Midsommar

Midsommar ★★½

Alright, so I thought this was okay. One of those movies that thinks its deeper than it actually is. An art house Wickerman with far less entertaining Cageness. First and foremost, I hate how Pugh wasn't nominated for this, as she was outstanding here. Luckily, she was my favorite character in Little Women, so i'll be quick to forgive & forget. But as far as execution goes, I just found this to be a bit slow for my taste. Although the elaborate presentation overall was appreciated, it was just odd seeing an old concept seemingly recreated for the problematic concept of "elevated horror". Though a few scenes were satisfyingly shocking enough to stick with me, it still felt like something I've seen all too many times before. Because of that, it more so came off as blatantly edgy and/or for the sole sake of gore rather than doubling as a well utilized narrative push.

The film also felt a bit off for me when it came to representing real world issues dealt with on a daily basis. (SPOILERS AHEAD) First off, out of the many friends I've had/have who are diagnosed as bipolar, I've never known them to murder their parents. Symptoms supporting the clear effects of manic depression are a frequent reality of such a disorder, which can lead to self-harm in many cases, but... really? This was a bit much. It just came across as villainizing for those suffering from actual mental illness. Sadly, it only got worse from here.

The rest of the film saw Dani(Pugh) clearly suffering from the emotional trauma of a very fresh mental wound. Throughout the film, we see images of obscene and total carnage trigger panic unto the scarred mind of our protagonist. Because its a horror movie, of course this will be preyed upon by the insane cultists as they continue their version of Woodstock '99. It's brutal and at a certain point, even kind of unnecessary in how its handled. However - and I know this might be heavily contested - the real blemish is that it all just felt like Ari Aster was simply using women's psychological trauma as a disrespectful means of narrative device. It felt as if he truly believes to understand the emotional pain suffered by women on the daily, which in turn granted him full permission to exploit and recklessly utilize it to his full extent. It was gross.

I found myself too preoccupied with this to fully enjoy or immerse myself back into the predictable story. Although I'm not one to back too many overtly political decisions when it comes to the artistic process, material this sensitive should just be directed by the group of whom are targeted. A man exploiting this topic for his own product just irked me to say the least. Other than this, I thought the performances, score, production detail, all fantastic. This is a very well made movie. Just because I myself found it a bit boring and off-putting at times has nothing to do with the technical quality of this experience. Ari Aster is talented as hell. His stuff isn't for me, a bit too stuffy and formal for my horror tastes, but wonderfully made regardless of my minority opinion. Please don't take any of this the wrong way, as it is far too uncommon my opinion is ever swayed by that of social issue over artistic choice.

- The Spork Guy

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