“Hi. Hello. There you are! Listen, you can’t speak. You can’t move. Alright? Good.”
Horror films come and go as time goes on. It’s relatively hard to find a film that will continue to haunt you years later. But director Ari Aster, who made a name for himself with 2018s Hereditary, has creatively produced a film that preys on our worse insecurities. Midsommar tells the story of Dani, a young woman driven into sadness, not only through her anxiety, but through a traumatic event. In order to escape her reality, Dani and her distant boyfriend, Christian, travel with friends to a Swedish festival that happens once every 90 years. When the group arrives at the festival, what ensues is pure chaos.
First things first, Florence Pugh, who plays the struggling Dani, is a force of nature. Long may she reign! The way she carries Midsommar, a film of this caliber, just goes to show how great of an actress she is. From the first moment she’s seen, she conveys Dani’s emotion with something as simple as her mannerisms, the tears in her eyes, or the shakiness in her voice. The complexity of Dani’s persona is handled so well, it feels as though the sequences where she’s shaken by her anxiety and depression, are so realistic. Pugh makes this HER movie. The supporting cast, the majority of which are unknown actors, also bring their A-game to a film that is enveloped by mystery and deliria.
If you are one of the few who hasn’t seen this, be prepared, because this horror film is a Dutch angle on steroids. Stanley Kubrick’s, Eyes Wide Shut’s, cousin. An acid trip for the big screen. I say this not to discourage one from seeing it, but to have those who may be on the fence to jump into this outrageous film. To put it plainly, Midsommar is incredibly nuts. Aster’s work behind the camera, as well as the brilliantly planned symbolism, help to slowly build a frightening and thought-provoking film.
Everything about Midsommar will throw you for a loop, entrap, and disturb you right to your very core. Those of us who suffer with ongoing sadness, anxiety, and personal fears, will see this film, and appreciate it for what it is. Midsommar shows us, that in daylight, that is when our biggest fears may come to light. And that, my friends, are the elements in our life that will always be truly terrifying.
Written and Directed by: Ari Aster
Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren, William Jackson Harper, and Will Poulter