This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Josh’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“We only do this every ninety years. I was most excited for you to come.”
MIDSOMMAR is vile,(intentionally) hilarious, disturbing, beautiful and memorizing. There’s a lot to digest here.... I originally thought it was a bit to long but now I don’t know what could have been cut out, it never dragged or got boring and each scene felt like it meant something or was leading to something.
The opening series of events was a great start to the film, it showed us the characters and there dinamics, how fragile and basically broken our main leads relationship is and just a great way to introduce us too the themes and tone of this story.
It’s a slow burn film... and I mean that in the best way I can theres moments of comedy or excellently well done high on shroom scenes that kept in interesting. The slow burning of the film helps with the disturbing scenes it feels like it EARNED it and not just gore for the sake of gore. The first disturbing scene actually shook me to the core because of how held back it was up until that point. On the topic of disturbing imagery this film actually GOT to me with its visuals, while the concepts for these visuals could’ve been cheesy, its framing and lighting made my skin get goosebumps as these vile things are happening on screen.
while I don’t think I was hit emotionally as hard by these characters as hereditary hit me, who I feel had slightly better characters, the leads were about on par but the side characters in Midsommar but the side characters could’ve been fleshed out a bit more. The acting by the side characters were great and they all played there roles well but I wish we just knew a bit more about them.
While I don’t want this whole review to just compare this to hereditary it’s hard to not trace some comparisons, the ending to the third act, certain plot points and scenes really had similar vibes. But why this didn’t bother me was how these themes were presented and how they meant contextually to the story and themes.
For me the cult is a backdrop for Ari to talk about relationships while also crafting a well made and intense horror film. The film shows you in subtle ways for the most part just how done the leads relationship is but they can’t let go, they feel as they have invested to much time into each other and believe they still love each other when they really don’t.. which is something we can all relate too. The ending of this hit me on a horror level and a personal level which is a hard thing to do... the ending (for me) symbolizing how Dani was finally gaining strength and not holding onto this relationship while may seem to help emotionally in burst... Isn’t healthy and was able to end it. While the LITERAL ending was also disturbing and effective.
The film is absolutely gorgeous and shows how a horror film can work in bright daylight... it has some fantastic camera work that just made certain scenes really pop... if shot differently it wouldn’t have been as effective nearly. The soundtrack is on par with hereditary if not better.
like I said before I think the hereditary ending hit me more but as a whole I think I prefer how thematically more rich and allegorical Midsommar is compared to hereditary... Hereditary while has elements of mental illness and issues that are out of our control, Midsommar expresses these in a more subtle way, it feels as I can peal back layers and layers of the film while with hereditary I feel I fully understand it whilst Midsommar really is begging for another watch currently... I can’t see this leaving my mind anytime soon.
One thing I know I can say about Ari Aster is he isn’t scared to go for the disturbing ending.. it makes his films feel much more impactful and I’m ready for whatever he makes next.