Review: MIDSOMMAR Is A Horrific Breakup Experience

FIRST IMPRESSION

Midsommar is a glorious sophomore effort from writer and director Ari Aster that explores a toxic relationship that goes up in flames.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

After taking audiences by storm with his breakout masterpiece Hereditary, Ari Aster returns with Midsommar, which tells the most disturbing cinematic breakup tale.

Aster’s sophomore feature depicts a ruthless and unnerving descent into madness between two people that don’t deserve a happily ever after. Written and directed by Aster, the film stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, and Vilhelm Blomgren. Midsommar follows a group of graduate students that travel to Sweden for a festival that occurs every ninety years, but they find themselves caught in the ritualistic practices of a pagan cult.

Dani and Christian are a couple on the verge of disintegration, and as shown in the trailer, no one wants out more than Christian. However, once a tragic event occurs, he decides to stay with Dani out of guilt. This then leads to Christian inviting Dani to join him and his friends on the trip to Sweden. Similar to Hereditary, Midsommar gives an intense look into grief and features a tour de force performance from its female lead.

Midsommar
Florence Pugh as Dani in Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR.

Pugh stars as Dani, the film’s heroine who is trying to recover from a tragic event. While her co-stars do what they can, Pugh shines as the distraught protagonist, as she goes through almost every emotion during the film. It’s made clear very early on that this character suffers anxiety due to the events going on in her life, and that factors into why Christian wants to leave her. Reynor stars as Christian, the boyfriend of Dani who has been trying to break away for a while. His plan’s only reinforced by his friends Josh (Harper), Pelle (Blomgren), and Mark (Poulter), who don’t seem too fond of Dani either for the most part. Midsommar may feature a pagan cult performing raw, bone-chilling practices, but it’s still a gruesome breakup story at its core.

As soon as the group arrives in the Swedish village, they are mesmerized by its scenery and the attire of the festival participants, better known as the Harga. Dani and her distant friends are invited to participate in the daily festivities, which include maypole dancing, meditation, feasting, and consuming mind-altering drugs. At first, the villagers seem harmless but certain practices will lead to the group of friends reconsidering their decision to come, but by then it’s too late.

Midsommar
Florence Pugh as Dani, Jack Reynor as Christian, and Vilhelm Blomgren as Pelle in Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR.

Aster has crafted a visually stunning film that will cause disgust just as much as it will leave viewers in awe at how beautifully shot it is. Midsommar isn’t as frightening as the trailers make it seem, but it is very unsettling to watch and will leave audiences pondering on what they just witnessed. The film’s cinematography by Pawel Pogorzelski is stellar and a visually satisfying component that brings the horrific imagery to life. The Haxan Cloak’s score accompanies the disturbing two-hour experience so immaculately and will stick with you once the credits roll. Yet, despite its horrific nature, certain lines and sequences in Midsommar will undoubtedly spark laughter.

Midsommar is a successful sophomore feature from Aster, who is leaving his mark on modern horror. The film isn’t as coherent as his debut film, but it is more bizarre. Midway through the film, it feels like Aster becomes focused on sparking a reaction with graphic imagery rather than finishing a coherent narrative. The film does manage to end on a high note, but along the way, the story becomes a bit muddled in its attempt to be visually discomforting.

Regardless of that, after leaving audiences floored with Hereditary, many wondered how Aster would follow it up. Well, he has crafted a dark romantic film about a toxic relationship that can’t be saved. By the time Midsommar reaches its bonkers finale, the relationship between Dani and Christian has been shattered. Not only do they go through a traumatic experience, but the audience suffers right along with them.

Once the credits roll, the viewers are left with a sense of catharsis. Aster has a knack for putting his audience through the wringer, and he doesn’t switch up for this latest outing. There is no way to prepare for Midsommar and the bizarre activities that ensue, but expect to be left emotionally drained.

A24 will be releasing Midsommar in theaters on July 3rd.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Jane The Virgin | Final Season Reflections: Andrea Navedo | The CW

Jane The Virgin is new Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW, and available next day on The CW App: http://go.cwtv.com/genJTVyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About JANE THE VIRGIN: Jane Villanueva has always lived by the rules. She is studying to become a teacher, working her way through school by waitressing at a hot Miami hotel, and she…

Baskets | Season 4 Ep. 4: Father/Daughter Bonding Highlight | FX

Dale tries bonding with his daughter over questionable history and firearms training. Watch Baskets on Thursdays at 10pm on FX. Subscribe now for more Baskets clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Big changes are underway for the Baskets family. After 49 years, Chip decides it’s finally time to move out of his mom’s place, but leaving the nest is…

My First First Love: Season 2 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Five young friends find their first loves. Watch their relationships deepen as they tumble toward adulthood. My First First Love Season 2 premieres July 26. Only on Netflix. Watch My First First Love, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81026700 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with over 148 million paid memberships…

Snowfall | Season 3 Ep. 3: Cash and Carry Preview | FX

Franklin puts his new business plan into motion, then takes a business trip with Avi. Teddy and Julia work hard to forge new alliances in Costa Rica. Gustavo struggles to learn how to work with his new Mexican partner. Subscribe now for more Snowfall clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In Season 3 of Snowfall, crack cocaine is spreading…

2019 Emmy® Nominations | SHOWTIME

18 Emmy® Nominations for SHOWTIME Networks including: Don Cheadle, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Who is America?, Outstanding Variety Series Escape at Dannemora, Outstanding Limited Series Patricia Arquette, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series Benicio del Toro, Lead Actor in a Limited Series Paul Dano, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series…

Alicia Vs. Walker Herd | Walker Kill of the Week | Fear the Walking Dead | Season 5 Episode 7

Alicia single-handedly battles a walker herd and receives a potentially deadly surprise. #FearTWD #FeartheWalkingDead For more Fear the Walking Dead videos: https://goo.gl/P1AXdM Subscribe to the AMC YouTube Channel : https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx Fear the Walking Dead: https://goo.gl/CMLr9K Sign Up for the Fear the Walking Dead Newsletter : http://www.amc.com/shows/fear-the-wal... Fear the Walking Dead on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/FearTWD/ Fear…

Pose | Season 2 Ep. 5: Damon Teach the World Highlight | FX

Talent isn't to be hidden amongst the clouds, but to shine amongst the stars. Subscribe now for more Pose clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX Season 2 of Pose flashes forward in time to 1990. On the heels of the ballroom community establishing itself in pop culture and going mainstream, the House of Evangelista is forced to reevaluate their…
Eric Trigg
Eric Trigg
 I am Horror fanatic that can't go a single month without watching something horror related. I have a YouTube channel that is growing and would love for you to be one of my supporters. The fact that sequels exist proves there is no perfect film. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here