A Beltane festival takes place at the summer solstice1, as American visitors get predictably much more involved in a pagan festival than they were expecting. This movie receives lots of glowing reviews, which this will not be. Did you enjoy The VVitch? Hereditary? Then this movie is for you! If not, a re-watch of The Wicker Man might please you more.
Director and Writer: Ari Aster
Florence Pugh as Dani
Jack Reynor as Christian
Vilhelm Blomgren as Pelle
William Jackson Harper as Josh
Will Poulter as Mark
Ellora Torchia as Connie
Archie Madekwe as Simon
Henrik Norlén as Ulf
Gunnel Fred as Siv
Isabelle Grill as Maja
Agnes Westerlund Rase as Dagny (as Agnes Rase)
Julia Ragnarsson as Inga
Mats Blomgren as Odd
Lars Väringer as Stev
Anna Åström as Karin
A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult. (From IMDB.)
The pace is very slow. There are long periods of what my wife and I refer to as “arranging matches.” Typically, I don’t mind a slow burn, but this movie was predictable enough that I spent over two hours of the runtime waiting for them to get to the events we saw coming.
The movie is shot very well, and it looks pretty.
Originality: 2/6 The movie wouldn’t have been this predictable if they weren’t rehashing things that had seen many, many times before.
Effects: 4/6 There are some subtle effects, which are done well, but nothing above the level of a prime time television show.
Acting: 3/6 At the outset, our female lead has a breakdown, which was very believable. After that, everyone seemed to be acting confused more than anything else.
Production: 4/6 There weren’t any technical issues with this movie. There are a lot of scenes shot through a mirror, but they seemed very proud of being able to do this shot and overused it. It felt like a Shyamalan film.
Story: 3/6 There was hamfisted exposition, but there weren’t any holes in the story except for the giving us motivation for the first deaths.
Emotional Response: 1/6 The characters did not illicit any sympathy or empathy, even when being confronted with murdered friends.
Overall: 2/6 There are better options for just about anything this movie offers.
In total, “Midsommar” receives 19/42.
October 5: The Joker (2019)
October 12: Hail, Satan? (2019)
October 19: One Cut of the Dead (2017-Japan and 2019-USA)
October 26: Midsommar (2019)
October 31: Judging from our votes thus far, we’ll be reviewing three different incarnations of The Cat and the Canary. But feel free to go back to that post and vote for one of the others.
1 As opposed to The Wicker Man, where they perform harvest rituals at Beltane and filmed it after Samhain.