After watching Hereditary, I had high hopes for Ari Aster's Midsummar. Unfortunately, it missed the mark.
So looking at the story, it’s understandable that Pelle needs to bring in outsiders and new blood to the ritual, but the way the Americans just blindly rush in seemed forced to me. Even though there’s a lot of drugs at play, the moment things go south there’s not even any resistance.
The characters go through the whole plot oblivious to the glaringly obvious issues and dangers that surrounds them. They’re barely phased when two ritual suicides (with an assist from a foreshadowed hammer) ignite the horror show of this hometown ritual. It’s even mentioned, off hand, that “it’s a cultural thing” and just written off after.
Portraying American students as, at best, moronic is a trope of movies that I’m rather tired of. There’s no sense of self preservation, no sense of imminent danger. Plus the idea of being lead to this place under the guise of a doctoral thesis is absurd.
I would not classify this as a horror film. Nor would I classify it as a thriller. It’s stuck in a limbo of trying too hard and not paying off at all. Worse still is the idea of the ending twist, reminiscent of a M. Night Shyamalan attempt, just falls flat.
All in all, I applaud the idea behind the film but it’s delivery, concept, and execution leave a lot to be desired. There’s an alleged directors cut that adds even more to the development of the characters but I doubt I’ll ever get around to watching it.
To me, Midsommar is a hard pass that needs to be forgotten. Hopefully the next installment from Ari Aster will redeem itself and not set a template for this derivative, overplayed and predictable nonsense.