As much as I’m looking forward to Lars von Trier Antichrist, which will presumably play at next month’s Cannes Film Festival, this just-posted trailer isn’t very good. It has a kind of jagged off-rhythm and on-the-nose quality that doesn’t feel right. It suggests, however accurately or inaccurately, that the film, clearly a kind of forest-primeval horror piece, is on the crude side and dependent on cheap “boo!” cuts. Von Trier should give it the hook, fire the people who cut it, and make a better one.
On 3.24 I summarized Antichrist as being about “a married couple (Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg) grieving over the death of their son. Dafoe’s character is a therapist. They retreat to a cabin in the woods and eventually run into all sorts of horrific manifestations, which are at least partly based in their psychologies. Because Lars von Trier doesn’t do horror-for-horror’s-sake.”
A day later I ran a photo that seemed to identify the inspiration for Von Trier’s use of a Dante-esque image of writhing bodies and tree roots — i.e., Henry Otto’s 1924 silent Dante’s Inferno.
My favorite Antichrist observation, however valid or loony, came from an IMDB poster: “It was originally a horror film about a demiurge” — a deity responsible for the creation of the physical universe — “but now it’s a horror movie about two bankable actors in a forest with a few trained animals.”