Ben Oliver

Banner image for Midsommar


So we just gonna ignore the bear then?
08 August 2020

A couple travels to rural Sweden to experience a midsummer festival in a commune. Things take a sour turn as it becomes evident what the festival is all about.

Not your average horror fare. For one it takes place almost entirely in broad daylight, set in a part of the world where the sun barely sets. It’s a feverish daydream rather than a nightmare. The brightness is cranked up so high it’s almost blinding.

Furthermore, it’s really a break-up film about a couple whose relationship has turned unhealthy. Christian (Jack Reynor) is already considering breaking up with Dani (Florence Pugh, so hot right now) and she is clinging onto him through lack of self-worth and fear of being alone, despite being treated badly.

On first viewing the sheer force of the imagery in Midsommar is enough to distract from any possible allegory at play. It’s an astonishing film in all senses of the word. Violent, beautiful, anxious, funny, surreal, arresting, weird—Aster throws so much at you that it’s hard not to just sit and stare at the screen, mouth agape.

Much like in The Shining or Psycho, the ambition and creativity in the direction is noteworthy. Midsommar goes down a much gorier path at times, but it steers clear of making gore its goal. It’s a carefully constructed film that cares more about mood and aesthetic, as well and unsettling the ever living shit out of the audience.

An impressive achievement, albeit not for the faint hearted.

Reply by email