Here's my capsule from my top 10 of the year list:
"Lars certainly knows how to kick things off with a bang, beginning with a sex scene (complete with penetration shot) that is intertwined with a kid falling off a balcony and going splat. The freshly deceased munchkin creates some grief related issues for the couple. Dafoe, as a therapist, approaches the grief intellectually, while Gainsbourg takes a more emotional approach (she is the chick in the relationship after all). They explore the woods together, trying to connect with nature and failing, while this grief manifests itself in physical form (including some wonderful surprises). Lars never loses track of the emotional core, while showing again why he has the biggest stones in moviemaking today."
So...is this movie torture porn? Of course not, dummy. What we have is basically a two-person drama that gets into horror metaphor territory in the third act. This includes some horror atmosphere, what with the couple spending time together in a cabin surrounded by some creepy woods (for the record, the trees aren't the assholes here, but rather, what lies behind these trees), as well as the metaphoric violence (meaning that it's an extension of the interior drama).
It initially didn't occur to me, but Mark Kermode quite astutely compares the film to Andrzej Zulawski's Possession, which uses horror metaphor to deal with a disintegrating marriage (albeit disintegrating for different reasons). However, Possession is much more manic in its approach, where as Antichrist proceeds ominously towards inevitable tragedy.
Here is Mark Kermode's interview with Willem Dafoe. If it wasn't already obvious, Dafoe is very smart and very awesome...and he's Jesus! That's a winner folks.
Here are Kermode's astute remarks. He points out that he doesn't trust Von Trier because he's a prankster asshole, but this is one of the reasons why I like Von Trier. Cinema needs more liars and thieves and fewer choir boys (and girls) that do things "professionally".