I'm a fan of Hereditary and of folk horror in general so this was up there as one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Midsommar is definitely an interesting watch and I'm glad that Ari Aster is still making on original films as opposed to jumping onto a franchise or reboot train (something that didn't seem unlikely after the success of Hereditary). Still, it feels like a bit of a sophomore slump and an overlong one at that.

I'm glad that Aster is back to the comedy that will be familiar to anyone who has watched his short films. It's a dark sense of humor but a genuinely funny one. The movie is best when it's straddling the line between atmospheric dread and goofy weirdness.

The atmosphere here is great. I enjoy daylight horror and the over sharp cinematography and swirls of color work quite well here. Some of the cinematography gets a little show offy for no real reason (an early driving sequence comes to mind) but when it works (the maypole dance) it's great.

My biggest complaint with the movie is its run time. There's no reason for it to be two hours long, let alone over two and a half. Most of this bloat comes from scene after scene of characters on drugs and everything being kinda weird. That's not one of my favorite tropes to begin with and it gets exhausting after a while. Oddly enough, I kept thinking of another A24 movie during these drug sequences, the mostly ignored Woodshock.

Other than an early bit of gore, most of the violence in this takes place off screen. While I understand the idea that the unseen is often more upsetting than the seen, the movie could have used a few more of those quick shots to the system. It ends up hanging far too much on the inevitable finale which, while good, I found a little underwhelming.

Florence Pugh is a rising star and she does some good work here. Sadly, there's not much for her character to do for most of the movie other than cry and look upset. Granted, she's very good at both of these things but she's clearly capable of more. Also, the less said about the opening minutes of the movie and her tragic backstory the better. Add this movie to the pile of horror movies trying to say something about trauma and then bungling it for shock value.

Ultimately, I'm glad that this exists and I look forward to whatever Ari is doing next but I don't see myself revisiting this any time soon. I think a lot of y'all are going to enjoy it and anyone who has a chip on their shoulder about "elevated horror" or whatever we're calling it now will have some new ammo.

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