Midsommar ★★★★★

A young American couple, played by Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, fly to a rural town in Sweden for a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival after experiencing a death in the family. Not long after the couple's arrival, their trip unfolds into a hallucinatory nightmare when the visitors are invited to drink some sort of concoction that seemingly screws with their perception of time, and are targeted by the sinister leaders of a pagan cult. Ari Aster’s following to the unrelenting success of Hereditary is another unnerving journey full of horrifying imagery, much like the final twenty minutes of Hereditary. Ari Aster has cemented his position of one of the contemporary masters of horror alongside Jordan Peele and Robert Eggers. From the terrifyingly tragic opening scene, Aster adopts a tone of uncomfortable surrealism. Florence Pugh’s Dani is a survivor who really has been dealt a bad deck in life and this is always pressed upon throughout. Aster makes sure that this survivor truly comes out on top despite having a rotten boyfriend, no support, mind-altering substances and ritualistic acts beyond our comprehension. Pugh still keeps the film focused on her, this is a real tour-de-force pieces of acting we have witnessed. Midsommar is not all about the impending sense of doom and dread, the film is surprisingly very funny as Christian and his friends are total fish out of water as they visit the commune. The magic of Aster’s work is the lack of shadows, even in broad daylight he can still scare the audience with no help of the monster that goes “bump in the night”. The hallucinatory cinematography is sublime as the colours blend and pulsate off the screen to allow the audience to go along this trip with the cult’s victims. Overall, Aster has crafted another modern-horror classic full of ghastly imagery that will be seared into your brain and linger for days after watching this film. Gone are the predictable jump scares, now it’s about creating an atmosphere of dread.