Midsommar Discussion (Spoilers, yes)
Ari Aster has proven without a doubt that he is a master horror filmmaker, and his partnership with composer Bobby Krlic has borne evil fruit once again. Many of you know how much I loved Hereditary, and so I was super hype to see Midsommar.... and the hype was worth it.
One of the hallmarks of Hereditary was the slow and almost perfect tension ramp to the shocking and violent conclusion. Midsommar once again shows that Aster has a tremendous amount of control over the tension curve in his films; the movie starts out with a slow, weird ramp-up, and as we see the friend crew being assembled for the trip, get a hint of the awkwardness between them all, then follow them to Sweden, meeting the Hårga for the first time, their first drug use, and so on... it just gets a little bit weirder and weirder as the movie goes on.
The first "wtf" moment comes when Josh says "Are we just going to ignore the bear then?" as they walk by a giant caged grizzly bear. That's a signal that the next phase of weirdness is about to begin.
By the time the final act comes, when Dani becomes the May Queen, and suddenly can speak Swedish and perform ancient rituals, we're prepared for it because of the slow but steady introduction of weirdness. So, seeing Josh's foot buried in the garden, or seeing Simon's body flayed and hung in the chicken coop, or knowing that they're eating people meat at the dinner table doesn't serve to "shock", just maintain our sense of despair and horror as we watch this madness unfold.
I fucking loved it, and I can't wait to see it again. There are so many little details. The flowers "breathe" when they're on drugs. The illustrations and drawings everywhere hint at what's about to go down. There is a giant monstrous face in the forest as they walk by. I'm sure there are tons of things I missed on my first viewing.