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Midsommar Ari Aster is the Prince of Horror, Bringing a Remarkable Experience Grade: A-

Source: IMDB

In Summer of 2018, the horror genre gave birth to a new creation named Ari Aster. Ari Aster’s Hereditary was not only the best summer film of 2018, not only the best film of 2018, but in my opinion it’s the best horror film of all time... It took 22 years in my life to find an A quality horror film, as Ari Aster did it in his debut feature film. So yes of course his second film Midsommar was my most anticipated film of the summer, not only hype was made for another Ari Aster film, but a rising upcoming star Florence Pugh was the lead role, what more can you ask for?! Midsommar tells a story about a toxic relationship between Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor). Christian is hoping to finally break up with Dani, so he can finally mess around with other women, including Swedish woman since he’s planning to go on a trip to Sweden with his boys. However change of plans: Dani’s parents died as her younger sibling has committed suicide, in a tragic event. How can Christian break up with Dani now?! Christian felt guilty, as he invited Dani to tag along with him and his boys to a once and a lifetime festival out in Sweden. The gang has absolutely no idea what they’re getting into, it’ll be a trip that’ll never forget! So much I want to discuss and cover, but shall bring it to a reasonable amount as I would not want to spoil this film for anybody. The Cinematography is once again outstanding, we get a Hereditary vibe when the film is shot in the dark, while also bringing something new to the table with an extreme amount of brightness. The scenery surrounding the festival looked absolutely breathtaking, I mean nature is one beautiful thing as almost every shot looked gorgeous set in this place. Some memorable shots of beautiful drawings on the walls, the secret little white rooms, that gorgeous yellow triangle building, you can go on and on and on about all the memorable shots in this film. I’m not sure where Ari Aster gets these composers, but man he always brings in the best of the best, this Score was absolutely great yet again. I’m looking forward to hearing the soundtrack when it comes out, it’s a lovely score, I loved the Folk Pagan singing scenes, all lovely to listen to. The finale track Temple Fire is up to par with Reborn, although Reborn is slightly better, it’s still an unbelievable track to conclude your film, looking forward to what others think of the Score. Hardly ever do I talk about Costume Design/Production Design, but this film is great in both areas. Loved the clothes these people were wearing, the great amount of flowers is beautifully done, lovely sets. The cast of this film was great all around, everyone took their roles seriously as majority of the cast shines. Florence Pugh brings out another fantastic performance, easily comparable to her incredible performance in 2017’s Lady Macbeth. Some may have an issue with Dani as a character, but I felt she was really good character, but with a great arc from beginning to end. Make sure you pay attention to her arc, it’s really the point of the story, loved the arc as I gained a lot out of it. Jack Reynor playing the perfect douche bag boyfriend Christian was pretty damn good, the character is the perfect example of Shallow and Self Centered. This character only cared about himself and what benefits for himself, he treats his girlfriend poorly, his friends as well, and even treats women like their pieces of meat. I feel some may want more out of this character, however this is what the film wanted to simply tell within this character, so it was just a great douche character. The comedic relief Mark played by Will Poluter was hilarious, he’s came along way since We Are the Millers as he delivers a pretty good performance. The Swedish friend whom made this festival possible for the Americans Pelle played by Vilhelm Blomgren was pretty damn good as well, I feel the character represented love in a way. Before we give praise, let’s discuss a couple of flaws. First I felt we should’ve had like a good five to ten minutes of Dani and Christian’s relationship shown at it’s happiest point. You could’ve done a quick little montage, like Pixar’s Up did, it would just given reason from Christian and even Dani’s doubts of wanting out of this toxic relationship. I felt the other Americans whom weren’t riding along with Dani’s group were a mixed bag for me. I understand the whole scene when one of them goes missing, I just felt kind of mixed and I would’ve liked it to be inside Dani’s group. There’s one particular moment in third act in which I would’ve liked it to go a different route, but understanding the film more and more when you sit down and process it, I understand why it had to go the way Aster wanted it to be told. Within the first five minutes of this film, when the opening concludes and the title sequence starts, I knew from there on this was going to be a