Jakob Langedal’s review published on Letterboxd:
All right, it's now been more than 24 hours since i saw this, so buckle up, because I have a lot on my mind. And considering I never got the time to write anything for my entry on Hereditary, consider this as sort of a combined review for both films.
I'll have to start this off with a confession: I have a lot of problems with these movies. I didn't find any of them too be as consistently entertaining as they should have been. Especially in Midsommar i found some of the long takes to mess with the dialogue. It felt off, and strange. At times, I was completely disconnected from the experience. But at other times, i felt the complete opposite...
My absolute favorite part about these movies is the filmmaking. Ari Aster has proven himself to be a potential savior for this genre. The directing is masterful. He knows exactly what to show us, how to show it, and when to show it. The directing combined with great use of sound, and superb editing, makes for a horror film that drags the audience into the experience in a way no other filmmaker today can achieve.
One of the things I remember best from both of these films are the opening sequences, who both feature slow dolly shots with some great music in the background. In Midsommar, where it immedeatly cuts to our main character's reaction of what has just happened, and that long dolly shot followed by the title card, was enough to send chills throughout my entire body. They both set the mood for the films perfectly.
However, what i think Ari Aster still has to do some work with, is the pacing of his films. There were times where i was completely invested in the stories, but there were also moments where I felt a strong disconnect. They both take way too long to get to the point, especially Midsommar, with a runtime of 140+ minutes. And the fact that the director is planning on releasing a 3-hour directors cut, indicates that he really has some things to learn in this area. I feel like movies with a long runtime require a linear storyline. In movies like this, where the story isn't as clear as in other movies, it can be a bit harder to stay engaged throughout a long runtime. I struggled with this one.
(The runtime was also a little bit more distracting this time, considering i had to pee for the last 45 minutes of the film ;p )
But even though i have a lot of problems with these films, i still really love them. They feel like something different, something fresh. And Ari Aster has proven himself for me. I will without doubt be there at his next film.
I feel like Ari Aster has yet to make his masterpiece. And I want to be there when he does.