When a young American couple accepts the invitation of a Swedish friend, to come with him and celebrate a nine days long mid summer festival in his remote rural home village, the events quickly take a series of dark turns…
Although ”Midsommar” is listed as a horror film, I’d rather say it qualifies as a gory thriller. If you think you might be interested in watching Ari Aster’s movie, I would recommend checking out the following trailer and forgetting about the rest of this post.
Because there will be a couple of spoilers that would ruin the experience, for you…
Now that you’ve been warned…
”Midsommar” starts off on a rather dark note, when Dani (the main character) finds out about the death of her sister and parents. After sending an alarming message, Terri (Dani’s sister) has gassed her mom and dad in their sleep, and gets found by the firemen with a hose connected to the running car’s exhaust pipe, taped to her own face.
The scene shocked me quite a bit. Not because of the suicide itself, because there are suicide scenes in many movies and series… But more because although we do mention suicide, we don’t show it.
But let’s move on, for now. Dani’s couple is a little shaky when she learns that her boyfriend Christian has accepted his friend Pelle’s invitation to join him on a trip to Sweden to attend a mid summer festival taking place only once every ninety years.
Dani decides to tag along, still fragile about her recent grief. After the long trip, the friends arrive in Hårga, a remote village where Pelle’s extended family live as a closed community in the middle of luxuriant nature. Warmly welcomed in their circle, and getting accustomed to the long Swedish summer days, the Americans are introduced to the little tribe’s traditions and rituals.
Among their beliefs, Hårga’s inhabitants think that life is a cycle following nature’s four seasons. From birth until the age of 18, they go through spring as children. They then move to summer, from 18 to 36. Then comes fall, until they turn 54. And finally, members of the community enjoy winter to the age of 72.
And then what?
I don’t recommend the following scene to the faint at heart. Although I have watched my fair share of American horror movies, and seen much much blood being shed, this shook me. Again, if you are sensitive about suicide, please don’t watch this.
I realized that (at least to me) the sight of a suicide scene was one of the taboos still sticking in 2020. After watching all the ”Halloween”, ”Friday the 13th”, ”Saw” and other horror movies in my teen years and my twenties, I thought I was now horror immuned. Wrong.
And this is just the beginning of a series of events leading to the ritual killing of almost all the foreigners attending midsommar. I will not go through the whole plot, in case you decide to watch ”Midsommar”, but things quickly escalade to a final, both deadly and colorful ceremony, and a confused Dani, covered with summer flowers…
What struck me the most about ”Midsommar” was that for once, horror didn’t require the darkness of night to happen. Every gory moment is displayed in daylight, often under a bright blue sky. It is a confusing concept, to see madness in broad daylight.
A confusing, very different movie, to say the least.
Worth seeing? Definately… Well, if you ask me.