Film Review: Midsommar

As a society, we have a set idea of what a horror movie is, dark scenes, ominous music, demons, and jump scares but Midsommar takes horror to an entirely new place with a bright setting full of flowers, and whimsical nature. The movie begins with a tragedy, as most scary movies do. This beginning leaves the main character Dani, played by Florence Pugh, not only an orphan but she loses her sister as well. Whist losing one's family common occurrence in movies is this scene, in particular, is horrifying. Director Ari Aster does not shy away from gruesome gore and has a knack for creating unexpected and creative deaths. The story follows Dani's grieving through her long term boyfriend, Christian and his friends trip to Sweden in which much to their dismay Dani comes with. It's in the small Sweedish village of the Harga people that the movie turns truly sinister - but you don't realize this until the end. It's Christian's Swedish friend Pelle who brought them to this village to show them a once in a lifetime festival that is sacred to his people and the bright, beautiful village filled with kind people and pretty dresses welcomes the foreigners with open arms. This, however, proves to be a part of their plan all along.  This movie was genuinely unlike any scary movie I have ever seen. I was expecting the cliches I am used to seeing as a horror movie lover but I was left on edge the entire movie waiting to see what could possibly come next. There are no ghosts or demons, witchcraft or scary old houses, just people. I was entranced by the setting and the kindness of the 'villains' and often found myself excusing their actions even after the movie had ended. It was terrible, in the way that you know it's entirely possible for the scenarios in the film to happen in real life, rude American tourists visit a new place and consistently disrespect the native traditions and demand that the American way of life is best until they get murdered by a cult that they trusted mostly based on pleasing aesthetics? Absolutely plausible. As mentioned before the gore in this film was a lot. If you have a weak stomach it may be best to look away during the few parts, but if you can stand watching you can see how much effort and detail went into every aspect of the film. 

My favorite moment in the film is the final scene Florence Pugh put on an amazing performance throughout the entire movie but the closing scene left me with chills. Her ability to convey so much meaning with a literal change in expression shows her crazy talent, and the ending leaves the audience content but open enough to have questions. The pit in my stomach I had throughout watching this movie didn't leave for days and as a horror movie lover that's a dream. Midsommar is captivating, unexpected and will leave you questioning. I highly recommend watching this film and diving deep into the Midsommar Festival of the Harga people.