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Ari Aster has given us a second horror film and he calls it “Midsommar.” Did I like it? Eh, not really. Maybe more than Hereditary, his first horror film. The visuals were brighter and the black comedy more prevalent. I’ll call it part of his formula. Let me explain that, he researches horror from the 70’s and transfers the tropes into his new horror films. Hereditary was heavily influenced by Rosemary’s Baby; Midsommar is a very near kin to The Wicker Man.
I guess he’s growing on me. If we were talking about oldies music and someone imitating that sound, I might see that as cool and talented thing to do. Harry Connick Junior imitates Frank Sinatra old blue eyes. Daft Punk sometimes imitate old Disco sounds … this can be a good policy for an artist. In Midsommar we have a definite wink at the Wicker Man and layers that feel like Coachella acid trips by wayward college students. The jury is still out on Ari Aster as horror director. He may become something huger than now. My hope is he will try something new but that might not be what he’s interested in doing. As an artist I say: follow your bliss and for these two initial horrors of this, that bliss is using horror movie tropes and themes from the 70’s. Midsommar’s strengths are its wide open colorful spaces, and the ethereal quality of going to a faroff place. As far as the story? Eh, it’s pretty weak but I think the movie is meant to be a vacation for the senses instead of a thought provoking grid for discussion. It is a dreamy hallucination, and at times it’s very relaxing and enjoyable. Other times it seems to not know where it’s going or what it’s doing. One thing is sure though, it looks amazing and the cultic folk music is very good.
Published first at the DRP film podcast: bit.ly/2NyhG7P