Midsommar (2019)

Not every party is a must-attend event. Some people would kill to avoid them.

Dani Ardor, played by Florence Pugh (The Commuter, Outlaw King) is left traumatized after her sister kills herself and her entire immediate family. Causing Dari to question the world around her and her emotionally abusive boyfriend, Christian, played by Jack Reynor (Dollhouse, Grassland).

Later she discovers that Christian and his friends have been invited to Sweden to attend a special Midsommer festival with their Swedish friend, Pelle, played by Vilhelm Blomgren. This festival is to take place as the ancestral commune of Pelle and as a cultural anthropology student, Christian is thrilled with the invitation. As Christian didn’t mention the trip to Dani, the two become further strained and continue their arguments. To stop the argument Christian invites Dani despite not wanting her to join the others on the trip.

Arriving at the commune in Sweden the group is given psychedelic mushrooms and this causes Dani to suffer hallucinations of events surrounding the group members. Still, under the influence of the hallucinogen the group is taken to a prepuce where, to the horror of the friends, they witness two elders leap to their deaths in a ritual ceremony. Despite being told that this is perfectly normal the friends are shaken and consider leaving the festival.

Eventually, they are persuaded to stay by Pelle; however, Simon and Connie decide to leave and gather their things. As Christian and Josh try to discover more information about the cult and its practices events take a sinister turn and one by one the friends go missing, leaving only grisly clues behind. Dani and Christian are again persuaded to partake in drug ingesting and ceremonies as the rituals become darker as the ultimate ritual nears.

Directed by Ari Aster (hereditary, Beau) the film captivates viewers with its contrast between colors and moods and the use of lighting to amplify the building atmosphere. Midsommar is a tense production where viewers witness the strange and wonderful world of a pagan cult, where many traditions are opposite to the accepted ways of modern and western civilization. As cult members share more and more knowing looks the paranoia spreads as the friends discover they are too deep into something they do not understand and have no control over. This feeling of helplessness adds to the fear factor and general sense of unease which prevails throughout the story leading to the ultimate conclusion which leaves with questions that only the viewer can decide the meaning of.