Midsommar

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ColorTheHours048
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Midsommar#1
Posted: 7/9/19 at 1:30pm
Anyone see this yet?

Im obsessed. Much more accessible and yet somehow even more confounding than Hereditary with its overabundance of possible themes. Its a little shaggy, particularly in the end as it rushes headlong for the climax and introduces perhaps too much new information all at once, but what a trippy and tense experience. Id also somehow yet to see Florence Pugh in anything, but Im officially a lifelong fan if she keeps up this level of excellence in her work.

Ive already seen this dividing people pretty strongly, but I cant wait to see what Ari Aster has coming up next. Its bound to be another doozy.
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Midsommar#2
Posted: 7/9/19 at 1:43pm

Without spoiling too much, how awful is this to watch? For those who saw Hereditary, you know what I mean when I say "awful". I respect Ari Aster's work and creative, but that movie just disturbed me to no end. I got the point of it, but the visuals were incredibly disturbing and I tend to not find gruesome stuff to bad. If Hereditary was a 10/10 for visual gore, where would Midsommar go? 

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Midsommar#3
Posted: 7/9/19 at 1:47pm

Mike Barrett said: "Without spoiling too much, how awful is this to watch? For those who saw Hereditary, you know what I mean when I say "awful". I respect Ari Aster's work and creative, but that movie just disturbed me to no end. I got the point of it, but the visuals were incredibly disturbing and I tend to not find gruesome stuff to bad. If Hereditary was a 10/10 for visual gore, where would Midsommar go?"

The opening sequence before we get to the title card is pretty deeply unsettling and some of the gore later on is very graphic and disturbing, but the overall experience feels a lot less “awful” than Hereditary. Mostly because Midsommar uses humor to lighten the mood occasionally. And the ending is far less heavy than Hereditary, but still brutal. I’d say if Hereditary was a 10/10, Midsommar is 8/10 in terms of “awfulness”.

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Midsommar#4
Posted: 7/9/19 at 1:50pm

ColorTheHours048 said: "Mike Barrett said: "Without spoiling too much, how awful is this to watch? For those who saw Hereditary, you know what I mean when I say "awful". I respect Ari Aster's work and creative, but that movie just disturbed me to no end. I got the point of it, but the visuals were incredibly disturbing and I tend to not find gruesome stuff to bad. If Hereditary was a 10/10 for visual gore, where would Midsommar go?"

The opening sequence before we get to the title card is pretty deeply unsettling and some of the gore later on is very graphic and disturbing, but the overall experience feels a lot less “awful” than Hereditary. Mostly because Midsommar uses humor to lighten the mood occasionally. And the ending is far less heavy than Hereditary, but still brutal. I’d say if Hereditary was a 10/10, Midsommar is 8/10 in terms of “awfulness”.
"

Hm, fair enough. I have AMC A-List which I may use to see it, and just leave if I can't take it. Again I respect Ari and I get the appeal and wanted to love Hereditary but it was too much. I may check this one again. I saw briefly on YT a certain dive that happens, and I can handle that. Dunno how much worse it gets exactly. 

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Midsommar#5
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:04pm

While i had major issues with “Hereditary” (mainly it it making any sense if you take the time to break it down), “Midsommar” actually made sense but I sat there for 2 1/2 hours thinking “I’ve seen this all before”. It wasn’t new or groundbreaking or honestly, scary in any way. It was as formulaic as a Friday the 13th film but just filmed beautifully. With no real scares, only a handful of “disturbing” moments and a lingering sense of dread, the film is basically “The Green Inferno” - outsiders enter into an area where you know what’s going to happen to them but it’s outside so it has to be scarier. 
My issue with these new crop of so-called horror films like this one and “Us” is that for the first time in a long time, the critics are taking the genre seriously so when they get a glossy beautifully shot film they hail it as a masterpiece and redefining of the horror genre when I can list you a dozen off the top of my head that ACTUALLY have done that but these critics wouldn’t dare give positive reviews to. 
All that said, I didn’t hate “Midsommar”, but I have no desire to really ever see it again. And the people who say they need all this time to process it, I just say that I don’t think I need any time to break any of it down or mull it over - it was pretty straightforward as to what it was and not some great think piece that’s going to make you examine your life choices.

And as for gore, on a scale of 10, I'd rate it at like a 3 maybe. It's so tame compared to basically anything else you'll find out there now.

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Midsommar#6
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:07pm
I wouldn’t classify Midsommar as horror at all. It’s a drama with genre elements, but nothing in it could possibly be classified as horror. I think we just need to fire all these PR people trying to pigeonhole movies into one genre. It doesn’t do anyone any favors.
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Midsommar#7
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:27pm

But that aside, the film is still a blatant rip off of other films (Wicker Man, anyone?). 

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Midsommar#8
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:29pm
I thought this, much like Hereditary, was nothing short of being a masterpiece. The design is gorgeous, the script is smart and colorful, and Florence Pugh is brilliant.

