Summary: Four college students head to a pastoral village in Sweden for a mid-summer festival.
This was a TRIP. That’s it for the puns, I promise. I generally don’t see things that fall in the horror category- yes, because I’m a coward- but since it’s had a bit of a resurgence in the past few years, I’m trying to expand. It’s worked out so far- Us is probably going to be in my top this year and Midsommar is another really interesting, satisfying outing that kept me thinking long after it was over.
Taking place at some time where laptops and cell phones exist, our protagonist Dani (Florence Pugh, whose stock is probably going way up this year) and her anxiety suffer from the traumatic loss of her family. She looks to get her mind off things by accompanying her boyfriend (a very toxic relationship, might I add) and his friends as they prepare their thesis in Sweden, observing a remote commune’s mid-summer festival that traditionally takes place every 90 years.
I don’t think this falls into the classic horror category- there’s actually very little that happens on-screen and more or less of what we see is the violent aftermath. Maybe more of the horror-suspense bucket. I don’t think it’s for everyone and I’m sure the rewatch factor on the entire movie isn’t too high (although there are parts that I definitely plan to sit down for again), but this is otherwise an excellent movie. There’s a lot of proper foreshadowing in this (all you GOT supporters, take note), and just an overall intelligence to its composition.
Midsommar is disturbing and captivating and balances this eerieness with this pastoral imagery. I find idyllic, picturesque rolling hills to be somewhat untrustworthy and Midsommar captures that absolutely perfectly. And yeah- there are some images in here that you just can’t unsee, but by George, is it gorgeous. This might be my favorite cinematography this year. Like it feels like you’re in the clouds, running and leaping through fields- oh, there’s a dismembered figure! And there is excellent camerawork as well. It’s so methodical in what it chooses to show and I can’t think of any scene or shot that’s out of place or doesn’t fit the narrative- and it’s absolutely worth it to watch in a theater.