CozyRy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ari Aster strikes again in what will be remembered as the most beautiful yet bizarre black-horror-comedy that mainstream audiences will have access to in theaters this year. For 147 minutes it never feels like its dragging and by the end you kind of wish it lasted even longer. Aster shows how to truly streamline the "slow burn" in ways that make you appreciate every moment he offers. The unique story is set almost entirely in daylight, where all of its brightest & most beautiful colors pierce through retinas then become infused with this fairy-tale score that contrasts those elements with raw painful emotions, shockingly disturbing images, and horror that will drain audiences more than it will have them jumping in terror. Florence Pugh brings heart wrenching emotion and Will Poulter brings the rollicking laughs. A perfect date movie for those longing for effects of earth-grown psychedelics, sustaining long term relationships and the practices of Swedish cults. Overall, plays well as an immersive experience to let wash over you rather than something you should be trying to dissect the first go-around. A favorite of the year that everyone must to see.
*Spoilers below read at your own risk*
Nothing gets me going like a thought provoking film and here lies some of those thoughts. Feel free to offer your own opinions as well as things you caught that may have slipped by other audiences.
-First and foremost Ari Aster explained his newest film would be "Wizard of Oz for perverts" and this feels a lot like what he was hinting at.
>Story-wise it seems to fit the script with both Dorthy and Dani searching for belonging after having been lost/just wanting to go home. Both also dont have their parents.
>Greeted with yellow flowers
>Christian (Lion) seems to be too much of coward to comfort Dani when she needs it in the right way or to ever break it off with her.
>Josh (Tinman) "heartless" because he sees nothing wrong with the place and their rituals and just wants to work on his thesis.
> Mark (Scarecrow) clearly just dumb in ways that he has no respect for the culture and even ends up pissing on the sacred tree. Stuffed with sticks at the end.
*Some can be used interchangeably at times
-Secondly, the detail Aster goes in using basically the same budget as Hereditary is incredible. everything feels expertly placed and mostly everything has meaning. Very specific ones at that
>Thanks to reddit for this one. ( R/Salamanderis )
+ The flower in Ari Aster's name in the credits is called an Aster
+ Maja (redhead) wore striped carnation flowers that mean a love that cannot be shared
+ Pelles wreath was made of pine which represent wisdom (bringing the sacrificial guests along)
+ Dani give goldenrods to Christian probably out of irony because they represent encouragement and growth after going through a difficult time.
-Many other things are going on here but i'll end with my take. It's just a story about grief. Specifically Dani's grief and how this was all just a ploy to lure her into a home that would willingly accept and share her grief (at times literally). It turns out the whole sacrifice isn't some supernatural calling but seems to be some utter bullshit (religion). When one of the members volunteers himself he is offered the "yew" to help with pain but he ends up catching on fire and we can tell its clearly painful.
Hopefully after a second watch I can understand the entirety of the film better and offer a better analysis. But for now, I loved just about everything about this.