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satisfythecrave's avatar


and people claim white people don’t have CULTURE...
2 weeks 4 days ago
genheron's avatar


Ari Aster calls this a breakup movie and I can see why. It’s not just the horror of the cult, there’s the whole horror of not being able to trust your partner or friends within the cult.

The movie is long but very suspenseful and original.
2 weeks ago
Siskoid's avatar


There's a lot to unpack in Ari Aster's Midsommar, but let me start with its central metaphor. Florence Pugh's character loses her family in the prologue, and in visiting a Swedish friend's commune, is embraced in a way her own "support group" cannot approach. The pagan festival, extreme though it is, offers catharsis, unconditional empathy, apparently magical understanding, and a shedding of a "false family" that is proving toxic to her. In the ashes of the past, she will be reborn. Flowers blooming is a major motif. It's a long film, but it was so absorbing, it didn't feel like it. The boys who begrudgingly drag Pugh on this trip are all anthropology students, so it's perhaps natural that so much of it unfolds as a kind of documentary on this specific cult's rituals and traditions. My friend Isabel wondered if the character types were meant to mirror tourist attitudes - one an "ugly American" who pisses on what's sacred, another seeing cultures as something to be studied rather than experienced, a third traveling so he can bed girls from different countries - and I like that. It leaves Pugh as the traveler who is changed by her experience, not a "tourist". The film is beautiful to look at too, and in the way it presented mysticism reminded me of Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain - the colors, the angles, the symmetry. Disturbing more than it is scary, Midsommar is also plenty funny, and not just in a nervous laughter kind of way. The village's odd practices create a pleasant fish out of water scenario for both the characters and the audience, even after there's been some gory violence (there's not a lot of it, but a couple people did walk out when it started, so it's gruesome). This is the second Florence Pugh movie to come out this year, and I have to end by saying I'm quite taken with her. Would seek out more of her performances based on the last two.
1 week 4 days ago
WanderingSoul's avatar


Leave your inhibitions at the door - this film needs you to attune to its eccentric wavelength, and there are many nasty, vivid pleasures to be found if you do.

I'm not going to say this film isn't about anything, because it is: it's about a woman experiencing extreme grief while also being stuck in the tail-end of an immensely toxic relationship. It's about that in quite a satisfying way, so bring a date along for sure! But this is a tone piece first and foremost, and a helluva one. There's nothing necessarily unpredictable about the horrors that unfold under the perpetual Swedish sunlight - it's all about how it unfolds. As much a comedy as a horror, it nevertheless hits a primal level of creepy at key moments that's rather unlike anything else I've seen in semi-mainstream horror recently. The way it matches spoiler is fascinating - it really nails this casual, disturbing strangeness, perhaps emulating the characters' states-of-mind as they consume various psychoactive substances and witness with disbelief these outrageous rituals.

It was true of Hereditary, and it's true of Midsommar: Ari Aster is a breath of fresh air for American genre fare, even if this less snugly fits into any particular generic mode. It's not just him, of course: this sings thanks to Pawel Pogorzelski's ever-inventive cinematography, the Haxan Cloak's forceful score and Lucian Johnston's editing. Not forgetting Henrik Svensson's production design or Andrea Flesch's costume work! It's just a bit of a stylistic powerhouse all-in-all. The choice to predominantly shoot in sunlight with plenty of bright colours is a great one, but I was on-board from the extended prologue.

What an opening 20 minutes. The decision to often shoot characters in rigid frames (Reynor's character is also seen through a distance through mirrors on a couple of occasions - a clever bit of visual mood-setting) contrasts nicely with the more freeform backdrop of the rest of the film. But also love how horrifying the inciting incident is - really lands the utter devastation of that moment, like a drill to the skull. The finale, meanwhile, is a much more confident explosion of spoiler

There are loads of great moments throughout, but one tiny thing that has had a strangely lasting impact is one of the feast scenes where the filmmakers make a simple tweak: they change the hue of a character's drink. It's a beautiful little touch - the simplest possible adjustment to unbalance the scene and have this sinister detail hanging in the air. With so many overtly odd details littered throughout, tiny extra flourishes are what push it beyond.

This was obvious from Lady Macbeth, but Florence Pugh ****ing rules - it's not always the most complex character, but she owns it as she always does. Reynor gives it his all, and fittingly spoiler

But yeah above all else this is one to simply sink into and let it do its thing. I don't think the pacing is maintained over the whole 140 minutes - some of the segments leading up to the wild finale are the most sluggish, and it lacks the thematic trickiness of Hereditary. Generally though it's a trip - vicious when it needs to be, uproarious throughout. Indulgent and over-the-top? Of course, and it wears its influences on its sleeve. But it embraces it all so very wholeheartedly :)
1 week 5 days ago
Adrian B AWESOME's avatar


Dope flick. It doesn't have the impact Hereditary did, but it's not attempting to be quite as shocking. It is another treatise on family, though, but it ultimately says something different than Hereditary, which is interesting.
2 weeks 1 day ago
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