has two main actors/characters. The characters are played by Willem Dafoe & Charlotte Gainsbourg. Their characters don’t really have names (the credits just refer to them as “he” & “she”). So the film opens up with Dafoe and Gainsbourg engaging in sexual intercourse while in the shower. And a minute and a half into the film we get a lovely close up shot of Willem Dafoe’s penis, but don’t worry folks, we only have to see it up close about a half-dozen more times throughout the film! So while our two main characters are having fun “bumping-ugly’s”; we see that there young son—who we later find out was named Nick--has crawled out of his bed and has began to wander through the home. Nick climbs up on a window ledge and falls out the window plummeting to his death. Both of his parents are grief-stricken by the loss of their young son, but Gainsbourg’s character appears to be taken the death of their son even harder than Dafoe. Dafoe’s character, who is a therapist, decides that he is the best suited/most qualified person to treat his wife’s grief and depression. The course of treatment he decides to put his wife through is to bring her to the place where she is most afraid. How does this make any sense? I don’t have a damn clue! So after a while Gainsbourg’s character tells Dafoe that the place she is most afraid is a place called “Eden” a spot in the woods where she and her son Nick had vacationed the summer before he died. Dafoe takes Gainsbourg to Eden for treatment, and what follows I can only describe as highly-unpleasant. I will spare you a lot of the details; not because I want to be nice, but because I don’t want to relive some of those horrid images that have been forever burnt into the depths of my memory where I fear they shall remain forever.
This film has a number of problems that make this film range from terrible to God awful. My number one complaint about this film is that it is filled with scenes of graphic nudity and graphic sex. Throughout the film Gainsbourg’s character randomly starts performing sexual acts on Dafoe where you can see everything and too be perfectly honest I had no desire to see either of these characters naked. There are also graphic scenes of both character’s masturbating in the film, and the one thought that kept going through my mind while watching this film was; I thought this was supposed to be a thriller not a porn!
My second major complaint with this film is actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. She is just awful in this film; one of the worst acting performances I have ever seen in a film. For 80% of the film she is just boring and she could not hold my interest. She is so bad in this film that even the parts where she’s naked weren’t all that appealing or interesting to me. Throughout the film I kept saying to myself “Oh God, I cannot wait until her character dies”.
My third complaint with the film is that there were mutilated animals that would randomly appear in the film, and I could not figure out what the purpose of showing these poor animals. The scenes that featured the mutilated animals reminded me a lot of director Ruggero Deodato’s “Cannibal Holocaust”. Towards the end of the film they story tries to link them as a major plot piece, but I still think the film could’ve done without having to show mutilated animals on screen.
The sound, or lack thereof, in the film is terrible. I had to watch this entire film with headphones on because I could not hear what the actors were saying, and with the exception of the opening and closing scenes the film has no music, and instead decides to use random sounds that add more confusion than suspense to the film. I also think the editing of the film was done very poorly. There were scene skips and jumps throughout the film and really made this already terrible film look even more like a piece of garbage!
This film was a kind of mind-bender, but unlike other mind-bender films that keep you guessing and have you waiting for more, this film is just confusing and made me go “wait was that?” and “did I miss something” throughout the duration of the film. Also I’m not sure what the films plot/message of the story was supposed to be. I think the films writer/director Lars von Trier’s message in the film was supposed to be that world and people are not naturally evil towards women, but rather it is women who are evil by nature. I’m only about 10% sure about this so I could be wrong, but I think that’s kind of the the “message” they were trying to express in the film.
This film only had one positive thing going for it and that was its cinematography. This film has a lot of cool and creative camera shots and angles—especially in the opening scene—but it’s not enough to save this film. Also, looking back Willem Dafoe wasn’t all that bad in this film. His character is pretty one-dimensional—his character rarely expresses any emotion in the film—but I think that’s the way the character was supposed to be designed. It wasn’t one of his best performances, but he certainly wasn’t terrible, and when you compare his performance to his co-stars he looks great.
Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist”; it’s confusing, it’s moronic, graphically violent (towards the end), sexually explicit, and all-around a worthless piece of trash. I said it at the beginning of my review and I’ll say it again; “Antichrist” is the worst movie I have ever seen! I wish I had never finished watching this film because now the images of this film will be forever lodged in the confides of my mind until I am declared legally brain-dead. I would actually describe this film as “Cannibal Holocaust” meets “Misery”, but please no matter what someone might say DO NOT EVER SEE THIS FILM!