DoninicPantorno’s review published on Letterboxd:
What a Midbummer amirite? Man, I really wanted to like this. “Slow burn” is the hot and tasty flavor of the month, and I really just don’t think it’s for me. Oh wait, Hereditary was fuckin great. This movie is way too fucking long. They could have easily trimmed off the first...hour? that failed at its goal of getting you invested in the characters. Characters and their relationships are easily picked up on once they’re all in the commune, making the beginning exposition give this a bloated runtime.
THIS ISNT HORRFIYING. It’s marketed as a horror. I’m not a horror fan at all. I did enjoy Halloween (2018) and Hereditary but everything else fails to impress me. I’m easily scared, like, incredibly easily scared. I’m happy to say I won’t be checking closets or sleeping with the lights on after this. Yeah, there is some unsettling gore, and the end is a little fucked, but I never felt a sense of dread, hopelessness, or terror during this. I was always waiting for it to ramp up, and it only does at the final 15 minutes of its colossal runtime.
With all of the negatives out of the way, this is an incredible film. The cinematography is top notch. Colors pop, shots are pleasing to look at (or repulsing on rare occasion). Florence Pugh is awesome, other than her though, most everyone else feels like they’re in a B horror movie. This was incredibly immersive and enjoyable to watch. I would have loved to see this but directed (and marketed) less as a horror and more as a cult thriller. I just don’t think it achieves being a horror at all. Some scenes are fantastic. The dance scene, the sacrifices; they’re all great. Music was excellent as well. The diegetic drums and strings used during the dance sequence were so unique and entrancing.
The ending is definitely gonna be a big talking point. I felt that the ending wasn’t deserving of the narrative. Obviously, you know it’s a cult and there are ritualistic happenings. Midsommar fails to set up lore or rite behind it. Hereditary saw its supernatural elements as a critical spine to the narrative—many plot elements revolved aroundthe lore in the film and you see it realized in the end. Midsommar never establishes that pertinence and the ending feels out of left field. My final gripe is the comedy. There is a lot of comedy strewn throughout this. That’s fine to an extent, but it rips out any traction you have at building up a sense of uneasiness. One of the climatic scenes is ritualistic and unsettling, but it’s execution is so bizarre that it lends you to laugh, and that’s what the whole theater was doing.
I honestly think the biggest problems this faces are being mismarketed and not understanding its genres too well. Some rewriting and restructuring could turn this into something special. Technicality wise, it’s amazing. I just think it was poorly executed.