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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

Midsommar 2019 Reviewed

Featured Image For Midsommar 2019 Reviewed. A brightly colored movie poster with a tearful woman crowned with flowers.
Beneath the midsummer sun, a pastoral nightmare unfolds.

Let's dive into the sun-drenched abyss of Ari Aster's "Midsommar." If you've always thought the most terrifying things happen under the cloak of darkness, this film will turn that idea on its head. It's a fever dream of wildflowers and ancient rituals, but don't let the ethereal beauty fool you. There's a darkness coiling beneath the surface, a creeping dread that tightens with every beat of the drum.

Midsommar 2019 Key Takeaways

  • The Unsettling Power of Daylight: Ari Aster challenges the convention that horror dwells solely in darkness. The film's bright, saturated visuals and continuous daylight create an unnerving juxtaposition against the disturbing events, highlighting that horror can lurk anywhere, even in the most seemingly idyllic settings.

  • The Illusion of Community: The Hårga initially appear as an idyllic, unified community. However, their rituals and traditions reveal a dark undercurrent of manipulation and sacrifice, reminding us that appearances can be deceiving, and communities built on unquestioning conformity can hold sinister secrets.

  • Grief as a Catalyst: Dani's profound grief makes her vulnerable to the cult's manipulations. The film explores the destructive potential of unresolved trauma and how desperately seeking solace can lead down dangerous paths.

  • Emotional Mirroring vs. True Support: The concept of emotional mirroring, central to the Hårga's practices, is contrasted with genuine emotional support. It challenges the viewer to consider the difference between surface-level empathy and the deep understanding needed in healthy relationships.

  • The Breakdown of Relationships: Dani and Christian's relationship is already fragile at the start. The film dissects how a lack of communication, dismissiveness, and differing priorities can cause irreparable damage, especially when exposed to external stressors.

  • Manipulation and Betrayal: Pelle's actions reveal how seemingly friendly figures can exploit vulnerability and lead individuals astray. The film serves as a reminder to be wary of those who appear overly accommodating, especially when one is going through a difficult time.

  • Cultural Relativity: "Midsommar" raises questions about cultural relativism. It challenges the viewer to grapple with their own moral compass when faced with practices shocking to their own cultural sensibilities.

  • The Horror of the Familiar: The film taps into the uncanny, blurring the lines between familiar traditions and sinister practices. It suggests that even within seemingly comfortable customs, there can exist elements of darkness and perversion.

Eyes wide, a girl watches the unsettling folk horror film Midsommar (2019), her fingers digging into her seat cushion.
The sunshine feels a lot less friendly now.

Dani (Florence Pugh), a young woman drowning in a sea of loss and suffocating beneath the weight of her strained relationship, finds herself clinging to a trip to Sweden with her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), and his friends. It's an escape, sure, a journey into a fabled midsummer festival hosted by her friend Pelle's (Vilhelm Blomgren) remote commune, the Hårga.

The Hårga are like sun-bleached ghosts, clad in white, their smiles wide and unwavering. At first, the place seems idyllic – all swaying flowers, ceaseless sunlight, and communal living. But something twitches beneath the picture-perfect façade. It's like the uncanny valley rendered in broad daylight – everything slightly too perfect, a bit too harmonious. Soon enough, the quaint traditions reveal their macabre underbelly. Old rituals turn gory, and the Hårga's smiles take on an almost sinister sheen.

Aster, the master puppeteer behind the psychological torment of "Hereditary," once again demonstrates an uncanny ability to twist our perception of safety. With cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, he paints a world both visually stunning and deeply unsettling. The film's bright palette feels almost suffocating, the camera lingering and tilting in ways that constantly nudge you off-kilter.

Man stares at the screen in disbelief, his brow furrowed as he watches the unsettling events of Midsommar (2019) unfold.
Something about the endless daylight makes the shadows feel even darker.

A Pretty Stellar Imdb Rating For This Film

Pugh's performance isn't just acting; it's a full-bodied exorcism. Dani is a raw nerve, a gaping wound on display, and Pugh embodies her grief and eventual twisted liberation with visceral intensity. Her cries of despair are guttural, echoing off the pristine meadows like the howl of an ancient beast. And yet, in the final shot, it's her smile – broken and disturbing – that lingers.

This isn't a film you simply watch; "Midsommar" permeates your senses. The hypnotic folk score buzzes in your head for days. The floral arrangements become menacing, a silent promise of what lies beneath beauty. Aster's world is one where the normal bends and twists into the grotesque, a journey into a nightmare bathed in sunlight. He takes the folk horror tropes we saw in films like "The Wicker Man" and amps them up, lacing them with psychological horror's creeping dread.

Some might find the film's deliberate pace frustrating, longing for those cheap jump scares synonymous with mainstream horror flicks. "Midsommar" doesn't do that. It lets its horror simmer, a relentless pressure that builds with every frame, every folk song, every dissonant smile. To quote Dani herself: "Do you feel held by him? Does he feel like home to you?" Aster creates the same unsettling sensation. At first, it feels welcoming, like a warm summer breeze; then, with a chilling jolt, you realize you aren't held… you are trapped.

Is "Midsommar" for everyone? No. If you're looking for a conventional horror film, to be momentarily jolted and then promptly forget the experience, this isn't for you. But if you relish the disturbing, if you want to crawl inside the minds of the broken, if you want to experience something that leaves its mark on your soul, then this film is a twisted masterpiece. Its hypnotic visuals and raw performances are an exercise in discomfort, a cinematic fever dream you won't soon forget. So, venture into the blinding light of the Hårga... if you dare.

