Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m sitting here in my private little corner of the house on my Macbook Pro, struggling to conure up my thoughts on Midsommar. Walking out of the theater I knew I loved what I saw, but I still had to process it. In fact, I’m still trying to process everything. But despite not sure how to even articulate my thoughts in a coherent way one thing is certain: Ari Aster knocks it way the fuck out of the park once again.
Midsommar is a film that does not hold back at all. It’s a masterfully directed film utilizing its stunning cinematography and set design, remarkable editing, and beautifully unsettling score to the maximum to create a deeply disturbing, eerie, psychedelic, and all-around fucked up film. No better way to describe the film other than it’s the embodiment of a living nightmare.
What I appreciated most about the film is the pacing. When it comes to horror, slow burn is my style. I eat that shit up. I prefer the slow buildup and atmospheric style. It makes the film much more suspenseful and unsettling. That’s what always gets me. And, like Hereditary, Midsommar executes that brilliantly. The film is two and a half hours, which is quite long for a horror, but it had me completely glued to the screen for every single second. I was totally immersed in the experience.
Midsommar is very layered, dealing with the complexities of relationships, as well as grief & its effect on those with mental health conditions, and how all of these can trigger severe mental breakdowns. I will certainly pick up more on repeated viewings.
Following in the footsteps of Hereditary, Midsommar provides us with another Oscar-worthy lead performance. Florence Pugh, who I had never seen before until now, is stunning. The way she expresses what the script requires of her, and the way she portrays someone going through a mental breakdown, is some truly incredible stuff. Unfortunately, she’ll get the Toni Collette treatment because, ya know, Oscars be Oscars. Will Poulter also stands out, providing the film with a lot of comedic relief. Quite a bit, actually. In fact, this film could also be seen as a dark comedy - there’s one moment during the film’s final few minutes that made me almost burst out laughing in the midst being deeply disturbed and unsettled. So, good job movie!
I fear many people will find the film disappointing, as they will most likely go in expecting Hereditary 2. THIS IS NOT HEREDITARY 2. IT IS VERY DIFFERENT IN BOTH ITS SUBJECT MATTER AND STYLE OF HORROR. So please, if you have not seen the film yet, I beg of you, don’t go in comparing this to or expecting another Hereditary. They’re completely different.
So after taking nearly an hour to conjure up my thoughts coherently and write all of that, and after reflecting on the film some more, I can’t help but just absolutely fall in love with it. I guarantee I’ll love it even more as time goes on. Who knows, I may someday prefer it over Hereditary.
In Ari Aster we trust.
5/5, 10/10, 100/100, A++++++++....Midsommar deserves it all.