Antichrist: Chronicles of a Psychosis Foretold

Must a child die for the narrative to proceed? In view of one of the most intractable and widespread of tales, the death of Christ, being central to one of the most widespread of religions, is there any surprise to this? Even the Old Testament has its close analogue, with the near sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. It would appear that such a proto-narrative is deeply engrained in social memory, as much as it’s reverse, patricide/matricide, and resides as a reflection of both biological imperatives as well as those organising social structures. Is this the cautionary tale of what happens to those who do not protect the progeny of the species? In Antichrist, however, there is one final twist. In the epilogue, a repeated telling of this narrative driver, there is a reverse shot structure which does not appear in the prologue: the child walks towards the bathroom and sees his parents in the Freudian “Primal Scene”. There is then an ambiguity in what follows. “She” has seen her child, but does not stop the sex. Has the child’s gaze met hers? This is not made clear with any resultant reverse shot. In a paranoid reading of a demonic progeny of a possessed maternal body, it is entirely possible to construct a narrative where the child, in fact, is following a preordained path, it’s own destruction, an Anti-Christian sacrifice of the child of Satan, in order to put in train the eventual destruction of the mother and the father. This would be a turn-around in the interpretation of the entire narrative. The child then becomes not the innocent cause of the battle between the mother’s psychosis and the father’s paranoia, but joins the ranks of “evil children” of cinema, alongside those appearing in The Bad Seed (Mervyn LeRoy, 1956), The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976) and of course, again, Rosemary’s Baby (and needlessly conveniently for such an argument, is named “Nic”).

2 responses to “antichrist

  1. Pingback: A Brief Study on The Antichrist | The Great Tribulation is Coming

  2. Pingback: A Brief Study on The Antichrist | The Great Tribulation is Coming

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