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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

As Spooky Season approaches, many of us are on the lookout for the perfect horror movie to set the mood, and what’s scarier than a psychological thriller? Maybe it’s just the psychology student in me speaking, but I genuinely feel that psychological thrillers are way scarier than your regular old paranormal or slasher horror movies because there’s nothing creepier and more unsettling than brainwashed humans. Midsommar is a movie that has gained considerable attention in recent years and, despite it not being a personal favorite, I have to admit that it’s the perfect psychological thriller to watch on Halloween, and here’s why. 

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The Not-So-Typical Horror

Ari Aster’s Midsommar is far from being a conventional horror film. Unlike the typical dark and gloomy settings seen in traditional horror films, with jump scares and possessed dolls, Midsommar is set in Sweden’s beautiful landscapes, where most of the action occurs in broad daylight during a summer solstice festival. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking, which creates an intriguing, yet very uneasy ambiance. Aster was able to create an unsettling, but powerful contrast between a beautiful world that looks magical and a looming sense of dread and thrill that will keep you on the edge of your seat. As someone who didn’t love the movie, I can’t ignore the fact that it goes against traditional horror tropes, which causes a unique sense of discomfort.


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The Slow Burn

Midsommar is definitely a take-your-time-to-watch-because-every-detail- matters type of movie, and although the plot unfolds at a slow pace, I think that this approach adds to its psychological horror appeal. It forces us viewers to really soak in the unsettling atmosphere and gradually builds on this sense of pending doom. 

Cult Horror

Cults have always been a fascinating subject in the horror genre, and Midsommar really delves into this theme. Personally, I felt highly uneasy by this element because of the extremist and radical behaviors of the cult members. Additionally, I felt that this whole cult element made the horror feel grounded in reality, and it showcased the human psyche’s capacity to crack under extreme circumstances. It will no doubt leave you questioning the intricacies of cult behavior. 

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Complex Themes

The film provides an exploration of human emotions and behavior as it explores themes of grief and trauma. The audience really gets to see how the characters behave and react to some horrific circumstances. The movie explores relationship dynamics and the lengths people will go to for acceptance and belonging. Whether you appreciate the characters or not, their interactions and dynamics serve as a key element that intensify the psychological aspects of the movie.

Visually Disturbing

I will warn you that Midsommar has some extremely graphic and grotesque scenes, which absolutely shocked me and I couldn’t get through most of them without covering my eyes. I admit that this aspect disturbed me the most; it doesn’t shy away from explicit scenes, which is perfect if that’s what you’re looking for in a Halloween movie and the holiday’s traditions of horror and macabre.

All in all

Despite my own reservations about Midsommar, I can’t deny its unique approach to psychological horror. As Halloween approaches, it’s a film that stands out for its disturbing visuals, complex characters, and unconventional storytelling. While it may not be a movie I’d watch again and again, I recognize that it’s a perfect choice for those seeking a different kind of thriller. Although it’s not a movie for everyone, Halloween is the perfect time to give it a chance or revisit it with a different mindset. It is definitely a film worth considering. 

Ariana Gonzalez is a contributor to the Her Campus at UPR chapter online magazine. She is a writer who enjoys covering an array of topics, specially lifestyle and experience topics, as well as anything that pertains to wellness. Aside from Her Campus, she publishes poetry on her social media platforms, and is always lending a helping hand to her peers when it comes to writing assignments. She has worked as an English tutor to elementary school kids, teaching them, among other things, how to read and write. Additionally, Ariana has worked in customer service, where she developed the ability to communicate effectively, and connect with other people and their perspectives. She is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Her countless diaries documenting experiences and feelings are the ancestors of her current work, through which she strives to inspire others to see the beauty in transforming thoughts into words. When she's not engrossed in true crime documentaries, she's probably taking on her daily dose of mental gymnastics by completing Sudoku puzzles. Ariana also enjoys baking from time to time, and sharing her delicious creations with her family and friends.