Antichrist 

Lars von Trier's doggedly outrageous, fearsomely ambitious two-hander is so desperate to make you feel something — if only a terrible sensation of nothingness — that it's almost poignant. Most simply put, Antichrist revels in the gruesome ordeal of a bereaved couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who lose their toddler because they were too sexually engrossed to notice him climbing out of the nursery window. Unsympathetic as they are, the unnamed protagonists offer little emotional guidance: He's a smugly rational psychotherapist; she's a researcher with an interest in the occult, driven mad by guilt and her husband's attempts at treatment. The pair retreat to a woodland cabin that they call Eden. But rather than finding solace, they wind up destroying each other. Antichrist wants to make pain visceral but is less successful at projecting authentic experience. The filmmaker strains his enterprise past the breaking point with grotesque torture and two types of castration, shown as money shots in mega close-up. The shock tactics are ultimately numbing.

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