Aug 3, 2022

Midsommar (2019)

Midsommar is a 2019 folk horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. A co-production between the United States and Sweden, the film was initially pitched to Aster as a straightforward slasher film set among Swedish cultists. While elements of the original concept remain in the final product, the plot of Aster's film centres on a deteriorating relationship, inspired by a difficult breakup which he himself experienced.

A couple travels to Northern Europe to visit a rural hometown's fabled Swedish mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

F: Behold a pagan-psychedelic-folk-psychological-horror masterpiece. Bravo Ari Aster! I absolutely loved the unnerving feeling Midsommar granted me. I even had the beginning of a panic attack in one of the trippy scenes. I was starting to have LSD flashbacks. I shit you not. (Yep, I did psychedelic drugs a few times).

In this film we follow a couple, Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), who are on the verge of breaking up if it weren't for the sinister murder/suicide of Dani's bipolar sister. Heartbroken, Dani needs all the support from Christian, who for obvious reasons can't end his relationship with her now. Dani ends up being an interloper and joining the trip to Sweden that Christian and his compadres had planned. In Scandinavia, they arrive at a remote village where everyone is dressed in white and seems to live in peaceful communion with nature. A place from which I would have run a mile away at first glance.

K: Midsommar is now my favorite horror movie. Ari Astaire is one of those directors who completely dictates the horror genre by his own rules. He did not use almost any of the tricks that everyone is used to seeing in traditional horror movies. Instead of solid darkness - a white night and blinding sunlight, there are no monsters, manic killers or ghosts, but there is a constant and absolute feeling of anxiety, an obsessive feeling that left me thinking that something was going to go wrong at any moment. With a running time of two and a half hours, it was impossible to tear myself away from the screen. The mystical atmosphere is pumped up by round dances, feasts and other joint actions.

Smashed Head Midsommar GIF
F: I had already found Ari Aster's previous film, Hereditary, to be one of the best horror films of the last decade. With Midsommer, I am absolutely sure that this is one of the best horror directors we have today. His ideas are freshly disturbing and capable of making me feel like a child again, eagerly anticipating something unimaginably horrible in the next scene on screen. Midsommer has moments of genius, in my opinion. What truly fascinated me about this film was the way in which the moods resulting from drug ingestion were portrayed. I could feel all the panic and paranoia of the bad trip experienced by the characters. The special effects are subtly perfect and are the most realistic portrayal of psychedelic substance effects I've ever seen.

A normal person will probably identify the smashed heads and mutilated bodies as the most horrific things in this movie. For me, there is nothing more disconcerting than the moments when the actors look at the camera or little changes in people's faces that make them look devilish! I'm glad I didn't see this movie for the first time under the influence, because I'm sure that I was going to have a hard time.

K: The hallucinatory scenes are really spectacular! I would also like to note the camera work of Pavel Pogorzhelsky. It was this man who created the unique charm of the picture. He ingeniously approaches his work, using unhackneyed shooting, close-ups, characters in reflection. Intraframe placement is great. I liked how the camera smoothly flips upside down as our American friends approach their destination. In this film, everything sounds and moves beautifully - the music seems to play with colors, and the picture conveys sounds.

Trip Midsommar GIF
This scene real messed up my mind.
F: I think this movie has pretty much everything in its right place. Many of the scenes are expected and we were able to understand the director's intentions well. For example, in the sex scene, I knew it would have to exist to make us more uncomfortable. This particular scene was surprising. I didn't find it uncomfortable because the hilarity of the situation outweighs the bizarre and the ability to sympathize with the character and be in the moment is lost at that. Nevertheless, I couldn't have predicted this kind of ritualistic sex we were greeted with and the moments of humiliation and confusion laid on Christian.

This is a movie that I vividly recommend to all horror fans. I think this movie will be different for two types of people. Those who have tried psychedelic drugs, and those who haven't. This movie doesn't get a perfect grade just for one detail. That leg planted in the ground. I found this detail unnecessary and, together with the sex scene that happens around that same time, broke a teenie-weenie the heavy mood that was built throughout the movie.

On a final note, I wanted to say that Florence Pugh is absolutely magnificent and, in fact, the star of this movie. Her moments of anguish are incredible, especially in the first scenes of the film. Also, the music by British electronic musician Bobby Krlic is of the highest quality.

Midsommar sex scene
It's been a while since we had some boobies here at Cine It. Thank you Ari.
K: Florence Pugh is very good. She perfectly played a woman with deep psychological trauma, who will have to go through her path of purification during the celebration of the solstice in the Swedish settlement. Her smile at the end gave me goosebumps. What does that smile mean? Did she go crazy, or from the fact that she took revenge on the guy, or from the fact that she found a new family in the face of the inhabitants of the pagan community?

In conclusion, I want to say that Midsommar is a stylish film that left me with a strong aftertaste (I even dreamed that I took part in a dance competition, like the main character) and definitely made me reconsider my views on holidays in the outback of Sweden. This film is hypnotizing and very heavy with shocking content, so I would not recommend it to an unprepared viewer. If you have heard about the Vikings blood eagle, then here you can watch a gruesome recreation of such original torture...

Midsommar Moive gif
Crazy bastards!
Freddy's Score: 98/100
Krasnaya's Score: 95/100





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