Midsommar ★★★★½

Congrats Ari Aster on the follow-up to your big hit last year. that was a film baked in darkness, this one being bleached in the sun. where i was mixed on Hereditary, Midsommar came out and crushed it for me. what a fantastic film about a cult and disintegration of a relationship.

I have never seen The Wicker Man or the other Midsummer movie, so i can't say how much is taken from those for this, but based on reviews that i have seen, apparently it's a lot. just needed to mention that. what I think probably differs from those is Aster's stunning direction, as this is a beautiful movie. the cinematography is similar to Hereditary, just in different lighting, but the way the scenes are edited together, transitions that are seamless, and an utter sense that everything will go wrong at any point... just goes to show how incredible Aster is at pulling off every single aspect of this, which creates a very unique horror niche for himself. from his new weird breathing sounds (similar to the click sound in Hereditary), the eerie symphonic Swedish music, and lived in quiet moments - all patiently build the perfect tension. just like Hereditary, you need to pay attention to things in the background, with re-watches there will be more to pick up on. one thing that differs though, is that even though we are slowly watching this group of people succumb to this cult, it is a pretty funny movie. even during some of the more horrific scenes, there is a comedic lightness to it.

while this may seem more like a straight-forward narrative and not as deep as Aster's previous effort, i think there is a lot to pick up on that is not noticed the first time through. I think the tragedy that Dani is going through is way more connected than you may realize, with Florence Pugh knocking it out of the park for the second time this year, runes scattered throughout, a nod to Ingmar Bergman, and the deep relations of Swedish history - are the basis of where the festival takes a horrific turn.

it is a very well done and slow paced trip of a movie, there is nothing in this that feels out of place, everything that happens has the perfect ambiance, it's a film that starts with a tragedy but becomes a film about processing grief through a shared cathartic communalism. Ari Aster has made a really brilliant second film, that i can't wait to see again.

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