Saturday, October 24, 2020

Spook Out! Day 24 ~ Midsommar (2019)

Amazon Says...
"An American couple, their relationship foundering, travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where they become trapped in a sinister nightmare."

I Say...
"Nightmare" is an apt descriptor, as there's a strong dreamlike quality to this film.

Horror Type...
Folk Horror, Arthouse Horror

Main Players...
Florence Pugh as Dani Ardor (Grief-Stricken Gal)
Jack Reynor as Christian Hughes (Kind-of-a-Jerk)
Vilhelm Blomgren as Pelle (Strangely Alluring MFR)

I liked...
  • a filming technique in which Christian's initially visible in a scene via his reflection (in a mirror, or in a turned-off TV monitor, for instance--there may've been more, but these two occurrences happened early-on in the film and caught my attention). In the two examples I give, he's having what you might call challenging conversations, and I think it's really interesting that the heart of his side of these moments are shown in his reflection, and not really him...or maybe it is really him...??? (Nice.)
  • that there are some great little jokes snuck in here and there
  • how the villagers express delight (they literally wave their hands in the air like they just don't care, sort of like "jazz hands")
  • Florence Pugh's work, which is just phenomenal. Brava!
  • a really great moment (which, OK, has a dark edge to it, but bear with me) in which we're provided with the best yardstick for measuring a person's claims of love for you (this scene is sandwiched between some really messed up stuff, but SWOON)
  • the way Dani gets kissed after a momentous event in the third act (even though I know it's by a hugely problematic person, but DOUBLE SWOON)
  • that there was equal-opportunity nudity (we've got dongs, ladies and gents!)

The Meh...
At two hours and twenty minutes, this film's a bit of an exercise in patience. On the one hand, I've sat through other longish films this Spook Out! season and complained about it--although I didn't feel the time passing quite so slowly in Midsommar, which is a testament to how the movie makes you care about Dani and what's going to happen to her. On the other hand, I do feel they could've trimmed down twenty or so minutes by eliminating repetitive scenes of trippy responses to drug use and stillness, and the like.

Would I recommend it...?
I did like it but have to admit, it's hard to classify. It's quite disturbing, at times gruesome and sickening, and there's quite a bit of tension and worry for Dani but I think there was only one moment when I felt a chill, and it wasn't all that intense. So I'm not sure it's a proper "horror" movie, but at the same time feel that sensitive folks would be adversely affected by watching it. At the very least, I can say that if you were ever curious about this movie, I can't think of a better time to watch it than around Halloween! Trigger warnings for: a murder/suicide (aftermath shown), other suicides (shown as they occur), live human sacrifice (shown as it happens), cruelty to animals (aftermath shown in vivid color!), a possibly coerced (certainly drugged) ritualistic sex scene, gaslighting, and moments of gore that really pack a punch!

The film's director, Ari Aster, has famously called Midsommar "The Wizard of Oz for perverts." (I mean...kinda!)

My Grade: B+
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Tomatometer=83%, Audience Score=63%

Details, Schmeetails...
I Watched Midsommar on Amazon (the Rotten Tomatoes page linked above provides links to other streaming platforms)

This concludes Day 24 of

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow...



  1. I'm undecided about this one. I remember when it was being promoted and read some reviews. I'm still undecided.

    1. Gonna do the broken record thing, here: watch it on a sunny morning on a day packed with stuff to help you process it out of your mind, if you need to, LOL.

    2. See, that's the problem. I only watch TV at night. I rarely turn it on before 7 or 8. Sometimes during the day, if I'm stitching, but I haven't been doing much of that lately. I need to get back to that.

    3. It's not a bad one to have on while you're stitching, but it's so lovely, visually, I wouldn't want you to miss the bucolic splendor.


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