This isn't really "horror." It's disturbing, upsetting, anxiety inducing, but not "horror." It's truly a surreal, folk, fantasy. It is extremely gory. I don't know how anyone could say that the cliff scene alone doesn't immediately rate this a 10 on the gore scale. However, it doesn't focus on gore and it is infrequent, but very effective when used.

I don't know if anyone has ever done any psychedelic drugs and then had a panic attack while high, but this film recreates that sensation for nearly the entire run time. The overwhelming sense of dread that this film creates had me with a deep pit in my stomach.

Also, in talking about how this film doesn't do anything original, I disagree. I think Ari Aster does a brilliant job at using horror tropes to illustrate human experiences. In Hereditary, he uses, basically, the plot of Rosemary's Baby to illustrate greif and the passing on of mental illness. Here he uses a violent cult film to illustrate a woman's experience with greif and toxic relationships. He uses the horror element to help heighten the emotions of those experiences.
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Midsommar#9
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:39pm

OMG the cliff scene was so stupid. Like every single death in this movie, there was ZERO suspense to it. Of COURSE they were going to jump off. And he just streeeeeeeeetched that scene out and I'm like "just do it already!" and yeah her face came off which was cool but that's about the extent of the coolness of the flick. When I said I felt like I'd seen it all before, it was because of sh*t like that when you knew who exactly was going to die and when and in what order. I'm so just dumbfounded how people can call this a masterpiece. And BenElliott, every reason you gave for his two movies being original points to another movie or plot lines that have been in horror films for decades. 


When I talk about this movie it's weird because I feel like I'm always ripping it to pieces when I really didn't hate it. What I hate is the "Ari Aster is a horror God who is creating brand new things that nobody has ever seen before and has made the scariest films anyone has ever seen and they will get into your head and you'll never sleep again" and I'm like "come over to my place and I'll show you some really cool horror movies that prove Aster is a good director but a mediocre screenwriter" .

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Midsommar#10
Posted: 7/9/19 at 2:55pm
I have to disagree. His last two films have been contemporary horror masterpieces. There isn't a single other director making horror films as interesting or creative as he is right now.

I have seen the classics that he pulls inspiration from. There are moments of the original Wicker Man and Green Inferno. He's clearly used these as inspiration, but he uses the tropes created by those films to assist in the central, human story that he's telling.

Also, his screenwriting is gorgeous. Pick up one of his scripts and read it, if you get a chance. The level of detail and humanity that he puts in is pretty incredible. What separates Aster from other horror directors is his human understanding. His characters are deeply human in comparison to what other horror writers are creating. He's also never considered his films horror and neither do I. His goal isn't to keep you up at night, but instead to use elements of dread, violence, and horror to manipulate the audience into feeling what the characters are experiencing emotionally.

It sounds to me like you wanted to see a straightforward horror film and that's really not what this is. If anything, it's a parody of a horror film.
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Midsommar#11
Posted: 7/9/19 at 3:01pm

Nope, sorry. You'd be very mistaken if you think I "wanted" a straightforward horror film. What I "wanted" was a film that doesn't make me think the entire time about where this scene and that scene were lifted from and compare to other films for two and a half hours. And AGAIN - I didn't hate it! lol

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Midsommar#12
Posted: 7/9/19 at 3:10pm
All good, I understand. I must say that there's a line between plagiarism and inspiration. I think this film falls into the inspiration side, but I can see where you might be turned off by it if you think it's too similar. I know a lot of people that hate Harry Potter because it's too similar, at times, to Lord of the Rings. I totally understand that. It's one of the reasons why Stranger Things has become exhausting for me to watch these days.

I will say, I think Midsommar is a truly great adaption of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
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Midsommar#13
Posted: 7/9/19 at 3:16pm
And the lead girl (who reminded me of Hayden Panettiere the ENTIRE time) gets the factory. I see it now.
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Midsommar#14
Posted: 7/9/19 at 4:39pm
Frankly, I’m uninterested in originality for originality’s sake. Yes, there are moments of clear inspiration and - thus - very little in terms of suspense when it comes to “who’s going to die, when, and how” but the path Aster takes to get there felt consistently unexpected. As BenElliott felt, the whole experience left me feeling drugged and disoriented because I let go of the part of my brain that had “seen this all before” and just got swept up in Dani’s story.
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Midsommar#15
Posted: 7/11/19 at 9:30am
I thought this was kind of underwhelming. The characters are sketched out in the first thirty minutes and then there’s basically no progression in the next two hours, and having both of them be out of their minds on drugs for the whole last act made me feel like I was babysitting drunk people, and not in the fun Virginia Woolf way. I agree that originality for the sake of originality is unnecessary but my bigger problem with this movie was that everything happens in a kind of straightforward manner with no interesting complications or dilemmas - their actions never impact the procedure of events in any meaningful way. Even the exploration of empathy in relationships and the modern world felt underdeveloped, which is a shame because it’s a neat idea but it was the same couple of character beats repeated with no change until the very end.

