This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Tommy Cinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I really ended up liking this a lot more than I thought I would.
Aster's film is less "scary" and more disturbing. Normally in horror films there will be scenes that are designed to scare the audience, moments that make your heart pound and pump your adrenaline levels. Midsommar only features one such scene and it's not particularly scary. Instead of that feeling of abject fear Aster fills the viewer with a deep sense of unease, a sort of sickness you can feel at the bottom of your stomach.
Aster primary evokes this sensation with obscene depictions of violence. The moments at the chicken coop and the cliff stand out as being some of the most grusome things I've ever seen on film. Everything is shown under the Swedish Summer Sun, no details are left to the imagination. And that's not to say that Midsommar just resorts to gross-out horror tactics, these scenes are put together with real thought and care. The cliff scene especially builds such a sense of dread and discomfort. It's clear to me that Aster is a very talented filmmaker.
Speaking of the filmmaking, it's really too notch here. The framing and shot composition are quite impressive. Aster really designs shots with a true symmetry. The transition from the apartment bathroom to the airplane bathroom particularly stood out to me.
I tend to say this a lot but I don't totally feel like I totally "got" Midsommar. I think it's ultimately supposed to be about Dani's search for a new family. After the loss of her original family and the neglect and defection of her boyfriend and his friends leave her open to joining the cult. And while her journey to her how she ends the film makes sense, I wish her relationship with her boyfriend and with her sister and parents were explored a bit more. Every element of the plot works but I feel like I would like for everything to be explored one step further. I understand that Aster has released a directors cut of this movie and I really didn't expect to say this but I'm very eager to see his second cut of the movie.
There's certainly lots of symbolism and little "easter eggs" placed throughout the movie. While these aren't what make a film great they definitely encourage second viewings and show the care that was put into this film. I'm also very impressed by the society that Aster crafted for this movie, I think they'd be very cool to write an athropoplogy thesis on. Once again hats off to you Ari.
I'm feeling a low 4 here.