Midsommar ★★★★½

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

This review may contain spoilers.

Halloween 2019 — 12/31

Taking its influence from the always unsettling British sub-genre of folk-horror, Midsommar is fucking nightmare, and it all takes place in stark daylight. It takes its time, slowly and believably building to an utterly deranged finale that feels like The Wicker Man on crack. The horror and violence is visceral and distressing. The first moment of bloody death is an absolute shock to the system and settles a thick cloud of dread over the rest of the proceedings. But its most upsetting moments aren't necessarily the gory scenes. The world-warping trip Dani and Christian in the film's final act is sickening and deeply uncomfortable to watch while also being a touch darkly funny too. And everything carries an extra weight with Dani's personal family tragedy (continuing the trend of Hereditary) beautifully and distressingly linked with the descent into folksy madness. (Florence Pugh is phenomenal here, thrust into trauma almost instantly.) It's quite exciting that Ari Aster has knocked out two fabulous fucked up horror films in a row. I hope he can keep the streak going.

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