Midsommar ★★★

eh. i mean i respect this a LOT as a movie but nothing about it really struck me, despite the overwhelmingly disturbing violence. the way they, similar to hereditary, set up and give clues about what's to come is clever, and the movie is really ambitious and its cinematography is probably some of the best i've seen. Low 7. What keeps this from being higher is how frustrating some of the other stuff is. The first act was probably the tightest in terms of how much it sets up, but the second act is way too meandering and there's a lot of stuff that feels purposeless, whether that's meaninglessly weird or kind of just there. So much time just dwells on the cult doing things that don't end up being significant and I didn't expect to but got pretty bored before the last act. With Hereditary, I felt like the shock stuff drove home the story it was telling, but with this, all the shock value weird shit save for maybe a few kills felt excessive. It crossed the line between slow-burn and boring and definitely felt its length. There was a lot of surface level setup and payoff in terms of plot details but I didn't feel like much of it connected to the themes this was trying to convey. It felt too violent and not violent enough somehow because the downtime between the crazy shit wasn't all too interesting. And as I said earlier, the crazy shit felt like it was there to be shocking and only to evoke a reaction. This grew on me a bit, and Florence Pugh's performance is undeniably amazing, but the pacing's way too scattered. Between this and Hereditary, I have to prefer Hereditary, whether that's the scares, its ability to tell a satisfying story, just on the surface, or how well it got its themes across. I'd recommend it just because of how ambitious Aster is and for the cinematography, but otherwise, eh.

EDIT: props for this making me still think about it after like a week or two. definitely not forgettable, but that does not always translate to great

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