**THE FOLLOWING POST INCLUDES MILD SPOILERS FOR MIDSOMMAR.**
Last night I posted my thoughts on Midsommar. Still trying to process what I watched, and keen not to drop spoilers, I talked… without really saying much about the movie.
The reason for this?
After leaving the cinema last night I felt like my mind was completely mashed. The film wore me down and gave me much to think about, leaving me working on gut feelings alone.
Those gut feelings told me it was a brutal two-and-a-half hours at the cinema and that the film would create fans and enemies in equal measure. And that’s pretty much all I could muster last night.
Anyway, in this post, I’m going to discuss the movie a little more. This time I’m going to go a bit deeper, with a few mild SPOILERS cropping up along the way.
But before I get into that, for the record I liked Midsommar. My husband told me that after reading my thoughts last night, he didn’t know how I felt about the movie, so for him (and everyone else), I liked Midsommar.
OK, first up, here’s a brief plot summary.
Following a tragic event, college student Dani joins her boyfriend and 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 strange summer folk festival.
As the festival progresses, Dani and her friends/fellow travellers come to witness the unconventional customs of the Swedish community. 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.
And that’s all I’m saying about the story.
What? You’ll have to go and see it!
Anyway, from the moment this movie started it was clear to me this was going to be dark. The trailers suggested something twisted was set to take place in Sweden, but I didn’t expect the horror to begin in a domestic setting in the US.
The opening sequence, which framed the beginning of this movie, and created tragedy in Dani’s life, was unexpected. It was hard to watch, full of despair and it set the scene for the remainder of the film.
This initial tragedy (you’ll find out what it is when you watch the movie) told me that Midsommar was about something more than just horror. This was going to be about a journey of discovery, taking into account a lot of different emotions along the way.
As the events of the film then moved to Sweden, the story covered death, sex/reproduction, legacy and betrayal and er… pissing on traditions. It ran a gambit of milestones and feelings, with occasional nods to The Wicker Man, Texas Chain Saw Massacre etc.
This was a film said a lot, but in truth without saying much at all. There were long periods of dialogue which felt like they were stretched for the sake of it, but there was a reason for this – it was to embed me and the audience in this world AND IT WORKED!
As mentioned in my post last night, this was a long, drawn out movie. I’m not going to say that at times I wasn’t frustrated with the pace – I was – but it was actually kind of refreshing to watch and there was a reason for it.
This was a well crafted tale. This was a film with a lot of thought behind it.
The horror here wasn’t about jump scares and flashy visuals to appeal popcorn munchers, it was about watching the harsh reality of life creep up on you. I’m probably getting a little deep here (I have cracked open the wine), but the horror wasn’t in the ‘horror’ itself, but in life and how it can sucker punch you without warning.
There were some brutal sequences – heads getting bashed in, skinning etc – but they were sparse. They were designed to shock in short bursts rather than create a relentless assault on the senses. This was a film about much more.
It was also a film with such a great cast. This was an ensemble piece, with actors not afraid to throw themselves into their roles.
These actors were expected to get involved with nudity, extreme violence and.. erm… a lot of moaning. This cast trusted writer/director, Ari Aster and it paid off. It paid off via a beautifully shot film.
Was the film as strong as Hereditary? Honestly? I’m not sure – there was simply too much to take in.
I’m now 24 hours on from last night’s screening and it’s clear I’m still thinking about the movie – hence this post. I doubt I will revisit this picture on the big screen, but I will go back to it when it gets a home video release to see what my second impressions are.
But I’m interested to know what other people think. Have you watched it yet? What did you think? Good or bad I’d like to know, so sound off in the comments section.