Monday, April 27, 2020

Midsommar (2019)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime Video
Movie Name/Year: Midsommar (2019)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Length: 148 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: B-Reel Films, Nordisk Film, Square Peg, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, NOS Audiovisuais, Universum Film (UFA), Entertainment Film Distributors, Gutek Film, Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD), MM2 Entertainment, Metropolitan Filmexport, Paris Filmes, Phantom Film, Phars Film, Roadshow Films, Tanweer Alliances, Weltkino Filmverleih, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, A24, BF Distribution, Cathay Cineplexes, Corazón Films, DeAPlaneta, Digi-Optic Films, Dutch FilmWorks (DFW), Eagle Pictures, Elevation Pictures
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Actors: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe, Henrik Norlén, Gunnel Fred, Isabelle Grill, Agnes Westerlund Rase, Julia Ragnarsson, Mats Blomgren, Lars Väringer, Anna Åström, Hampus Hallberg, Liv Mjönes, Louise Peterhoff, Katarina Weidhagen, Björn Andrésen, Tomas Engström, Dag Andersson, Lennart R. Svensson, Anders Beckman, Rebecka Johnston, Tove Skeidsvoll, Anders Back, Anki Larsson, Levente Puczkó-Smith

Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Selina’s Point of View:
A reader recommended this film to us. It was on our list anyway, but we opted to move it up on the schedule because of the suggestion.

Normally, I’m all for a slow-burn psychological horror, but the pacing really irked me this time.

I want to say that after all the fast-paced action we’ve had lately, that I was happy for the shift in tone… but I really wasn’t. That’s not a fault of the movie, though. It’s my problem and probably caused by this seemingly never-ending lockdown. I’m not going to hold it against the film, but it means that I need to look at it from a technical perspective if I’m going to be fair.

From that side of things, Midsommar is brilliant.

Almost from the very beginning of the trip to Swedan, the film does a great job of making the audience feel isolated and anxious right along-side the main character. Especially since it follows the harrowing scenes of her initial loss.

Everything that looked like it might be a jump scare or a trope from the trailer, turned out to be something vastly different. I had it on my Top 20 for the month it came out, but knowing what I know now… it should have been higher than #13. Sometimes it’s hard to tell from a trailer whether or not things are going to fall into a basic routine. This one doesn’t.

I appreciated the use of Futhark runes. As an absolutely useless talent, I can read Futhark to a minor degree. I decided to learn for an RPG game I was doing about 10 years ago and now I always get excited when I see the lettering in a film. It’s a very minor understanding. Super basic. Still, it helped me get deeper into things because I understood more of the background art than others might.

I’m not saying you need to go out there and learn Swedish or Futhark runes to enjoy the movie, though it’s an idea if you’re stuck being bored.

Even before the real horror starts, writer/director Ari Aster (Hereditary, The Turtle’s Head, Beau) brings the creep factor. You never feel like it’s a normal vacation. The setting always puts you on edge. You can tell something is very wrong, but you can’t tell why. Not until the first blood is drawn.

I do, very much, enjoy the ending.

It’s beautifully put together and I absolutely believe that I would have enjoyed it much more if I watched it in January or something. I’m going to watch it again when the lockdown is over and give it more of a chance.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 63%
Metascore – 72/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.4/10
IMDB Score – 7.1/10
CinemaScore – C+

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

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