Talk continues to swirl around Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and reviews continue to trickle in as Variety announces that the film has been picked up for US distribution by IFC along with Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric.
At SpoutBlog, I think Karina Longworth‘s review benefits from coming after the initial wave of hype. There’s a sobriety in her dissection that is distinctly lacking in much of the earlier reviews.
Noting how the von Trier publicity photo riffs on one of Alfred Hitchcock promoting The Birds (which she calls “the film of his that most directly drew lines between female sexuality and the unpredictable horrors of nature”), she says the Master of Suspense is “a natural reference for Antichrist, insomuch as it’s a psychological thriller that looks like art but satisfies as a work of genre.” I don’t think she’s elevating Antichrist to the level of Hitchcock, but ultimately she sides with those who liked the film with reservations:
“I’m certainly not offended by it, nor do I think other members of my gender necessarily should be…My main misgiving is that its second ‘chapter’…is kind of plodding and boring, which is a problem for a film that rides a very thin line between legitimate horror and total ridiculousness. Still, I can’t imagine it would have stirred up even a fraction of the fervor if anything shown thus far in competition could match its artistry. Gorgeous to look at and made with a confidence that towers over anything else I’ve seen at Cannes this year, Antichrist frustrates attempts to dismiss Von Trier for somehow not knowing what he’s doing.”