Also, yes, the fact that nearly every notable horror element is straight from other horror media was kind of a buzzkill. Even the chicken coop scene was done more frighteningly on Hannibal, and that was a network TV show! I think if this film’s tone works for you, you’ll love it, but if it doesn’t, then it feels a little barren.
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Midsommar#16
Posted: 7/11/19 at 11:26am
Marry me, Charley Kringas.
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Midsommar#17
Posted: 7/11/19 at 11:36am
Only if we honeymoon in Sweden!
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Midsommar#18
Posted: 7/11/19 at 11:38am
I hear it’s beautiful this time of year!
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Midsommar#19
Posted: 7/11/19 at 2:39pm
I saw it again a couple nights ago and loved it even more the second time. I understand the disconnect people have with it, but it really works like gangbusters on me.
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Midsommar#20
Posted: 7/11/19 at 7:48pm
Just it on Tuesday and loved it. I think it'll be a cult classic. The visuals are great, but the screenplay really is something special. I thought the same thing about Hereditary. The dialogue is really phenomenal. It's the best film that I've seen come out this year so far.

Pugh is mesmerizing. Can't wait to see what she does in Little Women.
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Midsommar#21
Posted: 7/12/19 at 5:31pm

I loved this even more than my beloved Hereditary. Aster is a sublime screenwriter and character builder. Annie in Hereditary and Dani in this are such beautifully crafted, lived-in characters. Florence Pugh more than holds her own against my memories of Toni Collette - her performance is towering.

I love this new craze of art films masquerading as horror. These production houses have no idea how to market them outside of the traditional horror genre, which might be turning off audiences in middle America, but it is such a gift to see these movies get wide releases. This certainly doesn't go as far as mother!, but I thought Midsommer was more violent than Hereditary, in pure visual gore. Emotionally, the central death of Hereditary was more impactful to me, just because we had a chance to get to know the character, whereas the main tragedy of Dani's life happens right off the bat.

I think Asher is just so brilliant with these films, going even further with using the genre to make grand metaphors about the human experience. Hereditary was beautiful in its subversion of generational trauma and Midsommer is a searing portrait - much in the same vein as mother! - of a woman trapped in a relationship where she gives everything while receiving no support from her partner. The final sequence was gorgeous and quite stunning. I think it will be interesting to see how women walk away from this movie compared to men. I've heard many people say that Dani went crazy at the end, while others believe it had a "happy" ending.

Ugh, I want to see this again. These are films I want to live in forever. We are truly living in a golden age of film.

PS. Hasn't unraveling crazy twists in these types of films become passe? In our post-modern society (I just threw up in my mouth while typing that), I'm not sure what horror films are going to shock us to our core with "I've never seen THAT before." Nor should they have to. By subverting and defamiliarizing common scenarios and plot points, these movies have the opportunity to speak to us on multiple levels. And because they are almost certainly a different genre then the films they are drawing from, we have the ability to look at them from an ultimately deeper angle. In my opinion.

"Sticks and stones, sister. Here, have a Valium." - Patti LuPone, a Memoir
Updated On: 7/21/19 at 05:31 PM
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Midsommar#22
Posted: 7/14/19 at 9:48pm

I thought it was a boring slog that could use to have an hour chopped off of the run time and maybe then it'd resemble an entertaining ride...

"Hi there, we represent The Broadway Better Business Players for a Better Tomorrow. We're trying to start a petition to get second rate shows taken off the marquee and with your help we can stop Mamma Mia from ever playing again." -Brad Jones in Suburban Knights

"Is it true you have Ralph Jr at the bottom of your purse in a jar of formaldehyde?" - Felicia
"No, but I wish I did so I could shove it down your throat!" - Bernadette

"This play is sh*t! This play is sh*t! F*CK YOU TERRENCE MCNALLY!!"- Patti LuPone as an angry theatre goer at 'Master Class'

"Being normal is VASTLY overrated..."
- Aggie Cromwell
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Midsommar#23
Posted: 7/14/19 at 10:04pm
Well then you’ll be happy to know he’s working on an even LONGER cut of the film.
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Midsommar#24
Posted: 7/14/19 at 10:09pm

Oh yay!

"Hi there, we represent The Broadway Better Business Players for a Better Tomorrow. We're trying to start a petition to get second rate shows taken off the marquee and with your help we can stop Mamma Mia from ever playing again." -Brad Jones in Suburban Knights

"Is it true you have Ralph Jr at the bottom of your purse in a jar of formaldehyde?" - Felicia
"No, but I wish I did so I could shove it down your throat!" - Bernadette

"This play is sh*t! This play is sh*t! F*CK YOU TERRENCE MCNALLY!!"- Patti LuPone as an angry theatre goer at 'Master Class'

"Being normal is VASTLY overrated..."
- Aggie Cromwell
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Midsommar#25
Posted: 7/20/19 at 7:40pm

Ari Aster reminds me of the cinematic version of writer Stephen King. He's a very talented guy, creates engaging characters, interesting world building, and the level of detail he puts into his story is laudable. But just when I'm feeling engaged in the story, he'll throw in the sporadic and unnecessary level of gross-out.

Thought Florence Pugh did a great job, but at times the script had me going, "Really, you're still just going to hang around here after this? Really?"