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Review: 'Antichrist'

A couple confronts the death of their child in this visceral horror movie that shocks without saying much.

By Peter RainerFilm critic of The Christian Science Monitor / October 23, 2009

Willem Dafoe stars in "Antichrist."

IFC Films/AP

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The Danish director Lars von Trier ("Breaking the Waves," "Dogville," "Manderlay") has an inordinately and unjustifiably high reputation. His latest con job, "Antichrist," will no doubt be hailed as a masterpiece by his worshipers. Such is not the case for those of us for whom boredom is not synonymous with art, nor violence with profundity. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg play an unnamed (naturally) married couple whose infant son has died. Dafoe plays a psychologist who coerces his wife into confronting her fears by removing her to their woodsy, isolated cottage, where they proceed to flay each other in ways that make Edward Albee seem like Dr. Seuss. Allegorical in the worst ways, "Antichrist" is about as profound as a slasher movie. Grade: D+

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