…and my feelings about it are rather… mixed, honestly.
Before I talk about my problems with the film, let me state for the record that this is by no means a bad film. The film was directed by Ari Aster, who also directed Hereditary, my current favorite horror film of all time. A lot of the elements that made that film so effective are also there in Midsommar. The cinematography is as brilliant as it was in Hereditary, greatly helping to complement the slow-burning tension. The acting was excellent, especially from Florence Pugh, who was definitely channeling Toni Collette during her more emotional scenes. The beginning scene also demonstrates how good Aster is at portraying family tragedies in the same vein as… that scene from Hereditary. Don’t play dumb, people, you know the one.
While I’ve never done drugs before, I’ve also heard that the scenes showing the perspective of characters under the influence of drugs were also very accurate. Indeed, it’s not for nothing that such figures as Nicholas Cage and Jordan Peele have heaped praise upon it.
Where my biggest problem lies, however, is in how some of the characters are portrayed, especially the cult itself. Unfortunately, in order to answer why will require major spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film yet, I would suggest you see the film first before continuing with the review here. If you have seen it, or have no plans to, well then, let’s get started.
My biggest problem is how the protagonist Dani’s induction into the cult is presented in the film. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been watching too much of that Leah Remini series where she muckrakes Scientology lately, but to me, the Midsommar cult seems to be a vile institution. Their members force their elders to jump off a cliff to their deaths when they are seen as no longer useful, and they murder the foreign characters with impunity for questioning their rites. True, Christian and his gang are a bunch of frat-boy assholes, but does that really excuse the cult fucking blood-eagling that British guy for calling them out on said cliff jumping ritual?
The very ending, which seemingly shows Dani having finally achieved peace, thus rings kind of hollow given how she’s accepted this wretched hive as her new family. It certainly doesn’t help that Ari Aster himself was apparently inspired to make this film after he experienced a real-life breakup, even going as far as describing Dani as a reflection of himself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Aster is trying to convince us that it’s good that Dani traded Christian for a giant clan of gas-lighters, but I definitely don’t blame some people if they did come to that conclusion. True, the cult members do put a lot more effort into comforting Dani during periods of emotional distress than Christian could be bothered to. Still, given that one of said emotional episodes was induced by the cult members forcing a drugged Christian into a sex ritual against his will… yeah, that doesn’t exactly endear them to me.
Still, even if the moral ambiguity of it all seems to work more toward the film’s detriment, in my opinion, it’s overall a great work of horror from a director who seems well on his way to becoming a true master in his field. It has a great atmosphere, a solid cast, and great special effects for the drug trip scenes. Definitely check this film out if you haven’t yet, and I’m giving this one an 8 out of 10.
Hey guys, this is a new thing I’m gonna be doing in between my other blog posts, trying my hand at movie reviews. This one was obviously a lot shorter than the Dark Tower one, as it is more in the style of YMS’ Quickie reviews.
I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing these. Just know they aren’t going to have a set release date as the other bigger posts will. I’ll just be doing these whenever I see a film that I feel like I have things to say about it. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you, buh-bye!