great film. Not only is Ari Aster two for two in regards of his work, but this one in particular is a remarkable experience. Ari Aster and Gaspar Noe both delivered a horror film this year, where even if you don’t necessarily care about the story itself, but you have to at least admire and appreciate the film making, as well as everything around the films presentation. Although Midsommar has been compared to The Wicker Man from the looks, this is still a unique original experience you can’t get anywhere else. The transition from the bathroom in the apartment, to the bathroom in the airplane is such an adorable transition, it’s the little things like that make me smile. The dance sequences, the messages within the drawings on the walls, the singing sequences, how about the dinner table sequences which were beautifully choreographed?! There’s so much admiration towards the style and execution of this film, as I really could’ve watched another thirty more minutes of this, it’s freaking spectacular. Surprisingly there is a significant amount of comedy, even one would say dark humor and it’s done very well, I laughed quite a bit while watching this film. Let’s talk about the horror element of this film: It’s shockingly disturbing, as Aster takes risks to truly disturb and frighten the minds. He’s not going to a lazy route of creating a loud noise jump scare for a scare, he’s bringing truly horrific images to the table as it’s going to force audiences to leave immediately... I witness like three people walking out, it’s that frightening. When that first ceremony scene hits... Jaws are dropped to the floor, as you’re thinking “What the fuck!” as your hands are on top of your head, just flat out shocked. There’s quite a few more moments like this as well, it’s just great horror. Speaking up jump scares, there’s one jump scare that was delivered well, I was surprised I didn’t see that coming, it was a truly genuine jump scare that didn’t have a loud noise, the best way to deliver a jump scare. The story is great because not much exposition is told, as it’s more of a thinking process of what you’ve gotten out of it. Some may have a simple mind as all they gotten out of it was a trippy movie, where kids did drugs, saw messed up stuff, as they tripped out. To me when I hear a simple answer like that, though I understand their reasonings it still disappoints me. There is so much I’ve gotten out of this film, where it’s just more than a simple common answer, it’s about handling grief, while also moving on from a toxic relationship where it’s no longer healthy to be apart of. The handling grief part though it was shortly told, but it was executed well in an over the top horrific way, but it delivered the message for Dani as she tried to sympathize as to reasoned why would her younger sibling try to kill herself. The moving on from a toxic relationship part is just beautifully done, each and every scene is a way of Dani growing as a person, as why she can become a bigger and better person than her shallow boyfriend. One may say the over the top scenes in Act 3 was a bit much, but seriously that’s the whole point of over coming a breakup. One showing the significant other never going to improve as a person, as they’ll always be a step lower than you, having no heart to each and every new lover they approach going forward. As the other showing the art of moving on from a toxic relationship, you feel completely free, happy, and independent. In due time you’ll find someone better, whom genuinely truly loves you as the pure beautiful soul as you are. So the deaths in this film, at first I had some tough time with probably one death. But having this film sat with me for a good amount of time, I understand the meaning of this one death that I was confused about, all deaths in this film have purpose in why they occur. I haven’t stopped thinking about this film since the credits came to a close.... It’s just a special kind of film, that similar to Hereditary I’d love to revisit it and gain more within each and every new time I watch. In ways you may feel this film is similar to Hereditary as far as execution and themes, but this film regarding the break up element is one where you’ll gain so much out of as you keep puzzling in scenes, as how it relates to this theme. Overall, Midsommar is a fantastic film that is undeniably an unforgettable experience of horror. Easily the best film of the summer so far, one of my favorites of the year. I highly recommend this film, worth noting this film is definitely not for everyone, but keep in mind that you do pay attention to detail as you grasp of everything that’s coming at you... Trust me, you’re not prepared for this film, put your mind to the test and think. The Prince of Horror Ari Aster, you’re a straight up DAWG! Thank you ever so much bringing light to this genre for me, I’m looking forward to whatever sick twisted film you have next for us, you’re the best in the game right now, bless up! -Mitch Smietana

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