Midsommar Spoiler Free Review
"Midsommar" was a spellbinding, disorienting, and disturbing experience. I don’t think I’ve ever mouthed the words “what the fuck” so many times during one film. I was wrapped up in Midsommar the entire time. It felt like an unflinching and uncompromising bit of autership that rubbed me in all the right ways, regarding death, paranoia, loneliness, fear, desire, and unspoken truth.
Even as a huge fan of "Hereditary", it was a more than obvious mishmash of at least three or four better horror films. And "Midsommar" does exactly the same when it comes to ripping off other horror films, taking hints from many folk horror classics such as "The Wicker Man", "A Field in England", "Blood on Satan's Claw" and pretty much every other movie from the British folk horror sub genre. But just because something isn't original doesn't mean it can't succeed. And did "Midsommar" succeed as a good piece of horror cinema? Absolutely. "Midsommar" is a definite step up for director Ari Aster in just about every way. Even though it is a flawed film for sure it still manages to reach heights that few recent horror films have.
Where as "Hereditary" was about grief and spiritual horror, both of those elements remained distinct and pretty much separate from each other. "Midsommar "is about problematic relationships and folk horror, two themes you wouldn't necessarily put together at first glance. But "Midsommar" succeeds more than "Hereditary" however, as Aster manages to tell a meaningful story about grief, trauma and the crippling pain of not having anyone to lean on, wrapped inside of a psychedelic fairy tale under the Swedish sun. Wherever the film goes, and whatever expectations it subverts, "Midsommar" starts off well and never becomes a film of two clashing halves the way "Hereditary" did, instead remaining consistent from start to finish.
The choice to stray from the typical boilerplate dark and foreboding colour palette made the horror into something of its own, and while I didn’t find really any aspect to be particularly frighting it conceived a rarely achieved unconventional sense of looming dread comparable to what Kubrick achieved in "The Shining". The bright European sky was just as effective as any haunted house.
In terms of performances, Florence Pugh is not just outstanding; but she easily gives one of the best performance I've seen in 2019 so far. Her emotional range is ridiculous and just like Toni Collette last year; I sense another nomination snub. Everyone character works well and there wasn’t one story line that felt meaningless.
This movie will likely be far more divisive than "Hereditary" among general audiences. If you’ve seen A24 horror films then you kind of know what's level of pretentiousness is coming your way. But even though I personally really enjoyed "Midsommar" despite some of its flaws I can see why a lot of people aren't going to like it as much.
★ Masters of Cinema Rating - 4 Stars ★
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