I just got out of the theater, and I still have tears of laughter in my eyes. I have no clue what me and my friends just walked out of.
Was it worth the nine dollars to get in?
If you have a sense of humor, yes, yes it was.
You might be a bit confused about this intro. Isn’t Midsommar a horror film? Yes, I think it’s supposed to be. But honestly, it felt like a straight-up comedy as I watched it.
I feel a bit guilty as I type this. The movie covers some serious subject matters, including suicide, grief, acceptance, and cultural sensitivity. But I don’t know what to tell you guys. Maybe it’s the circumstances in which I saw the film.
Me and two of my friends from D&D (Chris and Sidney) decided to watch Midsommar at the spur of the moment. We wanted to hang out, and we were eager to watch a scary movie. When we entered the theater, it was just us and three other people in the room.
As soon as the cringey dialogue began, complete with awkward pauses, the six of us could not contain our guffaws.
From a more removed standpoint (hearkening back to my college days), I can appreciate Midsommar for its themes and symbolism.
But as a Below Average person, I think the movie is ri-goddamn-diculous.
For this review, I thought I’d give a “short,” comment-filled synopsis of the movie. However, I do heartily recommend you watch it in theaters. There’s nothing quite like it.
Are you ready?
The movie starts fairly soberly. A girl named Dani is fearful for her family’s safety due to her sister’s suicidal tendencies, and Dani’s boyfriend, Christian, is wondering whether or not he should break up with her.
Dani’s sister commits a murder-suicide, killing her and Dani’s parents with some car exhaust. Christian, the douche-nozzle, was busy talking with his friends about how he doesn’t want to be Dani’s therapist right before she calls him to let him know what happened. Christian decides not to break up with Dani in light of these events.
This is all legitimately depressing stuff.
It’s after this part that the movie takes a turn.
The movie then cuts to a few months later (I think). Dani and Christian are at a party, and Dani is surprised with the information that Christian is planning to go to Sweden in a few weeks. When the two of them are back at their apartment, Dani asks him about this trip he’s apparently been planning.
And Christian gets stupidly defensive.
Dani is calmly asking him about the trip, and he reacts as if she’s attacking him. And I get that maybe the movie is trying to showcase how much of a dick Christian is. But it was just so absurd.
THEN the movie cuts to a few days later. Christian is with his friends, Josh, Mark, and Pelle. He tells them he invited Dani to come with them to Sweden.
And he does it in the most awkward way too. Every conversation in this movie sounds stilted. Dani comes into the room a moment later, and Mark asks Christian if he can talk to him.
Initially, I thought they were going to talk shit about Dani behind her back. Mark asked Christian to go into another room SO shadily. But nah, nothing like that happens. They just go off. Meanwhile, Dani strikes up a conversation with Pelle.
Pelle is the Swedish one of the group, the man responsible for initiating the group’s trip to his own commune. He and Dani talk about the trip, and then he decides to apologize to Dani for what happened to her parents. At this point, my friends and I flipped our lids.
What kind of insensitive human being would just BRING UP the MOST TRAUMATIC MOMENT in Dani’s life like that?
The film then decides to jump-cut immediately to the plane flight that Dani, Christian, Pelle, Josh, and Mark are on.
The group are in Sweden seconds later, and they run into Ingemar, Pelle’s brother. Ingemar has brought some foreign friends to the commune as well, Simon and Connie, and as soon as I found that out, I just knew that everyone would be lambs to the slaughter. What other reason could they have for inviting a bunch of foreigners to their place.
The group decides to imbibe some hallucinogens (for reasons), and Dani has a bad trip. She sees grass growing through her foot, and she sees her dead sister for a moment. This was legitimately a scary moment, but it was somewhat ruined by the pot-head comments the characters were making.
Everyone at Pelle and Ingemar’s commune seems really friendly. They dress all in white and do breathing rituals every now and then. They’re also fond of awkward pauses and not explaining things to people. They also like to keep a bear in a cage (remember that!) just for fun.
