Dani (Florence Fighting WIth My Family Pugh) has suffered a major trauma with her sister murdering her parents before taking her own life. Despite wanting out of the relationship, her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) invites her to join he and some of his friends in Sweden for a remote village’s midsummer festival. Faster than you can say The Wicker Man things get very weird…and possibly deadly for the group.
Ari Aster is an interesting filmmaker, though here in his sophomore effort, he fails to connect with his story of pagan rituals, bloody violence and emotionally damaged characters. The backstory of emotional trauma, the distressed relationships and the sparse horror elements don’t mix nearly as well, or as interestingly, as they did in Hereditary. In fact Midsommar is quite tedious and extremely overlong at 147 minutes and the disturbing moments are few and far between. Sometimes the film seems like it’s being weird just for weird’s sake and there is really not much of a story to actually be told. Also, by the time the ending comes, we’ve been so bludgeoned with strange acts and behavior, it has no impact and is kinda what we expected to happen, anyway. There are moments of brutal and gory violence here, like in Hereditary, but it doesn’t seem nearly as effective. The cast of mostly fresh faces are a mixed bag, with Pugh trying hard, but when the story seems like it’s being made up as it goes along, even the strongest performance looses it’s potency. An interesting and colorful curiosity, but ultimately, a whole lot of boring strangeness that really doesn’t add up to much in the end.