WARNING: Contains spoilers.
Hi, I’m Christopher and I’m admittedly an easy scare, so usually when I watch and write about horror movies, it’s done from the comfort of a crowded, well-lit office.
Now, there’s a new A24 movie called Midsommar that was released on July 3 and people keep talking about how wild it is. I’ve heard the words “disturbing,” “horrifying,” “unsettling,” and “disgusting” used to describe it. Here’s the trailer:
I decided to go to a showing of Midsommar on a Tuesday at 2pm, so of course it was super dead. Normally, I love an empty theater but for horror movies, it really adds to the creepiness.
OK, they ripped the comfort bandaid off by opening the movie with a very dark 15 minutes. No jump scares or gore, but there’s a massive trauma involving the family of a main character, Dani. By opening with this, it’s clear the next couple hours will be rough.
We see some interactions between Dani and her boyfriend Christian, and he’s pretty wack. He’s not openly malicious, but he seems aloof, he treats her like she’s a burden, and he has plans to go to Sweden that he didn’t even tell her about — she only finds out a couple weeks before he’s planning on leaving.
Christian reluctantly invites Dani to join him on the trip and she does. Shortly thereafter, they arrive at the Swedish commune.
One of the first things the group does after arriving is take shrooms, which seems like a bad idea for Dani in particular given what she’s been through in recent weeks. Of course, she has a bad trip and some weird hallucinations of grass growing through her skin, her dead sister, and a person momentarily popping up in the mirror’s reflection behind her before vanishing. It’s all far more affective than any anti-drug ad I’ve ever seen.
So, this place they’re at is CLEARLY creepy and strange, but for some reason the group of friends is ignoring all of the weirdness until a couple of elders commit suicide, which is apparently a thing people in this cult, I mean, “community” do when they reach the age of 72.
RANDOM NOTE: If you’re a fan of The Good Place, just know that William Jackson Harper plays a character named Josh in Midsommar and he’s smart, so you’ll probably get slight Chidi vibes. At one point he momentarily goes full Chidi when he speaks the word, “unethical.”
More stuff happens along the way, mostly strange and ominous, but not outright scary. An English couple mysteriously disappears, Christian and Josh have some drama, Christian finds a pubic hair in his pot pie, y’know, the usual horror movie stuff.
At one point, one dude in the group of friends named Mark mistakenly pees on an ancestral tree and surprise, he goes missing!
Then Josh is caught taking pictures of sacred documents that he was definitively told not to and you guessed it, he gets caught and goes missing too!
Dani partakes in a dance competition. Yep, she really took drugs, threw on a flower crown, and danced her ass off like she was at Coachella.
Meanwhile, Christian is given drugs and taken off to have sex with a cult member named Maja. It’s a strange ritual because other cult members surround them, moaning along with them.
Dani wins her dance competition and is crowned, “May Queen,” which seems like a pretty big deal in this cult. But after she wins, she sees Christian having sex with Maja and freaks out, having a panic attack and crying. The group of cult women awkwardly howl-cry along with her.
We finally learn that all of the missing people have been killed, and we learn it’s all part of a big cult ritual in which NINE TOTAL PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SACRIFICED. They’ve got eight, but they need a ninth, and this one has to be living. As May Queen, Dani gets to decide who dies and there are two candidates up for sacrifice: some random or Christian.
Now that you know exactly how I feel about this movie, go and get your tickets to see Midsommar from Fandango or Atom and let me know what YOU think!