Things are going swimmingly until Dani and the other foreigners witness an extreme ritual that Pelle’s people practice. When someone gets too old in the commune, they commit suicide. They do this by leaping off a cliff. If they survive, there is a handy man with a large wooden mallet to bash their heads in.
Simon and Connie are freaked beyond belief and want to leave, which is a normal response. Dani’s group are idiots and write this off as just part of the commune’s culture. Simon and Connie end up leaving at separate times, very suspiciously and off camera, so you know that they got offed.
Meanwhile, Mark decides to take a leak on a sacred tree, which pisses off a bunch of Pelle’s family. He’s Mark-ed for death after that.
We find out the gruesomeness of Mark’s death later that night, when Josh tries taking some clandestine pictures of a sacred book. Josh gets caught by a man who is wearing Mark’s face as a mask. Josh then gets bashed on the head, and we assume he died as well.
Dani and Christian are now the only ones left alive, but since they’re such bad friends, they don’t question Mark or Josh’s disappearance. Dani participates in the Maypole dance and becomes May Queen. The commune really seems to accept her where they’ve just outright killed the other foreigners.
Christian, on the other hand, is being groomed for a strange sex ritual. One of the girls of the commune, Maja, wants to do him, and she’s been sending him typical flirtatious signals. You know what I mean. Things like leaving runes under his bed, putting pubic hair in his pies, and dripping period blood into his drinks.
Christian takes some drugs during Dani’s Maypole dance (because why not) and is made to have sex with Maja in a room while being surrounded by more naked cult women. This part gets real gratuitous. The naked women around Christian and Maja are super…helpful. They make moaning noises in time with Maja, and an old granny-woman with sagging you-know-whats pushes Christian’s buttocks in order to make him thrust more rhythmically.
Dani, who was otherwise preoccupied with being a May Queen, hears the sex noises and peers inside the building. She sees what Christian is doing and then runs away sobbing. Other young girls of the commune who participated in the Maypole dance start sobbing in time with Dani, as if they’re feeling her grief, and it’s actually one of the niftier parts of the movie. You see how Dani appreciates and longs for someone to feel with her.
Anyways, after Christian is done, he runs out of the building buck naked. He flees into a chicken coop and sees Simon dangling from the ceiling with his eyes plucked out and his lungs removed. Then Christian gets knocked out with some drug powder blown into his face. (There are a lot of drugs in Midsommar.)
Christian wakes up paralyzed. He and Dani are in a crowd of the cult people, including Pelle. Pelle’s been in on it the whole time. Everything is revealed at this moment. The cult requires nine sacrifices during this festival, and the four foreigners were part of that sacrifice. Four members from the commune sacrifice themselves as part of the ritual as well, but the last person to be sacrificed is left up to the May Queen.
The commune people ask Dani if she would rather sacrifice Christian or some rando from the commune.
She chooses Christian because he is an absolutely horrible boyfriend.
Christian is then stuffed into the disemboweled bear (the bear from the beginning!), kept paralyzed, then burned alive.
Dani smiles as she watches on.
And those are the bare bones of Midsommar. Reading over my synopsis, I can’t find the hilarity I felt when watching the movie. It might be one of those experiences you have to be there for in order to understand.
I rate Midsommar a there-are-almost-no-words-to-describe-my-feelings-while-watching-it-but-I-had-a-great-time-so-I’m-going-to-recommend-it-to-everyone-I-know-even-if-I-know-they-won’t-like-it-just-because-I-want-to-see-what-happens.
2 thoughts on “What the Hell Did We Just Watch: A Midsommar Review”
Yeah, despite its rather serious subject matter, Midsommar provides a decidedly campy experience, doesn’t it? I still say that makes it a more enjoyable watch than Hereditary, but I wonder how much of that was intentional.
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I really liked it. Regardless of whether it hit its mark or not.