Screened as part of NZIFF 2019
“You can’t be afraid of the dark in Midsommar, because darkness never comes. Everything that happens in [Hereditary] writer-director Ari Aster’s cornea-searing, fantastically unnerving folk-horror reverie unfolds in the dazzling glare of June-bright sunlight – a waking nightmare nestled cozily within the clapboard barns and verdant valleys of the Swedish countryside…
Emotionally fragile Dani (Florence Pugh) is still lost in the fugue of a recent family tragedy when she gloms onto a guys’ trip her increasingly distant boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), and several of his friends have planned: two pastoral weeks in the hometown of their fellow grad student, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren).
Though it’s not really a town at all, more a small communal settlement – and its beatific residents, with their Maypoles, muslin gowns, and flower crowns, seem to be toeing some hazy Scandinavian line between weekend at Coachella and Wicker Man. The group’s arcane rituals – the psychedelic teas and hand-carved runes, a lone bear in a cage that nobody offers to explain – seem charmingly quirky at first, and then more sinister.” — Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
“Aster, it can’t be denied, possesses an almost supernatural command of dread. He knows how to hold a shot just long enough to create pinpricks of discomfort, to disorient with an abrupt cutaway, to drop stomachs with the godlike perch and glare of his camera… Midsommar [is]… frankly stunning in where it’s willing to go – and where its characters are willing to go – in search of catharsis.” — A.A. Dowd, AV Club