The new A24 film Midsommer is a horror movie that disturbed the heck out of me. Honestly, I feel that I need a shower after seeing it.
Not saying that it was bad. I am having so much trouble processing how I feel about it. This is from the director Ari Aster, who also directed last year’s Heredity.
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a couple who are having problems with their relationship. After a terrible tragedy in Dani’s life, they go with a bunch of friends on a midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. It does not take long to discover that there are some horrific traditions beneath the surface at the village that you would not expect.
The setting of the mysterious village is amazing. It is beautifully shot and the bright light around the area sets a fascinating contrast with the darkness happening among the people of the village. The people feel very much like a cult and some of the traditions and rituals are skin-crawling.
The acting is fine, but I do have to say that I found Florence Pugh’s crying to be way over the top. There were two instances of it and I found both to be very unlikely that anyone cries like that. Still, the rest of the time, she is great and it is through her eyes that we see some of the worst things that happen.
One of the worst parts of it is inside your own mind. There are plenty of pictures drawn on walls in this village, like hieroglyphics or such and they are disgusting and creepy. Then, you see places in the film where things are happening that may be echoing the pictures on the wall, but the film does not confirm it. It is like, wait…what? and the film just keeps on going. It takes the horror inside the mind of the viewer.
I thought the film dragged a bit. It was a long film and I think it helped introduce the village, but there were too many spots that felt unimportant.
I am still processing what I feel about Midsommer because of some of the visceral images that we get in the film. The movie tells the story of the eventual break up of our main characters and it takes it into a path that you simply do not expect. It is a beautifully shot film but it is a challenging and difficult watch.
I liked the movie, but I do not know if I am going to continue to like it as I process more.