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Midsommar (2019) Review

Midsommar Review

by Yo Adrian on July 04th, 2019 | | , , , ,

Midsommar was directed by Ari Aster (who also directed Hereditary) and stars Florence Pugh (from Malevolent and The Falling), Jack Reynor, Will Poulter (from The Little Stranger) and William Jackson Harper (from They Remain). It’s about a group of college kids who travel to Sweden to participate in a summer solstice festival that turns out to be WAY more than they bargained for.

Let The Festivities Begin

Midsommar Movie Poster

Ari Aster has described Midsommar, more than once, as a breakup drama first and an “adult fairy tale” second. Anyone who has seen Hereditary already knows what he’s talking about. Hereditary was clearly a movie about family tragedy first and witchcraft second.

In Hereditary, the movie plays out like this:

Drama, Crying, Drama, Shock!! Drama, Crying, Drama, Crying, Crying, Drama, Shock!! Ending credits.

Midsommar plays out the same. The setting and story are different of course, but the formula is the same (much like pop music, make something that works then keep making it). There are actually several plot devices in Midsommar that borrow directly from Hereditary.

But Ari Aster knows what he’s doing, he’s referred to Midsommar before as a companion piece to Hereditary. And the similarities are subtly hidden behind a vastly different visual experience. Midsommar wasn’t really intended to be a horror movie like Hereditary was.

Midsommar takes place in Sweden for crying out loud! The Swedes are nice people. I’ve been there twice and only experienced hostility once, and that was from a Swede trying to protect a duck. Yeah, I know, Let The Right One In was based in Sweden. Well, that only confirms my point. Both the vampire and the man who protected her were super nice and gentle people. Neither really wanted to hurt or even scare anyone, much like that Swede didn’t want my kids to scare a duck. If he were a vampire he would probably would have been a really nice one.

Not only is the movie set in Sweden, but it was set so far north that it was always daylight, due to the midnight sun. Much of the movie was also overexposed to exaggerate how bright it was. It was also beautiful. Rolling green hills, colorful flowers everywhere, everyone’s cult robes were laundry soap commercial white.

It was also very, very quiet. Midsommar was literally quieter than A Quiet Place.

All of this, the location, setting and atmosphere contrasted all wildly with the situation these poor college kids were being pulled into.

Overall, Midsommar is a very powerful film. Ari may not consider it a horror, but it invokes all the feelings that horror movies are supposed to. I’ve seen countless horror movies and am so desensitized that I now only very rarely feel fear, anguish or shock. Midsommar made me feel all that and more, much of it I didn’t even want! Ari just pushed it all on me. There were so many frustrating moments, difficult characters, awkward conversations, loads of grief, and the movie nails it all. It wants to make you squirm for 2 1/2 hours and holy hell does it accomplish that. I was honestly not prepared for some of the things this movie splashed up on the screen.

I wish I could tell you about the bear and the kids!

Worth Watching?

If you liked The Wicker Man and are cool with slow burns and dramas sprinkled with seriously WTF moments that will rek your dreams, than absolutely. I wish I could tell you about the sanity destroying sex scene!


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