Danish auteur, Lars von Trier, has courted controversy in the past with films such as Dogville, but never on the scale of his latest feature, Antichrist. The graphic, self-described “psychological horror” movie has been the subject of an ongoing debate entitled “Joke or Masterpiece?” in Time Out London and, beginning on Friday, October 23rd, DC area film goers will be able to decide for themselves when Antichrist begins an exclusive one-week engagement at DC’s Landmark E Street Cinema.

After debuting at Cannes this past May, the film’s scenes of sex and mutilation – often at the same time – managed to cause a schism between critics at the prestigious film festival. One on hand, leading lady Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of Serge and a singer in her own right) took home the festival’s Best Actress award; one the other, Cannes’ Ecumenical Jury, which celebrates with cinema with strong spiritual themes, gave it a special “anti-prize” for being “the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world.”

Essentially a stage play with accouterments including fake blood, a CGI fox and a pair of rusty scissors, Antichrist centers around a couple only known as “He” and “She” (played by Willem Dafoe and Gainsbourg, respectfully) as they court psychosexual trauma in cabin they call “Eden.” Straddling the line between high art and bad taste, the film has drawn comparisons to the works of both Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the Italian maestro of gore, Dario Argento. For his part, von Trier describes the film only as “a very dark dream about guilt and sex and stuff.”

Either way, Antichrist‘s pre-Halloween release date seems especially appropriate. The film has yet to be rated for US release, though Landmark is already advertising with a “No One Under 18 Admitted” policy in place. For showtimes, visit http://www.landmarktheatres.com.

Meanwhile, indie film buffs with a lower threshold for cinematic carnage would well to check out the new rockumentary starring Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White, It Might Get Loud, which opens at Landmark’s E Street and Bethesda locations this Friday, September 4th.

Culture Sinema: Controversial “Antichrist” Film to Make DC Debut