To talk about 'Midsommar' is to do it about the amazing formal and narrative refinement of a filmmaker who signed his debut, even if it is hard to believe, just a year ago. An exercise in which the almost obsessive perfection and the taste for detail in regard to the visual goes beyond the realism and style exercise, serving its brilliant production design as a necessary support to build its suggestive and dense readings.
As if it were a shared catharsis between director and protagonist - it is written after a breakup of Aster himself - the film shares the same thematic load of 'Hereditary', exploring with success and uneasiness such varied concepts as hell that can be assumed life as a couple or the need to belong to a group or family nucleus; elements presented as some of the greatest weaknesses of the human being.
But, as we pointed out earlier, if this absorbing trip transcends its condition of sophisticated horror tape and inaccessible to all types of audiences, it is thanks to the way in which it juggles the expectations to water the footage with a countless surprises that affect the most unexpected factors.
And, after being stuck in the armchair during his first bars, few - not to mention anyone - could expect that, between its apparent contention, its soul of introspective horror drama and its ultra-stylized form, 'Midsommar' contained a brown essence and unbridled, with a certain black comedy like coal, who is not afraid to redirect his referents the folk horror of 'The Wicker Man' to 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and even the archetypal and casual slasher of the 90s.
Beyond more or less obvious winks, the narrative of the film and the design of its characters are a good example of this. It is not difficult to identify in the peculiar group of protagonists, the final girl, the funny colleague, the intellectual or the odious guy of the day who, in any other scenario, would fall at the hands of a masked murderer and who on this occasion must face the dangers of a peculiar Nordic community.
The way history evolves is equally shocking. The director chooses to make the leitmotivs of the feature film simmering and sobriety, heating the atmosphere and inviting the pressure cooker into which the atmosphere becomes to end up exploding at any moment. But Aster refuses to satisfy our primary instincts, merely splashing the footage promptly with snapshots of brutal violence and then returning to the usual rhythm and using the off-field. He never lets 'Midsommar' be completely unleashed, and that, taken together, is as unnerving as it is intelligent.
Given all these unusual characteristics and genius styles, it is actually an extremely complicated task to try to catalog a movie such as 'Midsommar' in a way that could do justice to its exceptional wealth and great duality, and again, we say all of this as a compliment, it takes a lot of effort and talent to achieve this state of ambiguity and still come up with a positive result. It is much simpler than it appears to be and in turn contains a complexity that would give for hours of analysis. It breathes a joke aroma of an exquisite bad taste that intermingles with a transcendence with which those films that desperately strive to stand out among their peers can only dream.
That is why it is better to free yourself from hateful labels and limit yourself to claiming 'Midsommar' as one of the most relevant horror films that will leave us this decade, signed by an AUTHOR - in capital letters - as unique and outstanding as his atypical and, by the moment, brief filmography.
Genres: Drama , Horror , Mystery | Duration: 148 min | Year: 2019
Cast: Florence Pugh , Jack Reynor , William Jackson Harper , Vilhelm Blomgren , Will Poulter , Ellora Torchia , Archie Madekwe , Henrik Norlén , Gunnel Fred , Isabelle Grill , Agnes Westerlund Rase , Julia Ragnarsson , Mats Blomgren , Lars Väringer , Anna Åström