A trippy, pastoral descent into your worst relationship nightmares.
Trifling boyfriends everywhere, you better believe that Ari Aster is coming for you. Strip it back to its bare bones and you could call the follow-up horror from the Hereditary director a break-up film. Well, a break-up comedy of sorts. But rather than laughing at Jennifer Aniston blundering away with an ex, or mustering a lol at Jason Segel scream-sobbing into a pillow, it’s instead an uneasy, nervous laughter that you find yourself choking up at moments that are too dark or bizarre to be believed. Ferociously funny, ferociously gory, and ferociously ambitious.
Read our break-down of Midsommar below…
WHAT: It’s probably never a good idea to go away with your douchebag boyfriend and his acerbic neander-mates, especially when your relationship is one huff of wind from blowing down. But that’s exactly what Florence Pugh does after a life-changing tragedy in her family. Jack Reynor plays the part of the clueless other-half, followed in tow by his college friends Will Poulter, William Jackson Harper, and the mysterious, sensitive Swede, Vilhelm Blomgren.
WHERE: The group head to a remote Swedish village for a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival, which resembles something like an eerily bucolic Stepford commune. The introductory scene to Hårga prompted actual laughter at the ludicrously idyllic postcard settings: a lowing cow, floral garlands being draped around the necks of the newcomers, and Swedes playing pan-pipes and singing in floaty white chemises. But relationship tensions are eventually accelerated by a steady cocktail of hallucinogenics, and a sense of slow-burning dread sears the oil wick to an explosive and violent ending. Paradise is lost.
STAR OF THE SHOW: How can we say Florence Pugh 10 different times, and in 10 different languages? The visceral range of emotions displayed by the young Brit actress had everyone in awe. Gut-punch grief, drug-fuelled elation, insidious jealousy. And not to mention the screams. The screams reverberated around the cinema and through the hairs on my arm, stood to disturbed attention.
WHO TO WATCH IT WITH: Your current partner as a warning shot to potential fuckboi behaviour. Joking. Kind of.
STAND-OUT SCENE: There are so many highlights. The pube pie (you heard me). The Jack Reynor sex scene towards the end. Then the strangely empowering and cathartic scene after, as the women of the mysterious village of Hårga hold Florence Pugh in a tight embrace, and grieve when she grieves, wail when she wails, and ultimately, carry her pain throughout all of their interconnected limbs as if they are one amorphous, pulsing being. And then that barn scene at the very, very end. Watch and prepare to “what the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck” through the credits.
WATCH IF: You’re going through a break-up.
DON’T WATCH IF: You’re going through a break-up.
WONDERLAND REVIEW: 4/5