According to Wikipedia, culture shock is an experience a person may have. It’s a situation when one move to a cultural environment is different from the owner. It’s personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life. For instance, you went on holiday to a festival but can’t stand the culture there. Plus, there was no internet and things to fill your boredom and comfortability. Common problems you often face include language barriers, technology gaps, homesickness, generation gaps, and many more.
And that’s one term I always remember when I first watched the trailer of Ari Aster’s “Midsommar”. It’s one of the most anticipated films this year. When summer is fun, it’s just not for Dani (Florence Pugh) and her friends. My first culture shock was when I went to a village for one month in the college framework activities. And I have to say, it’s the first time I went drunk. Even though it was embarrassing to say, I can’t really remember anymore how it feels. Yet, not for this film.
After what happened with her family, with all her might, Dani tried to find a way out to move on. Therefore, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) invites Dani to look for new things. He took her on a vacation in a place in Sweden. Besides Dani, Pelle invites Christian (Jack Reynor), Dani’s boyfriend, and other friends. Holidays are supposed to be fun especially since this is a summer vacation under thick clouds. The sky is cloudy, the temperature is humid, and the night feels like daytime. It’s not a weird thing if Hälsingland is a weird place.
Green grass, blooming flowers, fresh drinks, and so many tasty foods. Plus, the midsummer cultural event by Paganism is very pleasant to look at. However, everything becomes weird when the first ritual begins. It will continue again and continue to get even weirder. “Midsommar” is a psychedelic thriller or psychological horror movie about the tragedy. It’s a contemporary of “The Wicker Man” and “Midsommer”. The different way Ari Aster combines Swedish culture. You thought this is a fun movie. However, this movie has a strong similarity with “Hereditary” as well, the debut from the director. It’s about moving on, tragedy, family, but more sustainable than his first debut.
You never know what your situation would be. If you meet a group of white people dressed in white shirts with their poker faces, how comes next? I mean, we’ve heard this similarity in reality. And a remote Swedish village trying to isolate you. People will never notice. Hårga folk celebrate this summer in the sun right above their heads. There is no night to enlighten the festival. There are so many bees too, increasingly weird with these people and ritual. Yet, you came out without words after watching this film.
Most horror films always set or occur at night where the “things” or nightmares always appear in such night. However, “Midsommar” is very, very bright and dazzling. Brutal and disgusting things all happen during the daylight. The terror in this film is so strong. The momentum succeeded in subverting an ability to think about what a horror movie really is. Yet, it feels slow at first but the pay-off of every ritual in the midsummer is full of many surprises. Slowly, there are so many disturbing scenes. And most of the scenes don’t rely too much on jumpscare as well as “Hereditary” too. So, this is another match-made-in-heaven.
There is no in-depth character development besides Christian and Dani. It’s not really a matter. However, it would be very good and so much outcome if there were development and background of other characters. Yet, I love Will Poulter in this movie, acting as a full-mouthed pervert guy and a comic relief. Ari Aster understands how to play audience emotion with arthouse cinema-style techniques, gestures, and the score by The Haxan Cloak. “Midsommar” has succeeded in building the tension sooner or later with so many thoughtful moments.
Yeah, there are so many things I saw before and after watching this film. One of my friends asked for his identity card. It seems like he didn’t look like adults in general. You know what I mean because this is an R-Rated movie. Florence Pugh’s uncomfortable smile at the end of the movie makes me to think what exactly this film was. But, I adore it so much without further ado besides there is a lot of cuts and censorship. Similar to “Hereditary”, this is just nuts for me. The uncomfortable composition, the performance, and cinematography, all of them are really insane.
Some people will have difficulty analyzing or understanding this second film from Ari Aster. However, some people will like this film because there is a lot of unexpected things as well; where it’s different from horror films in general. Through this film, Ari Aster tries to change a dogma. Without a composition, this film is really “sick”. “Midsommar” is one of the best horror films of this year with so many extraordinary images. As a key, this film managed to confuse me until I got home. It’s just an astonishing experience for me.
4.5 out of 5 stars.