Midsommar is a horror movie written and directed by Ari Aster. It stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren and Will Poulter. The movie is about a group of friends who travels to Sweden for a festival which occurs once in 90 years. The series of events unfolds progressively from what looks like a great getaway to a magnificent sabotage.
It’s probably one of the freshest horror movies I’ve ever seen. Released July 3, 2019 in the United States and July 10 in Sweden. It runs for 147 minutes.
The story begins in the winter season, Dani (Florence Pugh) tries to contact her sister who has a bipolar disorder. The last message exchange she received sounded cryptic which made Dani upset. She tries to call her distant boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) for comfort.
Christian in the meantime was having beers with his friends planning for their trip to Sweden for the Midsummer festival. Christian feels that his relationship with Dani is on a dead end. To end his frustration, his friends suggested for him to come along on an all boys vacation to Sweden.
The next scenes were grim. The sister committed suicide and her parents are dead leaving Dani in a depressing state. Christian decides to stay with Dani to make sure she was ok. The breakup plans postponed.
Months has passed and Dani tries to recover from depression. Christian tries to be supportive but one can tell that the relationship is turning sour yet nobody has taken the courage to end the relationship.
The creation of the movie was timely since Ari, the director was also going through a breakup. There are gestures and stares in the movie which are common in couples going through a “cooling” stage right before a breakup which are familiar, anyone can relate. In one interview Ari tries to be as cryptic as possible but there’s definitely a sense of loss when the movie was created and that feeling of loss and bargaining was captured in the film.
Christian thought it would be a good idea to have Dani come along with them to Sweden so she can relax and have a much needed break. The boys agreed to let Dani come even though they thought it would be awkward to have her around.
The isolated Swedish village looks vibrant and fresh, the cinematography of the movie was beautifully captured with perfect framing and cohesive color combination. Pogar Pogorzelski captured the Swedish atmosphere perfectly. Ari was responsible for the camera movement and composition. They did it well. Even though it was a horror movie, it looked like a dreamy fairytale you don’t want to wake up from.
Most of the scenes were bright it looks as if the place had the best weather anyone could possibly imagine. In the making of the film, Pogorzelski experimented on different exposures since the weather can be a limitation in capturing the look and feel of the film. The end result gives the viewer a delightful summer feel. You don’t feel intimidated or scared like most horror films with dark creepy scenes. This felt more like you want to keep your eyes open because the color combinations are pleasing to the eyes.
Ari and Pogar have worked before in the movie Hereditary. Having a good working relationship and right chemistry makes any work great and it was evident in this film. They each provided a good balance. The only thing that I didn’t like about it is the way the story unfolds. It was slower than how I imagined it to be.
The ending is something to look forward to. All the questions were answered except for that one last look from Dani. It also provided a better understanding of how the community planned everything to get what it wants. It will leave you with a question back to when everything started.
I’d rate this film a 4 out of 5 for the beautiful scenes, narratives and intensive research about the Swedish culture and practices combined with a terrifying turn of events.
I never thought I’d like horror films again until this one.