And that is Midsommar 2019 Reviewed. A Modern Horror That Is Destined To Be A Classic One Day. 

Stay tuned for more horror movie reviews

If You Liked Midsommar 2019 You Might Also Like These Films

  • The Wicker Man (1973): This classic British folk horror film is a major inspiration for "Midsommar." It follows a devoutly Christian police sergeant who travels to a remote Scottish island to investigate a missing girl. He encounters a pagan community with deeply unsettling traditions, and his faith is tested as he's drawn further into their world.

  • Kill List (2011): This British psychological horror/thriller starts as a hitman drama but gradually descends into a disturbing, cult-like conspiracy. It features a similarly disorienting atmosphere to "Midsommar," with a creeping sense of dread and shocking bursts of graphic violence.

  • The Witch (2015): Set in 17th-century New England, this critically acclaimed folk horror film follows a Puritan family who encounter terrifying forces after being banished to live near a secluded forest. Like "Midsommar," it explores the dangers of religious fervor, isolation, and the potential for evil to lurk within seemingly ordinary communities.

  • Hereditary (2018): Ari Aster's debut feature film delves into themes of family trauma, grief, and the insidious influence of a sinister cult. While "Hereditary" relies on more supernatural elements than "Midsommar," both films create a relentless sense of unease and feature deeply unsettling imagery that will linger with you long after watching.

  • Apostle (2018): This period folk horror film on Netflix follows a man who infiltrates a mysterious religious cult on a remote island in an attempt to rescue his kidnapped sister. It features a similar blend of beautiful scenery with gruesome rituals and a protagonist whose grasp on reality begins to crumble as they're pulled deeper into the cult's world.

Midsommar 2019 Reviewed FAQs

Q: What is Midsommar? 

A: Midsommar is a 2019 folk horror film directed by Ari Aster. While it centers around a fictionalized version of a real Swedish midsummer celebration, the film is more than just a depiction of cultural festivity. It's a psychological exploration of grief, manipulation, and the disturbing traditions that can lie beneath the surface of seemingly idyllic communities.

Q: Who are some of the main characters in Midsommar? 

A: Some of the main characters in Midsommar include:

  • Dani Ardor (Florence Pugh): A young woman reeling from a devastating family tragedy, seeking solace and support from her emotionally distant boyfriend.

  • Christian Hughes (Jack Reynor): Dani's boyfriend, whose dismissiveness and self-interest create a rift in their already fragile relationship.

  • Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren): A Swedish member of the Hårga commune who invites his friends to their midsummer festival.

  • Josh (William Jackson Harper): An anthropology graduate student researching European solstice traditions, focused on the academic aspects of the Hårga community.

  • Mark (Will Poulter): A friend who provides some comic relief but also embodies the crass, insensitive outsider.

Q: What is the plot of Midsommar? 

A: Midsommar follows the story of a group of friends who travel to a remote Swedish village, called Hårga, to take part in a nine-day midsummer festival hosted by Pelle's commune. What begins as an idyllic cultural experience slowly descends into a horrifying series of pagan rituals, sacrifices, and psychological manipulation. Dani, particularly vulnerable due to her grief, becomes entangled in the commune's traditions and must decide whether to succumb to their influence or find a way to escape.

Q: What are some key themes in Midsommar? 

A: Some key themes in Midsommar include:

  • Grief and Trauma: The film explores the depths of Dani's grief and how unresolved trauma can make individuals vulnerable to manipulation.

  • Breakdown of Relationships: Dani and Christian's relationship is strained from the start, and the tensions in their dynamic escalate under the pressures of the festival.

  • Manipulation and Cults: The Hårga commune embodies the dangers of unquestioning conformity and how a seemingly welcoming community can have a sinister hidden agenda.

  • Cultural Differences: The film challenges viewers to confront their own cultural biases and grapple with practices that might seem shocking or disturbing from an outside perspective.

Q: How long is the runtime of Midsommar? 

A: The theatrical runtime of Midsommar is approximately 2 hours and 27 minutes. There is also a director's cut available, which extends the runtime to about 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Q: What are some similarities between Midsommar and Hereditary? 

A: Both Midsommar and Hereditary are directed by Ari Aster and explore dark themes surrounding family dynamics, trauma, and the insidious influence of the supernatural or cult-like forces. Both films are known for their disturbing imagery, psychological depth, and unsettling atmospheres.

Q: Is Midsommar worth watching? 

A: Whether Midsommar is worth watching depends on your personal taste. It's received critical acclaim for its artistry, disturbing themes, and powerful performances. However, it's definitely not a conventional horror film. It's slow-paced, relies heavily on psychological horror and unsettling imagery, and might leave some viewers feeling disturbed rather than simply scared.

Q: What sets Midsommar apart from other horror movies? 

A: Midsommar stands out for several reasons:

  • Daylight Horror: Most horror films rely on darkness. Midsommar's terror unfolds in bright daylight, creating a deeply unsettling contrast.

  • Disturbing Psychological Focus: The film delves into the raw grief of its protagonist and the manipulative tactics of cults, making it more psychologically disturbing than traditional scare-fests.

  • Artistic Cinematography: With cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, Aster creates a visually stunning yet disorienting world.


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