Following a tragic event, college student Dani joins her boyfriend, as well as a few of his friends, on a trip to a remote part of Sweden to escape the reality of day to day life. Here the group spend time on a commune, where they are guests and observers of a summer folk festival.
As the festival gets underway, Dani and her friends witness some unconventional customs. They also get swept up in what turns out to be a rather gruesome gathering, which has dire consequences for the majority of the group.
From the moment Midsommar begins, it is clear this is going to be a dark movie. The story covers death, betrayal and er… pissing on traditions (quite literally), and also finds time for occasional nods to The Wicker Man, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – classics of the horror genre.
But the horror on display here isn’t about jump scares and flashy visuals, instead it is about watching the harsh reality of life creep up on you. OK, I’m probably getting a little deep here (I have cracked open the wine), but the darkness isn’t in the ‘horror’ itself; rather it is in life, and how life can sucker punch you without warning.
There are some brutal sequences – heads getting bashed in, a skinning, etc – but they are sparse. The film is designed to shock, but only in short bursts rather than through a relentless assault on the senses.
I expect many people will sit through about 20-30 minutes of this movie, before they give up. This is not because the horror that lurks within Midsommar is just too much to watch, but rather because it is a very slow film.
And if you progress past the first 30 minutes, then you’ll find the rest of the movie is equally as slow too. This is intentional – Midsommar is a drawn out picture that plays the long game, to get into the audience’s head and take you on a horrifying journey.
This is an incredibly difficult, unforgiving and uncomfortable movie and will not play well with mainstream audiences. This is not The Conjuring, The Purge or Halloween and it is important to remember this.
If you found Hereditary difficult to watch and a little too strange for your tastes, then you will not like Midsommar. This is a claustrophobic film, not a splatter-fest.
Midsommar is going to make fans and it is also going to piss off a lot of people. While some will love it, others will hate it.
However, if you liked Hereditary and have a deep desire to see director Ari Aster’s follow-up, then check out this movie. I liked it, but if you think this will be a fun little horror to enjoy with a huge tub of popcorn, it’s probably best you watch something else.