This Review is brought to you by Jason Wiese
I was surprised to hear that writer and director Ari Aster referred to his sophomore effort “Midsommar” as his first horror film. I thought that his debut, last year’s unsettling family drama “Hereditary,” was his first horror film because it sure as hell scared me, and a lot more than “Midsommar.”
I later realize that what made “Hereditary” such a satisfyingly disturbing experience was that, by the end, the resolution was clear and far more accessible. With “Midsommar,” the purpose behind anything that takes place is near impossible to comprehend, keeping you in a thoroughly disorienting nightmare that you have no control over.
When Dani (a riveting Florence Pugh) is reluctantly asked by her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) to attend a rare event of peculiar festivities in Sweden with his eager friends Josh (William Jackson Harper), Mark (Will Poulter) and native Swede, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), the retreat, at first, appears to be the escape they all needed.
Well, knowing what kind of trickster Ari Aster can be, you can expect that this vacation is not all sunshine and daisies, while there is still plenty of that.
Admittedly, I walked away from “Midsommar” a little underwhelmed. I had nothing but praise for its serene cinematography, astounding performances and moments that will undeniably make your skin crawl. However, I just really did not get it. All it took to convert me was deep reflection, a few conversations with friends and a healthy reminder that Aster is the kind of filmmaker who wants to invoke deep thought and inspire group discussion to come to a satisfying conclusion.
“Midsommar” is a bit hard to swallow at first and, if you are still scratching your head by the end, I would be happy to talk it out with you. Until then, I cannot and will not say anymore except, be prepared for one hell of a trip.
This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
MIDSOMMAR – Rated R – 2 hrs. 27 mins.
DIRECTOR: Ari Aster
WRITER: Ari Aster
STARRING: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Will Poulter and Archie Madekwe.
Get ready to experience an emotionally charged, and just as emotionally draining film hitting the big screen this Holiday weekend, as Midsommar’s Summer solstice festival isn’t like anything you have ever experienced before… even if you enjoy cult like gatherings, with questionable endings yourself…
As we are thrust into the world of college co-eds Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), it seems that their personal lives are as disconnected, as the present state of their flailing relationship. When they decide to venture to Sweden with their friend Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), his homeland is filled with lots of lovely people ~ making the most of their communal lifestyle, within their warm and cozy farming community…
As sweet as it all seems to begin with, it doesn’t take too long for our friends Dani and Christian, and fellow friends/followers Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter), to start questioning the premise of these apparently very demented individuals that they have surrounded themselves with, as this is far from any type of world that they are accustomed to thriving in…
I give MIDSOMMAR a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD or NETFLIX: Both mind boggling throughout and as intense of a psychological thriller as it could get, Midsommar left me feeling very disturbed, and totally uneasy, the whole way through. Aster’s vision is put on full display, and for some others who don’t live in the logical world in which I do, you might beg to differ on the reality that this film conveys ~ I just personally couldn’t get into the deeply demented circumstances that were being portrayed on screen, as it seemed as more time passed, the more illogical this film grew for me. This is not to say that I don’t usually enjoy emotional and thought-provoking films, I do, I just think that Midsommar’s premise was a little too far out there for me to totally ingest, with all of its horrific happenings being unveiled. Suffice to say, that even though the cinematography is very good, and deserving of a mention, and the actors throughout doing a fine job too, Midsommar just disturbed every fiber of my being so much, I can’t bring myself to tell you to venture to a theater near you to see it, unless you are totally into this kind of stuff…then by all means, don’t let me stop you. But, if “totally creepy and disturbing” just isn’t your vibe, then I suggest that you wait till Midsommar hits on DVD or Netflix.