Cold clinical dialogue, relentless slow motion, and endless metaphors saturate Antichrist. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star as a nameless couple (suggesting just how much Von Trier values his characters) falling into grief after their toddler has died (during sexual intercourse, no less). Dafoe is a therapist and, against her better judgment, decides to treat his own wife of her debilitating mourning.
Much of what follows is metaphorical, offensive, and just plain boring. Von Trier refuses to let the viewer in on much, causing much of the metaphor appearing with no context or concreteness, and ultimately resulting in many moments of unintentional hilarity (Willem Dafoe standing stone faced as acorns rain down upon his head in slow motion is a personal favorite). Without context or believability the film becomes a head-scratching mess due to its metaphor saturation.
What results is an exercise in provocation and self-indulgence. There is no discernible quality to be found anywhere. Even the painterly images one hopes to find from an arthouse picture are elsewhere, leaving a film that doesn’t engage intellectually or aesthetically (a waste of a good musical score). Any subtextual depth or compelling metaphor is rendered moot by the its refusal to let anyone but its creator in. Antichrist stands as nothing more than a self-indulgent, offensive, boring slop of a film. If a hilarious, self-mutilating, and philosophical talking fox can’t save it, nothing can.