Horror, Hysteria and Female Malaise: Antichrist
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One of the key films to emerge in recent years about women’s violence is Lars von Trier’s controversial tale of marital discord, Antichrist (2009). Premiering at the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival, the film follows an unnamed couple, the Man (Willem Dafoe) and the Woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg), whose infant son, Nic, dies after falling from the high window of his nursery.1 The Woman is so overwhelmed with grief and guilt following the accident that she suffers a nervous breakdown and eventually attacks her husband. Underpinned by the story of a woman’s destabilising emotional malaise, Antichrist recalls several horror films that link women’s violence with madness and maternity, particularly The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979), À l’intérieur (Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, 2008), and more recent texts Proxy (Zack Parker, 2013) and The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014).
KeywordsFemale Genital Mutilation Female Protagonist Horror Film Visual Style Female Subjectivity
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