I don’t even know where to start with this one. Do you like your movies disturbing? Keep reading. If not, move along.
A group of (I think) grad students make a trip to a tiny village in Sweden where one of them grew up. Hewants to share their annual (it was unclear what was annual and what was only every 90 years) Midsommar festival with his anthropologists friends. One friend brings his girlfriend, their relationship barely hanging on by a thread as she’s dealt with some unspeakable life horrors. That’s only where the terror starts.
I’ve complained a lot recently about the type of horror that relies on jump scares. This was not that. Nary a jump to be had. The majority of the film, there’s little that’s blatantly scary other than a few grotesque images. Still it’s horror thru and thru. The entire time, I had this really unsettling feeling. You know there’s something wrong, but you don’t know what it is, and you pray to God that you figure it out before something bad happens to you.
The film plays out very slowly and stretched to nearly 2.5 hours. It was intimidating going into the film knowing that, but the pacing served it well. This is a movie that wants to be discovered in the moment, with every icky moment of that atmosphere thoroughly soaked up. Had I seen this at home, I prolly would have zoned out twenty minutes in and never recovered. In the theater, it became a visceral experience.
Still there was a beauty in what was happening. Many of the disturbing ideas were brushed off as cultural. There were gorgeous flowers and countryside all over. The sincerity in their ritual was stunning. Their customs, while strange, often made an even stranger sort of sense.
I walked out of there stunned. What did I just watch? What did it all mean? What was I gonna eat for dinner?
Midsommar – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n