Author Topic: MIDSOMMAR - Pagan Horror Done Well - minor spoilers  (Read 318 times)

Offline perc2100

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MIDSOMMAR - Pagan Horror Done Well - minor spoilers
« on: July 11, 2019, 10:11:34 AM »
WOW. There have been two films this millennium, and two films only, that have left me shaken after watching: ANTICHRIST, and now MIDSOMMAR. This film is stunning in just about every sense: from its tense mood throughout, to the gorgeous cinematography, to the wonderfully atmospheric score. It takes time at the top to introduce the characters and really give you a bit of a sense of who they are, what they're priority is, etc.  Writer/Director Ari Aster (who wrote and directed last year's brilliant HEREDITARY) properly sets everything up while also giving us time to acclimate to the characters & their surroundings.
The premise is fairly simplistic, and everything is set up well. By the end of the first act, the tension slowly starts to ratchet up and after the film is over, I'm not even sure there was an end to the dread. The film is about two things:
1. a dysfunctional cohabitation relationship
2. a group of Americans, PhD students working on their thesis, go to Sweden with to visit a friend's small village to celebrate the once-every-90 years mid-summer celebration.

A lot of the film is seen through the perspective of female lead character Dani, who is dealing with significant family trauma (that goes down in a pre-opening credits sequence that is both eerie and emotionally devastating).  Psychedelic drugs are taken upon arrival to the village, and once an elder couple perform an √Ąttestupa ritual (I'll let those who don't mind spoilers google that one) the horror of the mid-summer celebration are off and running.

MIDSOMMAR _almost_ feels like a 2nd cousin to the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE at times thematically. But at the same time, the film is essentially the story of a couple dealing with trying times and the downslope of their relationship.  Florence Pugh as Dani is a standout and her character navigates grieving.  She essentially goes from a dysfunctional, unstable relationship to one of acceptance of situations life throws at you.  Her boyfriend Christian, played by Jack Raynor, is a character who was looking to breakup with his girlfriend before her tragedy, but doesn't have the heart to do so now.  I honestly wonder if the dynamic between these two characters is felt radically different between men and women; Christian isn't depicted as awful per say, but he's not a great guy.  I'd be interested to hear debates on the sympathy vs horror of the ending from different gender perspectives.

I dare not say much more, as this is definitely the type of movie you want to know as little as possible about to so you can revel in its unfolding.
I think just reading the above, you will know if this film is for you.  There is dread oozing throughout this film as well as some graphic gore and violence at times (though also, to be honest, a bit of restraint in the 2nd and 3rd act).  There is full frontal nudity of both male & female, and to be blunt this definitely is not a mainstream film for everyone.  I love this film, though I don't know when I would want to see this again (until Aster releases his 2:45 longer cut on blu-ray at least). Writer/Director Ari Aster is a legit visionary, and I will wait in line for any movie he bestows on us! 

Offline TardisMom

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Re: MIDSOMMAR - Pagan Horror Done Well - minor spoilers
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 12:39:07 PM »
My daughter saw this and insisted her sister and I join her in seeing it again.  The 2.5 hours flew by, I didn't look at my watch once.  The beauty of the location was a stark contrast to the storyline.  Great film!

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Re: MIDSOMMAR - Pagan Horror Done Well - minor spoilers
« Reply #2 on: Today at 10:40:45 AM »

Offline chaosdreamer

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Re: MIDSOMMAR - Pagan Horror Done Well - minor spoilers
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 01:18:50 PM »
Not my cup of tea but I really appreciate the terrific write-up by [member=380]perc2100[/member]!