Midsommar

Midsommar ★★★★★

A group of befriended anthropology PhD students travel to the remote, Swedish commune from which one of them originates from, where they're warmly welcomed to partake in the midsummer festivities — festivities that turn out to be rather disturbing.

Midsommar, in all its severity, is a parable of the grieving, the sorrowful. The magnificently methodic kickoff scenes — those that aren't unconditional 'horror', except in terms of heartache and painful embarrassments (begging the question if Ari Aster should even be directing horror movies to begin with, because of how great his drama staging is here) — drag leading character Dani through hell: her sister commits suicide and takes her parents with her. There you have your pain, which brings us to the mourning part, and the stages (battles) through which Dani, hopefully, arrives at consolation.

Dani's path is a solitary one, inasmuch as support from family is now gratingly unavailable, and her boyfriend (Richard) is unfit for the emotional task. That everything that happens at the Hårga is not only really happening, but concurrently allegorical for Dani's journey, is I think best evidenced by the many instances of reechoed vocalisation, particularly the scene in which Dani suffers a panic attack after discovering Richard having sex with one of the commune members, and other commune members encircle her while imitating her moans and weeps.

I found Midsommar, besides disturbing, directed with an above par level of sophistication when compared to what the horror genre, generally speaking, has on offer, therefore fully owning its also far above average runtime (within the horror context). It, and its accessible symbolism especially, really had me captivated the whole way through.

Part of the September & October 2021 Hooptober 8.0 challenge; 23rd out of 31 films.

6 countries [USA] (6/6)
8 decades [10s] (8/8)

2 folk horror (2/2)
4 films from 1981 (2/4)
2 films from your birth year (2/2)
2 haunted house films (3/2)
1 the worst Part 2 that you haven't seen and can access (0/1)
1 film set in the woods (3/1)
1 Kaiju or Kong film (1/1)
2 Hammer films (2/2)
3 films with a person of colour as director or lead (4/3)
3 Asian horror films (1/3)
1 Tobe Hooper film (1/1)

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