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Antichrist (2009)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Antichrist (2009) I'd been meaning to check out "Antichrist" for a while based on a few positive reviews I had read, though there were many scathing reviews that mentioned words and phrases that were kind of a personal put-off such as "pretentious", "artsy" and "poetic", which pushed it a little deeper into my 'to see' pile. Finally, though, I watched it and actually really dug it!

The opening scene shows a couple having sex while their infant son falls out of an open window... This was the only part of the movie that I found forcefully "artsy" - shot in super-slo-mo and black and white, over operatic music. I was just waiting to hear "rose bud". Anyway, the mom is taking the death of their son pretty hard while the husband, maintaining some composure, tries to steer her towards mental stability. They end up hiking to their remote cabin where he tries "cure" her psychological anguish with some psychiatric exercises. It all takes a serious turn for the worst around the last half hour or so when she snaps and becomes quite violent...

I don't know if I'd call "Antichrist" disturbing, but it definitely had some curiously surreal moments and a few scenes that are genuinely hard to watch! Not a movie that's context is easy to grasp, but some of the imagery is very eerie and strikingly elegant, such as a tree containing nude figures protruding from the roots and a deer with a dead fetus hanging half out of the womb as well a talking fox speaking of "reigning chaos" which was pretty cool... There is also a surprisingly nasty scene in which the woman cuts off her clitoris with a pair of scissors! Yeah, there are numerous attempts at "symbolic" shots and David Lynch inspired pretension that shows up once in a while (like a long tracking-shot of a vase), but despite the slow build-up and unanswered questions, "Antichrist" held my attention and really works well as the kind of movie I viewed it as - a woman's decent into madness... Creepy mood, excellent cinematography, and Willem Dafoe struggling to beat a crow to death! Recommended.

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Rating: 6.8 out of 10.0 - 5 votes cast total
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