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When nature turns evil, true terror awaits. 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Lars von Trier 
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg  
An image from Antichrist

A fascinating and chilling depiction of grief and madness, Antichrist is the latest film from renowned Danish director Lars von Trier. Undoubtedly his most provocative work yet, the film is a captivating and deeply intelligent horror which has triggered excitement and controversy the world over.

Named only as He and She, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play a loving, passionate couple whose lives are torn apart by the sudden death of their young son. At her lover’s suggestion, they attempt to work through her grief together at their woodland cabin, but his attempts at therapy have less than the desired effect and only serve to increase her paranoia. What follows is a nightmarish and beautifully-crafted descent into guilt-wracked insanity and despair. With an award-winning performance by Gainsbourg and cinematography from Anthony Dod Mantle of Slumdog Millionaire fame, Lars von Trier has created a fantastically harrowing film which takes psychological horror to new heights.

Unrelentingly intense, Antichrist is not only an expertly constructed horror film, but also an examination of misogyny and an exploration of a disintegrating relationship, brought brilliantly to life by Dafoe and Gainsbourg. The incredible acting is outdone only by the flawless cinematography which switches between intimate Bergman-esque close-ups and lusciously composed landscapes, drawing you effortlessly into the characters’ minds and the psychoses which reside within.

One of the most polarising and controversial films of the decade, no post-millennium film seems to have affected its audience as strongly as Antichrist. Although not for the faint-hearted, it is an exquisitely disturbing masterpiece and offers an experience unlike any other recent horror.

Bethany Horbury

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Spring Term (35mm)