Midsommer (2019) Review

summer

RATING: 3.5/5

[SPOILERS]

Four college students go on a trip to Sweden to witness a festival that occurs every 90 years. Things turn bad when they see the dark secrets that this cult has to reveal.

Ari Aster, director of “Hereditary,” brings forth a trippy horror movie that is definitely for the high-art and avant-garde crowd.

Performances in the film were good. The four main characters, for the most part, do a fine job. Actress Florence Pugh was perhaps the best. The cult did a good job of showing how calm and collective they were at first, especially when their extreme customs were revealed.

Pugh’s character, Dani, development was good at showing her downfall at the beginning and her inevitable uprise toward the end.

The music and the sounds overall were done very well. There were times where scenes wouldn’t have sounds and the film does great at letting a scene play out naturally. It would play out naturally and not have any loud noises/jump scares. The sounds/music ranged from peaceful-like to disturbing. The old-timey themes really made one feel as if they entered into a new world.

The cinematography was great. One of my favorite scenes was when the four students first entered the cult’s village. The camera did a really good slow panoramic view of the entire area. Throughout the film, there was some good use of the Rules of Thirds and many objects in the shot would be aligned nicely. Some scenes would do eerily well foreshadowing. The film was great at showing and not telling. It was letting the audience figure out what was happening visually rather than what was being said by the characters.

All of the sets and the production design were done beautifully. The many buildings that were in the village seemed like a work of art, particularly in their interiors. The infrastructure of some was unique and varied between one another. The film did really good at showcasing nearly every square inch of this place. Each set served their purpose well. The film was shining with many colors.

I like the wavy effect of when the characters tasted the strange concoctions. Something that added to the strangeness of the cult.

“Midsommer” did well at showing the out-worldly beliefs of the cult. It made one feel like they were one of the characters researching these people. One wanted to learn more, but at the same time, it made them feel uncomfortable.

Now the movie clocked in at around 2.5 hrs long, which I believe was one of my biggest complaints. If this movie were maybe 30 minutes shorter, the whole experience could have been made stronger. It did too much of a good job at letting a scene play out all the way. For that, I did get bored and I was waiting for something substantial to happen. At times it was letting the creative style get in the way of the story.

In the beginning, the story seemed like it was going to turn into something quite interesting. But as it was going, it seemed to go off the rails and become a little bit unfocused. With the subplot of the two characters (Christian and Josh) working on their college assignment, Christian suddenly not caring for Dani, Chrisitan/Dani didn’t appear to care what happened to their friends when they both disappeared, etc. There were quite a few plot details that didn’t go nowhere, didn’t make sense, or at the very least, needed to be better balanced out.

The four main characters do occasionally throw in some good humor, especially by Mark, (played by Will Poulter).

There were some nice references to the “Wicker Man.” Particularly toward the end with a bear suit.

The film had good performances, great cinematography, played out cool music/sounds, and showcased a very interesting style. Though as it kept going, the direction became disorganized and the style got in the way at times. In addition, the long runtime for the film made the experience intriguing, but treading and drawn-out. Though I still recommend watching this and it did make me curious in seeing Aster’s “Hereditary.”

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