Sometimes you know something is a just movie and it doesn’t matter. If I ever had any desire to attend a traditional midsummer festival in Sweden, that dream has been effectively crushed. OK, fine, that was never on my bucket list. But if friends had asked me to go to one I probably would have said yes. But no more. Those people are crazy. At least that’s what I picked up from Midsommar.
Dani (Florence Pugh) goes through a pretty horrific family tragedy, while simultaneously driving her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) crazy with her emotional neediness. Christian had been planning to attend a midsummer festival at friend Pelle’s (Vilhelm Blomgren) ancestral commune with fellow graduate students Mark (Will Poulter) and Josh (William Jackson Harper). Dani decides to tag along.
Well, things get a little weird at that festival. Then they get a lot weird. And then they get totally WTF am I actually watching? Yeah, I’m never going to Sweden. Nope. Never. Not gonna happen. I’m torn between wanting to talk about all of the crazy things that go on and also wanting you to walk in knowing very little about what is going to happen.
The best way to watch Midsommar is to watch it knowing that writer and director Ari Aster used a difficult breakup of his own as inspiration. It gives a whole extra layer of WTF to the whole thing. If you’re familiar with Aster’s previous film, Hereditary, you’ll find the same kind of tone in Midsommar. Oh, and you’ll find the same disturbingly naked old people in both films, too. While I found the pacing of Hereditary painfully slow, I was fully engaged, and mouth agog, the entire time I was watching Midsommar.
If you like your horror films full of blood and stalking, Midsommar is not your film. But if you want something that’s a slower burn with a lot of very disturbing things happening, give Midsommar a try.
You can watch Midsommar in theaters on July 3, 2019.
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.