Written and directed by Ari Aster, Midsommar follows a group of friends – Dani (Florence Pugh), Christian (Jack Reynor), Mark (Will Poulter), Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) – who travel to Sweden for a festival that occurs once every 90 years, only to find themselves in the clutches of a Scandinavian neopagan cult.
Wow, this film certainly leaves some disturbing images in your head. I wasn’t quite expecting the brutality of some of the events involved and they definitely hit hard (no pun intended).
I don’t particularly like films with satanic/paranormal cult twists which is why I couldn’t get into Aster’s Hereditary as much as I did this one because I often quickly detach myself from any investment I had in the story. But when the cults are more generic and based on tradition, human evil and self-sacrifice rather than mystical forces and demonic summonings, I feel much more unnerved.
Midsommar certainly has a lasting effect. It’s an immersive and psychedelic journey filled with grief, fear, and pain; a pure nightmare glittered in a floral wreath.
Florence Pugh is phenomenal and although she has had a few standout roles this year, it is undoubtedly this one that deserves an award. Jack Reynor gives a great performance, too, and I always enjoy the inclusion of Will Poulter.