Midsommar

Midsommar ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

It's unusual my estimation of a film jumps through the roof on the second watch, but that's what it’s done here. I watched the Director's Cut—it felt like the story was more fleshed out, without feeling too long. The film is shot amazingly, and on second watch its unique visual style stood out more. It is daylight horror with a distinct feel. The acting is great. Big personalities, all highly believable.

The big change, though, was in how I read the narrative. Before I saw the worst traits of torture porn: the group of American students who go to Europe and discover that cultures outside the US are all to be feared. That they are all axe murdering (or mallet murdering) maniacs who only appear to be more civilised than their American counterparts. I saw xenophobic “U-S-A” style propaganda.

On this watch I read the narrative completely differently. The Swedish commune, I think, represents the culture of the white man more than "foreign" (to the US) culture. The commune members are all pale faced, dressed in white, and on the outside gentle and smiling. Beneath the superficial pleasantries, however, they are savages. They will destroy those who do not conform to their rules, or who refuse to assimilate into their mono culture. Seen as part of a trend Jordan Peele started, where horror is starting to incorporate the horrors of a modern societal racism that lies beneath false surfaces, Midsommar reaches a whole. Other. Level. I can't remember this happening before, but my major problem with the film was completely resolved on second watch. Actually, it became a strength.

Also… it didn't strike me before the extent to which Christian is a complete asshat. This time I was paying more attention to his character traits, and understanding Dani's perspective a whole lot more.

J. liked this review