Midsommar Spoiler Free Movie Review


Callan Engstrom, Editor

  Midsommar was heralded as one of the best and most memorable horror movies of 2019.  Directed by Ari Aster (also known for his work on Hereditary), the film transports you into the pastel-summer world of the Hårga, a pagen cult located in picturesque Sweden. The film combines it’s beautiful landscapes with some truly horrifying imagery to create a story that lingers with you long after you’ve finished watching it. 

  The movie follows Dani (Florence Pugh), as she recovers from the death of her parents and sister. She decides to follow her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), as he and his classmates (William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter) travel to Sweden to witness the Midsummer festival as practiced by the commune their Swedish friend Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) grew up in. The film then takes a turn for the strange, as you watch as the community’s customs become more strange, and members of the visiting group start to disappear.

Image courtesy of Screenhub

  This film is not for the faint of heart; it definitely earns it’s hard R rating. There are extremely graphic scenes, especially when it comes to violence. The movie even opens on death and suffering. But as explicit as some scenes are, the violence never seems heavy-handed or overused for shock value. Each moment is fully realized, and expert film making is used in order to create the perfect amount of tension. The movie never capitalizes on “serial killers” or other classic paragons of evil. The antagonist is the entire village: a community who survives on blood and sacrifice, but also on extreme empathy. This morally-gray take feels right at home in 2019, and does such a good job of creating flawed characters that you’re not sure how to feel in the final shot. 

  The movie also does an excellent job utilizing symbolic imagery, and planting meticulous details as foreshadowing through the story. In fact, the entire plot is shown at the beginning of the movie in the form of a tapestry. It’s details like this that make the film a joy to think about in retrospect, and leaving you craving a second viewing. 

Image courtesy of Vulture

  The films create a rich and wonderful world to live in. The gorgeous Swedish scenery and summer foliage lures the viewer into the same false sense of security as the visitors inside the movie. However, it feels at times that there may have been too much world-building for it’s 2-hour runtime. Some very interesting customs of the Hårga are brought as central to the plot, and then never mentioned again. Also, some of the details of the Midsommar tradition are so vague that it leaves the audience with many questions. 

  Overall, this was a very excellent psychological-thriller of a movie, as Ari Aster and other filmmakers like him lead horror into the new decade.