MIDSOMMAR (2019): The Things I Liked

Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24
Midsommar (2019), Florence Pugh, A24

I wanted to watch Midsommar because it came recommended by many. I needed to watch Midsommar because the murals in the very intriguing trailer looked great. I had to watch Midsommar because of its young, talented cast, mainly Florence Pugh and Will Poulter.

Now that I’ve finally seen Midsommar, what I really wouldn’t have done is watch Midsommar; had I remembered that it is, in fact, a horror film.

For those who might be thinking ’How could you not have known?’ Well, in my defence, the trailer I initially saw didn’t scream ‘scary movie,’ and neither did the synopsis, at first.

The original synopsis said something along the lines of ‘Things start to go awry on a summer trip after a young woman reluctantly caves in and goes along with her boyfriend’. Now, doesn’t this sound more like ‘relationship woes’ than ‘increasingly violent and bizarre competition involving a Pagan cult?’

The things that impressed me most about director Ari Aster’s film, in addition to the performances include the story and tension. There’s also the sense of dread and the general unease that never seems to leave, but instead expertly builds and builds until the very dark and scary end. There’s also the memorable vulnerability and intensity in the way the opening scenes are captured.

The main thing I wish wasn’t quite so is how long it took for things to unfold at specific points. For example, approximately fifty minutes in, there’s a ceremony that went on for eternity, before a scary revelation happened. I also found it irksome to watch several of the characters make some extremely poor decisions; the kind that went against every single one of my survival instincts.

For everyone who isn’t a horror fan, including the version of me before watching this movie, ‘Stop right there!’ For the rest of you, enjoy!

Happy Film Loving


10 thoughts on “MIDSOMMAR (2019): The Things I Liked”

  1. I think ‘someone’, I don’t know who, but ‘someone’ needs to reconsider watching second and maybe third trailers of movies. 😄

  2. Characters making poor decisions I think is pretty much the whole meaning of horror movies 🙂 These people have no survival instincts! Of course I have to admit the way things unfolded here I probably would have stayed until it was too late to!

    1. Just as well I don’t watch horror movies then, otherwise I’d always be mad at one extremely poor decision after another. 🤓

      One specific decision that really stood out is the consumption of a mysterious drink that was given to a character who drank it, when they already noticed that the person that was giving them the drink had been suspiciously evasive about the ingredients.

    2. There’s also the loud ‘disrespectful behaviour at the ‘sacrifice.’

      I think the poor decisions were perhaps too extreme for me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people lacking in survival skills to the degree they do in Midsommar.

  3. “I also found it irksome to watch several of the characters make some extremely poor decisions. . .” I agree with this in regard to the film, Midsommar. It was a stylishly made, brilliantly directed and acted – especially by Florence Pugh.

    While I know the characters were essentially doomed by fate and the decision to go to the festival (how would they know this would occur?!?), I just think Ari Aster could have made their fate more inescapable. I.e. some actually escape and are caught. Also, maybe even look for their friends when they go missing. If that had happened and also been edited down a bit, the film would be a classic horror story of our era.

    1. Hi Paul, Thanks for sharing.

      The bad decisions I’m referring to don’t start when they decide to go. It’s the decisions that came after they should have realised that the people of the community were clearly at best odd and at worst not to be trusted.

      Even if they’d all been more respectful and had greater self preservation instincts, all their fates do seem to have been sealed simply by going. Lastly, I agree with you about the editing and the ‘so-called friends’ not taking care of each other. Now I’m kind of curious about what your version of the film would have been like.

  4. I really liked Midsommar albeit emotionally taxing so much so I left the theater feeling the exact same way that I did after viewing Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! What I loved most about Midsommar is the performance. I thought to myself while watching, their reactions seemed plausible considering their drug-induced introduction to the community and the continued consumption of that special tea. Their minds weren’t clear from the start.

    1. It feels like a long while since I saw Midsommar but you make a good point about their reactions. I guess they drowned all their few remaining survival instincts in that tea.

      I completely understand what you mean about loving the performances most. I may not agree with or enjoy certain elements of a movie but no way will I deny a brilliant performance. The most recent example of this for me is ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things.’ I dislike that movie quite intensely, but the performances! 😁

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