4. It’s a talking point
With comments on Midsommar ranging from “it’s a masterpiece” to “utter, stupid rubbish,” this is a film that audiences have had strong reactions to. In fact, it would be almost impossible to watch Midsommar and not have a strong reaction to it either way – this is a film that invites and provokes debate and discussion.
Whilst critics for the most part have praised Midsommar, audiences have been more divided. Some see the lack of traditional horror elements as disappointing, this isn’t a horror film that will make you afraid to go to sleep or to turn the light off (it may however put you off a trip to the Swedish wilderness).
Midsommar also makes use of gore and graphic elements that are disgusting and horrible to look at. Kudos to the special effects and makeup team but it is understandable how that may turn some audiences off – these aren’t the type of wounds and damage you would see in a standard slasher flick.
Yet regardless of whether you loved Midsommar or hated it, the very fact that it has become a talking point and has evoked so much discussion makes it a film worthy of note. In a saturated film market, films often fall through the net or are instantly forgettable. In that way it is great to see a film garner so much attention and ignite passionate discussions.
5. It needs to be seen to be believed
How may times have you found yourself recommending a film to someone and telling them that they need to see it? Probably dozens of times and yet when they ask you why, usually it is quite easy to describe the action and story that unfolds. But even trying to explain the simplest of scenes from Midsommar opens a can of worms and trying to describe the really graphic scenes just doesn’t do the horror of them justice at all.
Put simply – there are scenes that unfold in Midsommar that are some of the most horrifying scenes in recent film. And not only are there horrifying scenes, there are scenes that are incredibly uncomfortable to watch. Midsommar is not a film that you take your parents to see.
Aster somehow always manages to make films that have such a visceral and raw energy to them that they build to a crescendo so intense that you almost want to cover your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears. When the feelings that are provoked whilst watching a film are that intense then it is most certainly a film that needs to be seen to be believed.
6. It features great performances
Midsommar features a great cast. Whilst all the main cast already have many credits to their names, these are not complete newcomers, they are also not big-name actors that you necessarily recognise straight away. This works really well because the film becomes even more relatable, you can imagine this group of friends as your group of friends.
That being said, Florence Pugh who plays Dani, has already been highly praised this year for her role in Fighting With My Family. And with Midsommar she proves herself to be a tour de force, giving a brilliant performance which she nails at both ends of the spectrum. At one end she is quietly experiencing a plethora of emotions, portrayed only by the pain in her eyes and micro expressions. And at the other end, she is screaming at the top of her lungs and is in so much outright pain that you find yourself almost wanting to crawl into the screen and comfort her.
Then there is Jack Reynor who also brings just as much to his role as Christian. In every facet of his role, he is ‘that’ guy – the guy you know or have had experience of. He is the uninterested boyfriend who just says whatever he thinks his girlfriend wants to hear without really meaning it, he is the awkward guy who is trying to make sure his friends get along with his girlfriend, he is the man tempted by other women etc.
And for each of these parts of his character, he is utterly believable. Not only that, but he throws himself into everything that the role requires. If you have seen Midsommar then you can appreciate exactly what that means. Certainly not many actors would agree to everything he ends up doing.
The supporting cast also portray their roles really well. Vilhem Blomgren, Will Poulter and William Jackson Harper are the group of friends that so many of us have and the Swedish villagers all play their roles as cult members in utterly convincing fashion.
All in all, the cast of Midsommar elevate the film as much as the direction, writing and cinematography do.