Director – Ari Aster (Hereditary, The Strange Thing About the Johnsons)
Starring – Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family, The Little Drummer Girl), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Dollhouse), and Vilhelm Blomgren (The Days the Flowers Bloom, Gosta)
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Let the festivities begin”
People are so fucking weird and confrontational. They always have to be right and refuse to let other people form their own opinion. My horror views often draw criticism from other horror fans. I think the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre is boring and I think the first Hellraiser wishes it was as fun as the Hellraiser III. I know, I’m an idiot but this is how I feel about these movies.
When Hereditary was released I was so excited to check it out. I waited for a physical release and the day I got it I tossed it in. Aside from the funniest death scene in history the film was a pretty big bust for me. I caught hell for not liking the movie. People read my review and felt the need to email me to tell me that I was a “poser” and so on. I can only assume it was to make them feel better. When Midsommar was announced I didn’t jump up and down with excitement like most horror fans. Then I saw the trailer and thought it looked like a fun pagan horror film. I skipped the theatrical run but when the physical release was announced I reached out for a review copy.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a dysfunctional couple and a few friends that visit Sweden to attend an old festival in a rural community. The trip starts off shaky with the young couple and their friends when Dani (Pugh) loses her sister and parents. Her boyfriend Christian (Reynor) has been wanting to break up with her but has not found the right chance. Their trip starts out on shaky ground and before long what should be a fun culturally enriching experience turns bleak and dark when the festival’s activities take a dark turn when the elders jump to their death and their friends go missing. Christians infidelity becomes apparent as well when one of the women at the festival shows interest in him to impregnate her. Things then spiral out of control from that point.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one with a very open mind hoping that the film would be better than Hereditary and it was in every way except run time. The film is surprisingly entertaining but the run time is ridiculous.
The acting in this one, along with the characters, is one of my few complaints. Much like Hereditary, the characters are very unlikable. I found myself really hating on the characters from early on and really wanting to see them suffer. That may sound psychotic of me but that is the fun of horror films. We get to watch unlikable characters die in horrendous ways. Sadly, not all these characters suffer that fate.
The story for this one is very fucking intriguing and takes the viewer back to the folk horror films of the 60s and 70s. I liked how the entire story unfolded and where it ended but the run time is just too damn long. The movie is 2 and a half hours long and could easily have an hour cut from it and have the same impact. The dialogue is a little tedious to listen to and at least 60% of it has nothing to do with the actual story.
Finally. the film is so long and the kills are so far spaced out that you almost forget about the horror aspect of the film. However, the kills we do get are fucking unforgettable. The practical effects are outstanding and really brings the scenes to a boil. There is some CGI in there to enhance the scene but it stands out and almost ruins the gag. This is painfully noticeable during the cliff scene. Overall, Midsommar is a fantastic film with unforgettable kills. Sadly, the film itself is painfully long and will require some serious will power to revisit and will not have the same impact on the viewer the second time around. I highly recommend just don’t expect a movie you will watch a few times in a weekend.