A Midsommar Night’s Scream
by Maya Z.
Human sacrifices, mushroom trips, and cults. What more could one want in a movie? Midsommar is the most disturbing, yet intriguing movies I have seen. Ari Aster, the director of this horror film, has a past with disturbing movies and short films such as Hereditary and The Strange Thing About The Johnson’s, respectively.
Midsommar follows Dani, a twenty-something recovering from a family trauma, as she follows her boyfriend to Sweden for the Midsommar festival. Once there, she finds the festival is a lot more sinister–and a lot less celebratory–than she initially thought.
Midsommar is a break up movie, but it is hard to tell right away. The viewer can sense Dani’s trauma so vividly because of the cinematography and emotion she portrays. The scenes are tense, long, and there is meaning behind every one.
Most horror movies are filmed at night, maybe during a thunderstorm. There are usually jump scares, and scary creatures to say the least. However, Midsommar is the complete opposite. It is filmed in pure daylight, with no jump scares at all. Yet it is still one of the most terrifying movies of the year. The creepy part is, is that it is so realistic because the cult has sinister intentions that could actually happen in real life.
In order to understand the meaning, you have to look beyond the screen. Dani has a life changing situation going on back at home, and while she is in Sweden she is drifting farther and farther apart from her boyfriend, Christian. While at the Swedish festival, people make sure to pay close attention to the Americans. At first it seems normal, they include them in all the rituals, make sure they have beds to sleep in, and give them a tour of the land. However later on in the film, however, they seem to go above and beyond. Dani ends up becoming May Queen, and Christian is set up with another young lady. After this, it is pure chaos. One of the aspects Aster was trying to get at was the rise in xenophobia around the world, especially in Sweden.
I do not recommend watching this film if you are sensitive to blood or any graphic images. The most jaw-dropping idea, in my opinion, is that everyone dies at age 72. Although this process is inhumane and barbaric, it shows that the Swedish cult does not fear death, instead thinking of it as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and there is simply nothing more to accomplish in life. The many messages in this film scarily resemble what is, or soon will be, going on today.