Midsommar ★★★★

Ari Aster’s sun-drenched folk horror film is a tale of identity and finding a community that loves and supports you. It’s a story that I haven’t seen depicted in many horror films as the genre is almost always preoccupied with startling the audience with false scares, or is entirely dependent upon the supernatural, crazed murderers, and apocalyptic outbreaks to scare audiences. But in reality, the scariest things in life are losing the people you love most. Loss is something everyone will experience at some point, or it’s something one has already experienced. So by exploring such subject matter, Aster is able to make an unnerving film that burrows deep. As even when the screen is filled with flowers and beautiful colors, a sense of dread is always present and you know that anything could go wrong at any moment.

Contributing to that uncomfortable atmosphere is the haunting score by Bobby Krlic (the man behind The Haxan Cloak) who delivers one of the year's best scores. I haven’t stopped listening to it since getting out of the film, I just love everything it evokes. But the film wouldn’t have been as effective as a horror film without Florence Pugh’s phenomenal performance as the grief-stricken Dani. Dani goes through so much throughout the course of the film and you can feel her pain in every single scene. Pugh truly commands the screen and deserves to be recognized for her stunning work come this award season. I honestly think it’s one of the greatest horror performances ever—up there with Mia Farrow and Isabelle Adjani.

Overall, I really enjoyed Midsommar. I already want to be back in the theater for a rewatch. I think it’s an experience unlike anything I’ve ever seen and ever will see, regardless of its flaws. Ari Aster has definitely solidified his name as one of the more interesting minds in horror, and I’ll be there for whatever he makes in the foreseeable future. Because by not being afraid to put the most batshit insane things in his films, he’s brought us some truly unique cinematic experiences that, at least for me, regularly haunt my dreams.

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