Advance Reviews of Lars Von Triers’ “Antichrist”

Antichrist (2009)Hollywood Reporter’s Peter Brunette saw Lars Von Triers’ art house horror film ANTICHRIST at Cannes, but he didn’t much like what he saw.

With his latest offering, “Antichrist,” Danish bad-boy director Lars von Trier is in no danger of jeopardizing his reign as the most controversial major director working today. Visually gorgeous to a fault and teeming with grandiose if often fascinating ideas that overwhelm the modest story that serves as their vehicle, this may be the least artistically successful film von Trier has ever made. As such, commercial prospects appear slim, though many of the auteur’s most ardent fans will want to see the film anyway. And they should.

ANTICHRIST stars William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a married couple who move to an isolated cabin in the woods to recover from grief after the death of their son. Mostly known for his art house features, director Lars Von Triers previously dipped into the horror genre for his 1990s television series KINGDOM, which inspired Stephen King’s short-lived THE KINGDOM.

UPDATE: Variety’s Todd McCarthy weighs in with a similar opinion:

Lars von Trier cuts a big fat art-film fart with “Antichrist.” As if deliberately courting critical abuse, the Danish bad boy densely packs this theological-psychological horror opus with grotesque, self-consciously provocative images that might have impressed even Hieronymus Bosch, as the director pursues personal demons of sexual, religious and esoteric bodily harm, as well as feelings about women that must be a comfort to those closest to him. Traveling deep into NC-17 territory, this may prove a great date movie for pain-is-pleasure couples. Otherwise, most of the director’s usual fans will find this outing risible, off-putting or both — derisive hoots were much in evidence during and after the Cannes press screening — while the artiness quotient is far too high for mainstream-gore groupies.

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About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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