Cliff’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not going to give a star rating to this entry, because it's about my own fan edit of the movie.
When I first watched Midsommar, I wasn’t very impressed. It was a 2h 27m film that told a standard horror story which most movies would only spend 80-90 minutes on. Its ungainly length was the result of numerous scenes that reiterate character points that we’ve already understood, the inclusion of subplots that go nowhere, and of course those lengthy ceremonial feasts and rituals. The latter are really Midsommar’s USP, but they mess with the pacing and slow the film down whenever it should be livening up. So I decided that I’d see if I could carve a much more intense 80-90 minute horror flick out of it.
Before doing so I watched the 2h 50m director’s cut, and found it to be significantly better than the theatrical release. Additional scenes mean that Dani no longer seems to simply shrug off the trauma of witnessing a double suicide, which was my biggest bugbear about the film as I’d seen it before. Of course, it’s still overlong and badly paced, but it was clear that the starting point for my fan edit would have to be the director’s cut, and not the shorter version.
I also found that it would be impossible to reduce the movie to my target length while also respecting Ari Aster’s directorial style. He loves a long take and a moving camera, and I wanted to retain that aspect of the film as much as possible. That’s why my fan edit runs to 1h 49m, which is still long quite long for the simple story that’s told, but crucially, I don’t think it’s too long.
If you'd like to see it (and already own a legit copy of the film, for legal reasons) then DM me on Twitter.