• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Scary Season Suggestions: Midsommar

ByJack Ferguson

Oct 12, 2023
Ari Aster holding a microphone

Scare Rating 3/5

How do you feel when you’re home alone and the lights go out? Well, if you’re a horror film fan, you’re taught to feel… worried. Major red flag. It’s too dark. You begin to wonder if you can hear footsteps even though you’re supposed to be the only person at home… And maybe there’s a figure just there, yes, just there in the corner of your eye. Staring. Creeping. Then…. LUNGING. These are the stuff of nightmares; the terror that lurks in the shadows. 

What sets Ari Aster’s sophomore feature Midsommar apart from other horror films is that it is set almost entirely in broad daylight, meaning no jump scares are possible. But, there is also nowhere to hide. The film is about Dani, (a star-making turn by Florence Pugh), who is a tortured, broken woman suffering from a family tragedy. She is in a twisted relationship with a gaslighting Christian (Jack Reynor) who she travels to Sweden with alongside his friends to participate in a remote festival. Soon, Dani finds out that the rituals of this festival require a level of commitment that will swing a mallet of justice down upon Dani’s posse and push her relationship with Christian to a scorching finale. 

The lack of score in the film means that some scenes are deafening in their silence and what little sound occurs is even more arresting. During one ritual, the sound of bones crunching is, frankly, nauseating without a score to cushion it. Midsommar may not be truly terrifying, as there are no jump scares, but there are many kinds of horror. As you’re watching this film, its terror sneaks up on you, crawls through your insides, and makes you shiver: a slow burn of dread.

Ari Aster, 2018 (crop)” by PunkToad is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

By Jack Ferguson