Warning - there are NO spoilers in this review
Midsommar ...the highly anticipated follow-up to Ari Aster's break out cinematic hit, Hereditary, blogspot readers, was recently seen by this reviewer and she highly recommends seeing it ...especially on the big screen for its colorful beauty and optical effects ...as well as the subtle horror that doesn't grab you right away like most movies within this genre. The keyword here is color. Contrast to Hereditary in which you are immersed within the dark, Ari takes you out of the dark and puts his characters and you the movieviewer in constant daylight at the height of the summer solstice in a quaint place that's in the middle of nowehere ...where everything and everyone is not what or they seem to be, blogspot readers.
What's different about Ari Aster's Midsommar besides touching on murder, suicide and death, he also tackles a relationship that is on the brink of breaking up though neither person wants to be the one to do the "breaking up" part.
Meet our millennial couple, Christian and Dani ...and boy, do they have problems, blogspot readers. They want to break up but seem don't know how. Yes, they are that couple in dire need of a couple's relationship expert to help assist them in this delicate matter. Even Christian's friends can easily see there's problem with his relationship with Dani ...urging him to break up with her until ...tragedy strikes Dani which somewhat brings them "closer" together.
He's there for her yet not really "there" in sense of comfort and whatnot. In comes the idea of spending the midsummer solstice at a remote commune in Sweden where Christian's friend Pelle is from to celebrate the 90th tradition of midsommar. Festivities, fun, food, etc etc to be had during this nine day festival in which the invited guests are encouraged to participate. Seriously, blogspot readers, that's actually when the real fun as well as horror begins for our four American and two British characters.
Not going to spoil it for you, blogpsot readers, but if you have seen Ari Aster's Hereditary, you will understand and appreciate the way there's always a gradual buildup to the horror scenes. Midsommar will not disappoint you. SouthSide does advise that you keep a sharp eye on a few things throughout the movie like the bear in the cage and the walls around the commune.
Color, blogpot readers, is very important when viewing Midsommar despite opening dark and gloomy before dazzling the eyes with such vibrant array of colors from the clothing to the May Queen's flower crown. Never had SouthSide seen a movie in which color is also the prime focus and character ...especially within a horror movie. Ari Aster has started something here, blogspot readers. Color in his movies has way of being beautiful as well as frightening to hide what's lurking unseen (or seen) throughout this movie. Ari Aster's bedazzling array of color usage and paletting is quite jaw-dropping, blogspot readers, Violets, blues, pinks, reds, yellows, greens etc seem to pop to life on the big screen.It was in this reviewer's mind, deliciously terrifying which could make Midsommar a film class study on how color can effect directly as well as indirectly a certain scene or mood.
Yet, it's not all about color that what makes this movie such fun to watch. His casting choice was spot on, blogspot readers, featuring Florence Pugh as the emotionally clingy, wrecked Dani and Jack Reynor as the "I want to breakup with you but can't" Christian. These two had a natural chemistry between them which made it seem so real and believeable each time ...either separately or together on the big screen. SouthSide loved Vilhlem Blomgren as Pelle - that creepy Swede who comes from the secret remote cult-like commune village ...never really telling his friends what the nine day festival entails. And there's also William Jackson Harper (as Josh) and Will Poulter (as Mark) - who btw meet gruesome deaths that are never shown on screen but you somehow get the hint of happened to them. Oh yeah, keep this phrase "skin the fool" in your head too. There's also engaged British couple, Connie (Ellora Torchia) and Simon (Archie Madekwe) who were invited by their friend Ingemar (Hampus Halberg) who just happens to be Pelle's "brother".
During Midsommar, there will be moments when you feel as if you're experiencing a bad acid trip from the way certain scenes would appear to be "breathing" and "alive" through Ari's camera tricks. Things here have a way of becoming one with the characters or moving about them that throws off their sense of what is reality and what is not. They barely had any left after consuming homegrown drugs, sleeping pills and "special" teas during the midsommar festivities that you too will start feeling the trees breathe and becoming one with nature. And also, it wouldn't be an Ari Aster film without some weird ritualistic chanting, pagan references and rituals and music that pulls every scene together with the characters and what they're doing in that particular scene. Some might get weirded out by the sex scene with Christian and one of the maidens who has chosen him. Not going to say what happens but it's very interesting to watch Reynor's reaction as if he didn't know Ari was to have that happening during this particular scene.There's a lot of screaming going on too. Screaming to expell all the pent up emotions kept hidden and tucked away inside for far too long, blogspot readers, to which sets up the final shocking scene that ends Midsommar.
Not going to tell you what happens. See the movie, blogspot readers.
Granted Midsommar does take a slow start at the beginning to set up the characters and their arrival to Sweden, this movie will have you cringing in fear from the intense yet suspenseful scenes. It's overall a vividly colorful work of art that brings horror out of the darkness and into the light underneath the sunny beauty that is midsommar. The ending will either mind fuck your head or have you laughing.
SouthSide was simply blown away, blogspot readers, and she's going to see it again.
Until next time, support your local scene,