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    We’re not going to lie: upon its release, Lars von Trier’s artful shocker Antichrist was a critically polarizing film, and judging by the reviews of its Criterion DVD and Blu-ray release this week, it still elicits both love and hate. For those who can endure it (unlike Todd Gilchrist, for the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, who calls it a “must-see” despite admitting to not having “the testicular fortitude to watch the whole movie”), Antichrist can be a rewarding experience. In the Los Angeles Times, Noel Murray calls the movie a “boldly personal take on the horror film, tossing all of the moody Dane's musings on faith, gender, and nature into an unfettered phantasmagoria,” and mentions that it “contains some of the most memorably frightening images since Dario Argento’s Suspiria.” DVD File’s Mike Restaino asserts, “This writer found something almost Bergman-esque in Antichrist’s terrifying visual terror . . . Von Trier is best when he’s bold.” Slant’s Joseph Jon Lanthier writes that Antichrist is “one of the most personal films ever made about anxiety” as well as “one of the cruelest jokes ever produced and unleashed on the filmgoing public, but it shouldn't be mistaken for a practical one.” Blu-ray.com’s Svet Atanasov gives the film his website’s top rating after insisting that it is “without a doubt the most disturbing film to appear on Blu-ray since the format was launched.” Or just take it from David Harley, who, in his four-and-a-half-out-of-five-rated review at the horror movie site Bloody Disgusting, calls Antichrist “an experience that is not easily shrugged off or forgotten.”

10 comments

  • By Brendan Steere
    November 12, 2010
    02:19 PM

    A million times thank you for picking up Antichrist. It was easily one of my favorite movies of 2009 and I was really worried for a while it would go unreleased in the states.
    Reply
  • By Justin Roth
    November 12, 2010
    02:23 PM

    I did not like the film Antichrist. I found parts of it incredibly disturbing, like the part where they have a graphic depiction of a female circumcision.
    Reply
  • By Wayne Carter
    November 12, 2010
    02:36 PM

    This film ROCKS! Like all Von Trier's stuff, uncompromising, confrontational and relentless. We need more film auteurs like him. Beautiful in it's savagery.
    Reply
  • By Harrison Kroos
    November 12, 2010
    03:32 PM

    I am someone who enjoys special effects; whether it be explosions or someone removing their own arm, but this movie came across as incredibly lame. It didn't do anything for me. It was just another movie only made to shock.
    Reply
  • By Lucy
    November 12, 2010
    05:21 PM

    Thanks Criterion for releasing Antichrist. It was one of the best films I've seen. Instead of skirting around the hairy subjects of misogyny, femininity, motherhood, infanticide, genital mutilation, gender reversal/obliteration and medieval witchery, LVT just jumped right in, and aced it to boot. He's a real filmmaker in a sea of predictable hacks crapping out the same old formula. What's more, Antichrist was funny and genuinely horrifying. This past summer, on a month long camping trip, I couldn't see any cuddly chipmunk or furry marmot without thinking "CHAOS REIGNS!!!" Thanks LVT & Criterion!!!!!
    Reply
  • By thevoid99
    November 12, 2010
    05:27 PM

    This is the most anticipated film (next to anything by Terrence Malick) that I've been waiting to see be released on Criterion. It's my favorite film of last year and it was definitely an experience that I will never forget. It's the kind of film that is rare in cinema. One that's confrontational and actually has something to say though no one should take Lars von Trier seriously. I'm already putting this film in my top 10 best films of the decade. BTW, any plans for "Breaking the Waves" to come out on Criterion. It's my third favorite film of all-time.
    Reply
  • By marc evans
    November 13, 2010
    06:21 AM

    To start with to call a film Antichrist is a bold statement, Lars Von Tier is one of modern films true visionaries. See this film by any means possible. Thanks must go to Criterion, for releasing Antichrist along with a great many other works of art both past and present. Films to note Possession (1981).
    Reply
  • By frankie
    November 13, 2010
    03:04 PM

    To anyone here who thought this flm had something to say, please tell me By Jove, what was it? "Chaos reigns?" Apparently in this meaningless script it does. Not terribly surprising in its incoherence, coming from a filmmaker who is more about self-promotional GIMMICKS like letting the actions of ants in another country dictate actor blocking and character interaction. Whatever happened to the Dogme Manifesto? Outlived it's usefulness as hype? At least when characters like Werner Herzog pulled schtick in the 70s, like hypnotizing the cast (purpurtedly), the result was still an interesting film. Someone should memo Lars and let him know that what ends up on screen still matters. To some of us. I also have to know: Why was the beginning shot like an 80s Calvin Klein Obsession commercial? Were the penetration shots meant to shock or impress me? They did neither. Likewise with the gore. I love gore when its fun. This was a dreadful bore. Why did Dafoe stick around with that crazy-ass woman who tortured him? (OK you don't have to answer that one. Maybe part 1 answered it.) Why was this film dedicated to Andrei Tarkovsky? Something tells me that Tarkovsky's spiritual side would have been turned off by the thesis of "Nature is Satan's church." So it was just extreme hubris right? More self-promotion from good ol' Lars. Last one: when Criterion releases controversial titles is it only because they are expected to sell well, thus funding the truly great and deserving films that may not sell as well? If so, please continue subsidizing my copies of Onibaba with your purchases of Antichrist... and Benjamin Gump... I mean Button....
    Reply
  • By Cole Smithey
    January 04, 2011
    07:51 PM

    It's more than a little unethical for Todd Gilchrist to review a film he didn't watch all the way through. "Antichrist" is a masterpiece of psychological horror.
    Reply
  • By M_Mayer
    June 27, 2012
    01:35 PM

    "Von Trier is best when he’s bold" is only true for his films. Some of the "bold" things he has said are contemptible. What's bold is putting 'Antichrist' out on Blu-ray
    Reply