Midsommar ★★★½

The director’s cut confirms two things for me: 1) the dark humor and virtuosic/decadent filmmaking are a pip 2) easily one of the most ruthlessly and effectively nihilistic American horror films since Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a film it and Hereditary are both hugely indebted to.

I like the new footage, but it only connects some new dots, and adds to the already pregnant atmosphere. I’d hate this movie if it weren’t so cruelly and overwhelmingly seductive. I feel like anything Aster does after this will have to be a masterpiece to not be a lateral move.

Midsommar would just be The White Ribbon in Wicker Man drag if it weren’t as grimly funny (Hooper) or as stylistically awesome/maximalist (Kubrick). Too much magpieing to be great, but this is appreciably better than Hereditary.

Also: it takes real fuckin chutzpah to end 171 minutes of all that with a cover (A COVER) of “Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine.” A more appropriate closing song, maybe.

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