When Mrs. Clause leaves Santa for the sexily gruff Elf Inspector, Old Saint Nick seemingly loses his mind and finding that the naughty list is getting unmanageably long he decides to take matters into his own hands and cut it down to size. Armed with a pair of rusty garden shears, and a festive rage he sets off from the North Pole for vengeance. It’s up to Mrs. Clause to find her husband and stop him before he destroys himself or worse- the world.
As the film reaches it’s climax it takes on a more surreal bent, with scenes of Santa’s Christmas Killing intercut with a memorable shot of a CG Rudolph shouting ‘Chaos Reigns’. What Von Trier is trying to depict in this sequence is unclear, but come the final scenes of Santa eating his own beard as the elves carry him to a funeral pyre, we can be sure that Von Trier does not see Christmas as a good thing.
The film is graphically violent, with close up shots of men getting the baubles bashed with giant candy canes and features a particularly harrowing sequence of Santa entering many-a-chimney uninvited.
Starring Jim Broadbent as ‘Santa’, Julie Walters as ‘Mrs Clause’ and Willem Defoe as ‘The Elf Inspector’ AntiChristmas is a odd, yet strangely affecting Christmas parable. Those who want the full punishment of the film though should stay for the end credits, which features Von Trier and Defoe doing their own rendition of ‘Little Drummer Boy’. It has to be heard to be believed.
By Lee Bacon
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