The Stream: For a movie designated mystery/horror, the film was lacking in execution of both.
The Big Screen: The cinematography is top notch/Oscar-worthy.
The Final Bill: The movie delivers in weirdness but execution with suspense/horror is lacking.-S2S
Midsommar is Director Ari Aster’s follow-up film to Hereditary. Hereditary (check our review in facebook review archive) garnered some mixed reviews, but most were positive. Let’s see if Midsommar can continue with that momentum.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe it will. There are many things I could say that are bad about this movie, but let’s start with the good. The movie’s cinematography, especially when set in Sweden, is mesmerizing. Almost every shot is done intentionally and artfully. One of my favorite shots, occurs early on and is insignificant to the plot, but I just remember thinking the use of a drone was dope. You go from riding in the car with the characters to flying to floating upside down then coming back to reality in the matter of moments. This was just one of the cool shots throughout the movie. Outside of the cinematography, the only other good part were the random villagers. They were on point. I can’t say the same for the actual cast. The villagers are fascinating and spellbinding. They are the magic of the film, but beyond them, there comes issues.
The first issue with the movie was the main cast. Do not get me wrong. They were not horrendous. They were just not good. I truly believe, if the movie were cast (or directed) better, my feelings of the movie would have been different. It: Chapter 2 was a trailer prior to the movie. I couldn’t help but to think that if that cast were in this movie, we might be talking about an Oscar rather than a Razzie (no, it’s not that bad). Each actor seemed to fit their character; however, each individual character was lacking or felt insignificant. Either way, each character had limited development; and, except for Dani (Florence Pugh) in the beginning, you ultimately don’t care about the characters. It’s hard to get engrossed in a movie you barely care about what happens to the characters.
On top of the poor character development, the thing everyone came to see was missing, the suspense/mystery/horror. Let’s start with what there was of the mystery. (NO Spoiler Coming- all info comes from the Trailer see above) We know something went wrong with Dani and that’s why she’s deciding to go on this trip. But why and how does it fit into the overall storyline? We know they are going to a commune in Sweden where there is a interesting summer tradition. What are the traditions, the meanings and what is going on? These questions keep rolling through your mind throughout the movie.
That’s where mystery ends. Everything else is either predictable or straight forward (if you take random villagers at their word). For as weird and psychedelic as it tries to be, the movie lacks imagination, especially after Hereditary’s randomness. I’m surprised this director had an issue with imagination and originality. There are a couple shocking moments but even more anti-climatic moments. The movie feels more stagnate than suspenseful at times. In addition to that, for horror fans there are only 2 minutes worth of material that could be considered scary out of a 141 minute runtime. Talk about too long for too little payout. This was quite a letdown compared to the enthralling trailer. The only hope is that Hereditary and Midsommar are actually a part of a connected trilogy or universe.
In a nutshell, this movie looks beautiful but isn’t worth spending the money in the theater UNLESS you enjoyed Hereditary. The movie delivers in weirdness, but execution with suspense is lacking. Wait for this to come to Netflix and do not expect to be scared or surprised.