Nora’s review published on Letterboxd:
Midsommar is without a doubt one of my most anticipated films of the year, and to be quite honest, my first viewing of it was utterly disappointing. Granted I’ve been in the worse place for a month now, but mostly there were these two ladies directly behind me and my mum who wouldn’t shut the fuck for the entire two hours and twenty -minutes runtime. Whatever. Anyway, I found myself liking and appreciating Midsommar a lot more, but a lot of my problems still exist from when I first saw it.
Midsommar is less of an unnerving horror film than Hereditary and more of a demented and entrancing fairytale wrapped in barbed wire and covered in flower petals. I’m quite thankful that this was a more cruel and beautiful horror film than a depressing and disturbing one because I sure did not want a Hereditary 2.0 no matter how much I love that film. But speaking of, thematically, Midsommar is a lot, borrowing themes of grief and anxiety from Hereditary but doubling down on them more, all in while conjuring up new ones as relationships and acceptance. But even though Aster is putting a lot more emphasis on these themes, he is also seemingly quite careless with them, and I won’t exactly put him down for it since he is juggling with a lot in Midsommar and it’s certainly admirable, but there comes a point in time during the film where it all feels rather contrived. It wasn’t until the last fifteen or ten minutes of the film, (which is my personal favorite part of the film), where the prominent themes of Midsommar felt actually justified. Also, Aster is quite comfortable in self Indulging in the monotony of Midsommar, and while a commodity of that notion is something I rather not be bothered with, Midsommar does offer engrossing ambiguity in exchange even when the weird and visceral imagery is trying a bit hard to provoke a meaningful outtake which make it seems slightly pretentious, it works.
It seems like I’ve been putting the film down for the problems I have with it, but there is enough stuff in Midsommar that like and love, and to briefly mention some of it: Aster is quite made the step up with his technical craft which already seem impeccable in Hereditary. There are so many amazing shot compositions and tracking shots with a level of coordination that is hard not to appreciate the people in front and behind the camera. There is quite the attention to detail especially with the characters in Midsommar, making their questionable and “moving along the plot” decisions justifiable. The intake of drugs is complimented with a pitch-perfect visual presentation. Nice use of production, costume and practical design that are just simply awe-striking. And lastly, Florence Pugh is terrific.