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Antichrist [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec:
  • Resolution: 1080i/50
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: Danish, Italian
  • Region: B (region-locked)
  • Classification: 18
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 11, 2010
  • RRP: £19.99

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B002IPH5B2[/amazon-product]

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dogville) puts his experimentalism on show with this “horror” film that casts Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as simply “He” and “She.” A visually stunning film from its very opening black and white prologue, the psychological drama follows a couple who have lost their child after he gets out of his crib and crawls out of an open window to his death.

He is a therapist and she is overcome by grief, anxiety, and a host of other emotions, so the couple repairs to their secluded cabin in the woods called Eden, where he endeavors to help her using therapy and she attempts to push her guilt away with violent sex. What follows is a surreal and difficult trip through the suffering of these two people and odd events in nature.

Von Trier’s visual style propels the story forward, not always in an understandable or linear way, but it is always beautiful and gripping. Antichrist is also shocking in the events that unfold, both towards its female character, which leads to accusations of von Trier being a misogynist, and also towards the natural world. Death abounds, and the visual and aural styles collide in this film to create a unified vision that is creepier than any slasher film ever could be.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

During the opening black and white prologue of Antichrist, the 1080i/50 encoding looks spectacular. The movie, originally captured in HD with Red One and Phantom HD cameras, is highly stylized and visually stunning to watch. Unfortunately, moving farther into the encoding and watching more closely, it does suffer from some artifacts. There is color banding in places as well as some posterization. On the whole, it still looks very good, and these quibbles do not make watching Antichrist less of a joy in the least.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The haunting soundscape of Antichrist is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that fails to take advantage of the eerie sounds and haunting score. The surround channels may as well be completely silent, because most of the time they are barely audible. Dialogue is clean and centered while low frequencies are given ample opportunity to extend, but they seem out of place given the closed-off nature of the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

This is what I like to see, a good heavy dose of supplements that do not feel simply tacked on. There are a lot of featurettes here delving into every aspect of the film and even the stars are on hand for interview segments.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Behind the Test (1.78:1; 1080i/50) — Filming tests.
  • The Evil of Woman (1.78:1; 1080i/50) — Research on the evil nature of women for the film.
  • The Visual Style of Antichrist (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • Eden — Production Designer (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • The Three Beggars — The Animals of Antichrist (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • Confessions about Anxiety (1.78:1) Lars von Trier discusses the imagery of anxiety
  • The Make-Up Effects and Props of Antichrist (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • The Sound and Music of Antichrist (1.78:1; 1080i/50) — Sound designer Kristian Eidnes Andersen.
  • Chaos Reigns at the Cannes Film Festival 2009 (1.78:1; 1080i/50) — The actors and crew prepare for the events and Cannes.
  • Trailer (1080i/50)
  • Interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg at Cannes film Festival 2009 (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • Interview with Willem Dafoe at Canes Film Festival 2009 (1.78:1; 1080i/50)
  • Commentary with Lars von Trier and professor Murray Smith.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An odd, difficult, but always beautiful to watch film, Antichrist is definitely not for everyone. Of you do manage to get through it you will be justly rewarded with truly psychological “horror.” The Blu-ray release from Artificial Eye does not offer top-notch video quality, but it is entertaining nonetheless and loaded with extras.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right” region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B002IPH5B2[/amazon-product]

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