Midsommar ★★★★★

A24 Ranked

Absolutely phenomenal. Not as emotionally powerful as HEREDITARY, but better crafted, thematically deeper and more horrifying than that film. In fact, what HEREDITARY did for families, Midsommar does for relationships. Ari Aster makes so many bold creative choices with his sophomore feature film, and every single one of them pays off beautifully, especially the film’s comedic edge. As disturbing and horrifying the film can be, Midsommar is unironically by far the best comedy of the year, and a huge reason for that is because of Will Poulter’s exceptional comedic timing. However, it never once detracts from the more horrific elements (it’s *absurd* how consistent this film is in atmosphere and tone, even more so than HEREDITARY), and there isn’t even a single traditional scare here from what I recall. Rather, the film takes great advtanage of its filmmaking - especially the cinematography, editing, score, sound design and sets - and disturbing imagery to make a truly horrifying experience, one that may not be as unnerving as HEREDITARY when actively watching the film, but is more likely to linger in my mind and stick with me for much longer.

But despite the impeccable work from writer/director Ari Aster, Midsommar does not work without Florence Pugh’s phenomenal performance (the best performance of her career). It’s a very different kind of performance from Toni Collette’s performance in HEREDITARY, but very much in the same league as far as quality goes.

I won’t deny that I’ve had a bit of skepticism leading up to the release of Midsommar despite my overall excitement due to the fear of the potential possibility of the film falling into the trap of being a sophomore slump, but I couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong, as Midsommar shows that Ari Aster really is a horror auteur and a force to be reckoned with behind the camera. Not only my favorite film of the year, but one of the greatest horror films ever made. Strongly recommend seeing Midsommar on the biggest screen possible.

10/10 - A+

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