Midsommar, 8.3/10, is the latest psychological and somewhat hallucinogenic thriller from director Ari Aster that had me fixated for 2 hours and 27 minutes. And, very much like the characters in the film I lost all concept of time. Although I am still a little lost for words, Midsommar was one of my most interesting cinematic experiences of 2019.
After experiencing a family tragedy, Dani (played by Florence Pugh) turns to her boyfriend Christian, (played by Jack Reynor) who reluctantly invites her to join his group of male friends on their trip to a mid summer festival in Sweden. However what appears to be an idyllic escape quickly transforms into an increasingly violent and bizarre affair. ￼
Both the score and dazzling cinematography in this film are incredibly well thought out. The score – both diegetic and non-diegetic – perfectly accompanies the tone and pace of the movie. As the disturbing events begin to unfold the score becomes increasingly erratic and disconcerting. Whereas the choice to utilise a bright colour palette juxtaposes the dark narrative path, this film goes on to further remove itself from genre conventions. I particularly loved the set transition when Dani goes from rushing to the toilet in the boys flat to closing the door on the airplane. However that’s just one stylistic choice from Ari Aster among many brilliant others.
One of the hardest battles horror/thriller films come up against is being believable. Midsommar won that battle by having remarkable performances from Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and everyone else. Pugh in particular stands out as she has to display grief-stricken turmoil throughout most of the film.
Midsommar isn’t some generic jumpy horror flick, it relies on an increasing sense of dread that is truly unnerving to watch. Anyone looking for a jump scare a minute should go else where as Midsommar is a mind-fuck journey that looks to creepily unsettle it’s audience members.
Entertainment (of its genre): 9/10
Overall rating….. 8.3/10