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Midsommer - WTF?

Steelbook Indy

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What can I say about Midsommer? 


Let me start with: Metascore was at 72.  IMDB had it at 7.6/10, and Rotten Tomatoes was in the 80s when it first caught my eye.  I did not like Midsommer.  I did NOT like Midsommer.  That said, I respect what Midsommer was doing, and all the symbolism that goes with it.  It's Ari Aster's 2nd feature.  He's 2 for 2 with critical reception, but it's fair to say that both are not for everyone.  His first feature, Heredity, is disturbing and laced with utter horror, and he's not strayed from that formula with Midsommer.


The story follows Dani, a woman in a long term relationship with Christian.  They seem to be going through the motions, and Christian has clearly lost interest, but feels obligated to stay with Dani due to a tragic event.  He'd planned on traveling to Sweden with his grad school classmates to experience a midsummer festival of a commune at which his classmate grew up.  Due to the tragic event, Christian feels obligated to invite Dani against his friends' wishes.  Once they arrive, they are greeted warmly and with open arms.  The ease with which the community welcomes these guests feels awkward - only to be dismissed as culture differences.  As the days progress, their ceremonies and rituals grow increasingly disturbing and eventually progress beyond what is reasonable.


Midsommer mirrors Heredity in its treatment of building disturbing scenario to utter horror.  They both operate as allegorical studies laced with symbolism.  Midsommer works as a study of loss and the fear of losing someone close - even if it is inevitable and necessary.  However, just with Heredity I couldn't get past some of the shocking, sadistic visuals to enjoy the allegory.  There is plenty to appreciate in both these movies.  Performances are strong and visuals are executed flawlessly from a technical standpoint.  The script also works (in both cases) - but I couldn't shake how much the movie disturbed me.  I didn't enjoy it.  Again, I respect the work and understand the care gone into its creation - it is simply not meant for everyone.  I am one that it's not meant for.


4/10 Stars

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