raphael camua’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ari Aster did it again, babyyyyyyyy
I took a whole 10-15 min inside the theatre with my friend after the credits finished because we were still collecting ourselves from ... that.
I find it easier to differentiate this from Hereditary since they’re completely contrasting in the way they’re presented, so in a way, I have no trouble seeing this as its own film and not Ari’s follow-up. So, as unbiased as I can be, I can say that this is such a well-acted, WELL-SHOT, and well-edited film.
I was worried most about the long runtime because I didn’t know if the plot called for a film running at roughly 150 min. It definitely is slow, but the finely crafted long takes and engaging characters made it feel a good 20-30 min less than it actually was. Once the first incident happened, I was all in at that point. I’m glad I only watched the teaser (which was enough to get me hyped) because the final 30 minutes was a bad trip that I thoroughly enjoyed. The subtle edits of the background warping or the environment breathing were the perfect additions to the menacing-daytime setting which is ANOTHER aspect this film did so well. If a horror film is set in daytime and it can unease me, then I consider that a major positive.
Still, my main focus on every film I watch is the cinematography. And Midsommar really said “There, there, buddy. You just lay back and I gotchu.” Not a single frame felt lazy or half-assed. Even the less creative shots were done so precisely that you gotta hand it to Pawel Pogorzelski for capturing slow building tension against normal dramatic scenes. There’s always that feeling of uncertainty especially during the ritual segments.
With Hereditary and now Midsommar, Ari Aster is 2 for 2. I may not even watch a trailer for his inevitable third film because I have so much faith in him. CRAZY how in the span of about one year, he released two unique and beautiful horror films. What an inspiration.
***SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD...***
Also, I can’t help but think during that scene... “is that how show choir kids lose their virginity?”