Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Antichrist [2009]

Antichrist is everything that is beautiful and detestable in the world of film and horror today.  Visionaries are few and far between, but emerging almost cohesively yet individually, they're  giving birth to some of the most breathtaking horror films ever concocted.  Martyrs (2008), Let The Right One In (2008, and Vinyan (2008) are such films.  Lars von Trier's Antichrist deserves the like respect and admiration - or controversy and hatred depending on who speaks.

Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are the nameless parents of a son who haphazardly falls to his death from a window while the two are carelessly fuckin' in among the apartment.  Each mourns uniquely - the mother terribly, emotionally, and painstakingly, and the father (a therapist) distracts his grief by attempting to treat his sorrowful wife.

When her fear of their cabin in the woods becomes apparent, the two journey to it's depths to face it head on.  Unbeknownst to the couple, the fear is stronger than they could ever imagine.  Mysteries will be revealed, horror is inevitable, and truth is inescapable.

Antichrist is beautiful to watch, terrifying to hear, and almost impossible to swallow.  Opening with a distressing slow-motion prologue over Händel - it is almost beautiful to watch the young child fall to his death - an uncomfortable and not uncommon seat in which all viewers are sitting.  

The discomfort never settles.  We're then taken along with the couple to the stories final resting plot - the evergreen forest and dark and dismal cabin.  A constant bombardment of ghastly imagery and the haunting rumbles of natures are unavoidable.  As to is the ever unbinding of secrets one of our charcters is withholding.

In the final acts are shocking and gruesome.  All will be revealed yet nothing will be explained.  We're left to digest this encroachment on our own - a challenging yet hopefully rewarding exercise.  Dafoe and  Gainsbourg are nothing short of incredible, as like is the spectacular photography and powerful editing.  Antichrist is a film you must simply see.


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