Midsommar (2019) – Film Review (some spoilers)
I watched Midsommar a short while after posting my ten favourite horror films of the last decade and did think that perhaps should I have waited with the chance of placing a new entry. But upon watching it I can safely say that no, it would not have been a new entry.
I’m loathe to be mean because I appreciate that something different was done here and I loved director Ari Aster’s previous movie Hereditary (ironically one of my favourite horror films of the last decade). I do get he has his own style and obviously I enjoyed the movie to a degree. I liked the 18 rating with thus more option for gore. And I enjoyed the start and the set-up. The whole idea behind the story is cool – the mysterious ‘Midsummer Festival’ – a folky horror with its plot surrounding paganism and creepy behaviour. And of course the visuals are beautiful.
There’s something very pretty about Midsommar – an evil that masquerades underneath gorgeous blue skies and beautiful flowers – I like that idea a lot and even the film posters are really cool. I’m sad I didn’t like it more but the problem for me really was that I never found it scary or disturbing – so somewhat missing the entire point.
(I think I felt more creeped out when I saw a night-time surveillance video of a moose recently and realised just how bloody huge they are! Seriously, it almost looked like an alien).
Maybe I’m immature – which my last sentence does testify towards – but many of the ‘most disturbing’ scenes in Midsommar I found to be amusing and also slightly embarrassing.
I couldn’t take the weird cult behaviour seriously (sorry) – it just made me laugh. Aside from the mental sex scene and the bloody racket all those women make after Dani finds out about the mental sex scene, I generally just found all the constant chanting and rituals a bit silly and cringe. I honestly do wish I could have sunk into it and felt the dread and darkness as intended but for me, it definitely didn’t happen.
Even the ending went over my head. I realised about half way through I wasn’t exactly loving it but because of the age rating and screwed-up feel that Aster was aiming for I truly believed that something SUPER fucked up and repugnant would happen at the end. And I was looking forward to a very grim finale. But really, it wasn’t that bad.
Okay so being forced into a disemboweled bear’s body and burned alive isn’t good enough for me. I’m sorry. Look it wasn’t that it was tame, it just wasn’t……..well I guess I had no tension left in me by this point. Most of the films funniest scenes had occurred and it was just yet another hurdle to get through.
Dani was the only person in the film I liked. She’s the main character you see on the posters covered in flowers or screaming. I actually felt sorry for her as she seemed like a nice person yet had a rather bellend, wimpy boyfriend. She suffers a VERY screwed up family tragedy (woah) at the start which is how she winds up going on this ill-fated trip to Sweden with her crap strawberry-blonde fella and his friends – even though he wants to break up with her and the friends all bitch about her. I like that eyebrows guy Will Poulter. No offence but he’s great at playing a dick.
And so they embark on the worst trip ever for a group of young twenty-somethings. Really guys? Couldn’t you just have gone somewhere with beer, nice food and a few museums. Though beautiful surroundings I did start to wonder just how long I could stomach staying at this place and that’s before you take into account all the actual scary stuff.
No privacy or being ‘allowed to do what you want’. For example eating when the community does (at an uncomfortable looking banquet table where the portion sizes do not look adequate). So no restaurants, buffet breakfasts, on-the-go hot-dogs, on-the-go pizza slices OR ‘let’s stop for a quick coffee and cake’ or ‘just the cake’.
Accommodation is really no more than a youth hostel and despite the pretty doodlings on the wall (no doubt actually EVIL doodlings) there is no way in hell I’d want to sleep in a massive shed with a load of hippy, unwashed strangers in a tiny bed with no electric, only to be woken up early to watch more annoying weirdos chant a lot and then being forced to dance around in a field whilst wearing weird clothes and I just kept thinking…….
THIS IS A HOLIDAY????
On the plus side the group are given hallucinogenic mushrooms on arrival.
In a way I’m sad I didn’t like Midsommar more but maybe I’ll re-watch it one day and see the light. I’m not ashamed to admit I found it funny, it’s just my sense of humour.
To be fair The Wicker Man was funny at times. Remember Christopher Lee in the long black wig, lurid dress and face paint? Come on. But I still found the film horrid. The ending where they all sing happily around the Wicker Man whilst Woodward faces an awful death is both horrific and bizarre. The ending to The Wicker Man is forever burned into my memory (all puns intended) but sadly I never got that ‘horrific and bizarre’ thing from Midsommar. I’m still glad loads of you loved it though and hands up who’s looking forward to Ari Aster’s next horror!