Midsommar is like The Wicker Man if it was excessively long and made no sense. Am I missing something? Is there something in Ari Aster’s work I’m just not seeing? If I called Aster’s overrated “masterpiece” Hereditary pretentious, then Midsommar definitely deserves the crown. Unless you’re The Shining, horror movies really shouldn’t exceed 2 hours. You’re more likely to lose the atmosphere and the audience that way. Of course it didn’t help that I already have limited interest in folk horror. The only thing that drew me into Midsommar was the idea of a horror film in broad daylight.
Midsommar takes a group of American college students to Sweden, where they experience the culture and midsummer celebration of its residents. You’d think that would be the main focus, but really it’s a break up between unlikable characters. Florence Pugh as Dani is fine when she’s not almost always miserable. The runtime is dedicated to long diners, customs that are weird for the sake of weird, and more unexplained creepiness. Just like Hereditary, I still didn’t know why I was supposed to be scared. Everything in Midsommar is just vaguely pagan. Ritual suicide, drugings, and human sacrifice are unsettling, if never given enough attention to make it work.
Midsommar has beautiful Swedish locations, but I found myself disgusted once again. I’m still not gonna call Aster an auteur for lingering on dismembered heads and old naked cult members. Dani is named May Queen by the village and draped in tons of pretty flowers. I knew exactly what was disturbing about the ending of The Wicker Man, but what is Midsommar even trying to accomplish by the end?