March 9, 2010

#067: Antichrist 2/10

A slow paced film that will make you hate life isn't always a bad thing, but in the case of Antichrist it is.  Horrible characters on a bizarre and disgusting camping trip usually won't  garner a high score.  I will give this film some credit for the level of absurdity it was able to achieve.  My queasy stomach and I award a score of  2 out of 10.

A fair amount of buzz surrounded this film after it premiered at Cannes.  Most of the stuff I heard made me want to never see it, while still piquing my curiosity.  I was intrigued to witness some of the things play out on the screen, but also somewhat scared at the same time.  I would have never rented this film, but Netflix has it available on watch instantly, so I couldn't resist.
Honestly the sole reason I wanted to see this film is to view those outlandish sequences I heard about.  I wanted to see if they were as shocking as everybody made it out to seem.  I had no interest in the characters or the story.  From the beginning I could tell this film existed for completely different reasons than most films do.  Antichrist was not intended to frighten, inspire, or challenge.  It was made as an indulgent piece of art, presenting you with imagery meant to disturb and disquiet the mind.  For me this sort of film has little value other than providing some sense of accomplishment for putting yourself through it and coming out the other side.

If Antichrist is actually about anything it has something to do with blame, fear, and pain.  There is a lot of pain in this film; some of the emotional kind, and a lot of the physical kind.  There is surely some deeper meaning to it all, but I am not sure I care to know what that is.  Antichrist contains some of the most awkward and harrowing sex scenes I have ever seen in movies.  Every one of them made me cringe for one reason or another.  The one near the end of the film was probably the worst.  Let's just say it involves Willem Defoe's nuts, a block of wood, and bloody ejaculate.  While that sounds horrible, I feel like this guy deserves at least part of what he gets.  As the husband character, he is loathsome.  His relationship with his wife is extremely odd and seems quite unhealthy. I didn't really understand where his character was coming from. There are a few things that might explain it, but I not interested in going into depth.

Just when you think there couldn't be any more fun left in this film, they throw in another "sex" scene at the end with more genital mutilation.  It just isn't something that is fun to watch.  Every now and then I might find myself trying to make sense of this film.  I start to consider the symbolism and attempt to assign some reason to it all.  When I realize what I am doing I stop myself.  There is no point in analyzing this film. Certainly there are some viewers out there that love it. I don't think less of these people, but I don't care to meet them either.  If anybody wishes to share some profound insight about Antichrist I would enjoy hearing it.  Maybe if you can give me a logical explanation of this film, my mind won't be so keen to drift back to its nonsense.

I definitely won't recommend this to anyone.  If this review somehow makes you want to see Antichrist, I am sorry.  I have done you a disservice.  However, if you do watch it, I would like to hear about your reaction.

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