Midsommar ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Midsommar is artifice incarnate. I often find that most horror films, when creating their own world, slowly grab you, offing a gentle trickle of clues and objects to draw the viewer in, letting them become accustomed to the new reality in which they are entering.

Other horror films do the opposite. They posit a scenario so far fetched and out there that the suspension of disbelief is sudden and immediate; think Alien.

Midsommar exists on a crossroads between the two. It shows Dani and her life in Suburbia, USA. It shows her grief and her dead family members. Throughout it all the film is telling us "this is real". We buy it. It is so close to our own life that we can see it happening. Then, as they leave and enter the other world, we are given the same idea that this is all real and grounded.

And yet it is not. The slow trickle of ideas and objects feels stilted and as we watch the first of the deaths we are forced to realize that this is not real. This would never happen.

It's important to realize too that much of this selling of the different world is reliant on performances which, up to that point, had been good and believable. But as the gang watch the deaths, only so much as wincing--and with the only rational pair who tried to leave being easily convinced to stay--the carefully constructed world crumbles around us, situating itself in a nether realm of neither here nor there, neither real nor unreal.

I wanted to believe the hype of this film, that we would be having a renaissance of horror. I think that Hereditary and The VVitch were good additions to the horror cannon but this really didn't do it for me.

This was one of the many problems that I had with the film and if I were to exhaust them all we'd be here till midnight. Florence Pugh is great (as always) and the rest of the cast pulls out what they can from this threadbare script, but none of it is enough to save it.

Also man was it boring.

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