FILM REVIEW: Midsommar smarter than the average scare
Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Vilhelm Blomgren, Isabelle Grill & Gunnell Fred
Running Time: 2hrs 25 mins
Director: Ari Aster
Midsommar comes from writer-director Ari Aster, who impressed critics last year with his debut movie Hereditary. Many critics hailed his first feature as a five-star masterpiece. The audience I saw it with weren’t quite as keen. Comments I heard while leaving the screening included: “Worst film I’ve ever seen,” and “There’s two and a half hours of my life that I’m never getting back!”
I feel that Midsommar will once again be splitting the room.
The horror focuses on a young couple, Christian (Transformers: Age of Extinction’s Jack Reynor) and Dani(Florence Pugh, who recently shined in Fighting with my Family). Dani’s fears of the relationship being ‘rocky’ are confirmed upon discovering that her boyfriend had planned to take off without her on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a remote Swedish village to experience a unique mid-summer celebration with this friends Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), Mark (Will Poulter) and Josh (William Jackson Harper).
Christian takes pity on his girlfriend after she finds herself faced with a family tragedy and so he begrudgingly invites her along as a distraction. Once they get there, they discover their surroundings are even weirder than they had been warned. Think ‘crazy cult’ much like in The Wicker Man.
It doesn’t take long for the festivities to take a disturbing turn but leaving may not be so easy.
It may not seem there is much to the plot, but there is a lot happening beneath the surface. Much of what we see on the screen is a metaphor.I’ll leave it at that, as analysing the movie is half the fun.
But those looking for a mainstream horror oozing with ‘jump scares’ will be disappointed. This is very much a slow burner and at almost two and half hours, it’ll be too long for some.
There are some intentional funny moments, but much like when I saw Hereditary, there were people also laughing at moments they shouldn’t have been.
Aster’s latest offering is mostly superb in terms of ingenuity throughout - but verging on ‘goofy’ and utterly bizarre at times. If you can see beyond that, you’ll get much more out of the viewing experience.
This literally come down to whether you prefer a ‘thinker’ horror or not.
By Mikey Clarke