Midsommar ★★★★

This made Hereditary look like a casual Sunday stroll, not in how scary I found it necessarily but just at how utterly bonkers it is. It borrows from others such as The Wicker Man (which I haven’t seen) but does more than enough thematically and stylistically to stand on its own two feet. One thing it definitely does better than Hereditary, is its cinematography, not to say it was bad, but Midsommar is absolutely stunning in every frame, the vibrant colours burst off the screen, the shot composition is so meaningful and harrowing, the symbolism and metaphorical significance of the murals is so subtle and dare I say, poetic, the score is the epitome of haunting and amplifies the uneasy aura felt through the whole run time, Florence Pugh is so unbelievably vulnerable and brave, as she pushes herself to such incredible emotional heights, rarely ever seen on screen, Ari Aster’s seamless direction and movement of the camera is so masterful and so significant to the film as a whole, he understands how to build a nightmarish feeling atmosphere to leave you in a constant state of uneasiness just through his movements of the camera alone, he is a master of his craft. Probably the only thing that holds this film back for me is how it explores its themes of grief, betrayal and break ups, while it tackles them in a really interesting and fresh way, it just felt like it got so caught up in its own absurdity and pretentiousness to the point where I don’t think it fully explored it as well as it could have. Maybe, I’m missing something and subsequent viewings will fill in the gaps and I’ll notice subtle nuances that improves my grade, but for now that’s how I feel. It’s an extremely challenging film and is definitely not for everyone, but I really appreciated the technical mastery on display, and despite not feeling the exploration of the themes all the way I still think this is an incredible, subversive, different and ponderous horror film, that makes me so glad to see a new wave of artistic horror films, with something to say coming to light. If anything, this leaves you with something to think about.

Kees liked these reviews