MIDSUMMER

Is it really necessary to witness Swedish midsummer rituals in real time in order for a horror film to be considered a horror film?
Fortunately, this is not the case. Ari Aster is on his way to revitalizing the horror genre, thanks to his disturbing psychological horror and evocative patient film language. As our main characters, Dani and Christian (soon to be ex-), delve deeper into the mysterious pagan society deep in the Swedish countryside, the light actually intensifies the claustrophobic atmosphere, resulting in shocking graphic scenes that the audience wishes they had never seen in the first place.

Should I Sit With Him and Watch It?

We reserve the right to remain silent. It’s one of the worst breakup movies ever made, in my opinion. Midsummer Night’s Dream and Marriage Story would make for a terrible date night pairing.

One thing is for certain: writer/director Ari Aster experiences a sense of suffocating dread throughout the film. “Hereditary,” his terrifying and startlingly confident directorial debut, demonstrated this. Demonic mythology, skillfully gory images, and creepy miniature models were all part of the film’s nightmare-inducing atmosphere. The grudge-filled, claustrophobic domestic helplessness that permeates every frame and line of dialogue in “Hereditary” is the work of Aster.

In “Midsommar,” a fantastically juicy, apocalyptic cinematic sacrament, the filmmaker fidgets with a strange sense of breathlessness throughout the entire film. This time, however, we are not confined to a claustrophobic horror house. Prepare to be suffocated by a family that is ravenous for your blood (albeit a chosen, cultish kind). Aster wants us to crave and kick for oxygen, perhaps in a less claustrophobic and more agoraphobic manner than we are accustomed to experiencing. Because the sense of foreboding in “Midsommar” and “Hereditary” is so distinct from one another, it is easy to recognize the connective headspace responsible for both stories.

In contrast to an outdoorsy “mother!” and a blindingly lit “Dogville,” this superb psychedelic thriller stands out from a fine contemporary “The Wicker Man” thanks to Aster’s loosening thematic restraint. While dismembering Aster’s inviting beast won’t leave you feeling lost, the film’s cosmically vast subject matter will: (white) male privilege, American entitlement (that literally pisses on what isn’t theirs), and, most importantly, female empowerment are all addressed. Additionally, the story’s setting, which is nearly always in the sun, is described in this way. This is a remote Swedish village in Hälsingland, where we are surrounded by peacefully dressed Hrga people who celebrate summer with rituals that are initially cute but quickly become bizarre and frightening. On the property belonging to Aster’s family, an endless string of hallucinatory traditions are practiced openly in broad daylight.

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