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Antichrist (2009)

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Drama, Horror |

Antichrist is a experimental psychological horror film written and directed by Lars von Trier and starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. It tells the story of a couple who, after the death of their child, retreat to a cabin in the woods where the man experiences strange visions and the woman manifests increasingly violent sexual behaviour and sadomasochism. The narrative is divided into a prologue, four chapters and an epilogue.

Written in 2006 while von Trier had been hospitalised due to a significant depressive episode, the film was largely influenced by his own struggles with depression and anxiety.

A couple has sex in their Seattle, Washington apartment while their toddler, Nic, climbs up to the bedroom window and falls to his death. The mother collapses at the funeral, and spends the next month in the hospital crippled with atypical grief. The father, a therapist, is skeptical of the psychiatric care she is receiving and takes it upon himself to treat her personally with psychotherapy. She reveals that her second greatest fear is nature, prompting him to try exposure therapy. They hike to their isolated cabin in a woods called Eden, where she spent time with Nic the previous summer while writing a thesis on gynocide. During the hike, he encounters a doe which shows no fear of him and has a stillborn fawn hanging halfway out of her.

During sessions of psychotherapy, she becomes increasingly grief-stricken and manic, often demanding forceful sex. The area becomes increasingly sinister to the man; acorns rapidly pelt the metal roof, he wakes up with a hand covered in swollen ticks, and he finds a self-disemboweling fox that tells him “chaos reigns.”

Director: Lars von Trier

Writer: Lars von Trier

Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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