Midsommar ★★★★½

Ari Aster is a strange, strange dude. Though it is only his sophomore feature, Midsommar is further proof of how intricate Aster is with the subgenre of horror he plays with. A major aspect that struck me was the sunshine visuals. From a directorial standpoint, Aster shows off his range by displaying that disturbing horror doesn’t always have to be visually dark. His previous film prospered from dark cinematography, but what makes Midsommar effective is the bright imagery and the framework that goes along with it. 

Once Dani, Christian, and his friends enter the Swedish village, it feels like you’re transported to another territory that is bright and colorful. Aster uses colorful vibrancy to juxtapose the mood and the bizarre actions of the villagers. Everything about the people — from their upbeat and optimistic personalities to the costumes and floral crowns, white robes, and skirts with floral designs — throws you off and immerses you more. The production design is incredible as Aster makes this expansive open-world village his playground. He succeeds on creating an estranged culture while being consistent with it. 

The framework is so masterful, for each location (interior or exterior) looks like an open landscape. There is even a stylish transition early on with Dani that’s present in the trailer which impressed the hell out of me. She is at Christian’s house and is triggered by Christian’s Swedish friend mentioning her loss, prompting her to retreat to the bathroom. As she opens the door, it transitions to an airplane bathroom as she’s doing her same action, hyperventilating and crying. Small stylish details such as those are placed throughout the film, keeping the narrative moving at a fast pace. The movie is over two hours long and never did I once feel the run time. 
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