2019 has seen some horrifying sights headed to theatres, all in the name of giving audiences that good scare fix they crave. With PET SEMATARY, BRIGHTBURN and most recently ANNABELLE COMES HOME all turning up the fear factor, there’s been plenty of monsters lurking in the darkness.
So, leave it to HEREDITARY director Ari Aster to head in the opposite direction with MIDSOMMAR, his second film that promises to deliver his particular brand of scares in broad daylight. And while you can get pretty grim in the darkness, the light is a place where you can see every scream, and every drop of blood is accounted for.
MIDSOMMAR tells the story of Christian (Jack Reynor) and Dani (Florence Pugh), a struggling couple that could probably use a getaway to somewhere sunny and friendly. And what says “sunny and friendly” more than a remote village in Sweden? There are just a couple of problems with this strategy, as on top of Dani hijacking that very trip from Christian and his friends, their destination isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The folks in this particular village are about to partake in a ritual that only happens once every 90 years. And as you can see in MIDSOMMAR’s ad campaign, there are some bloody and nasty things about to happen in clear view of our characters and the audience. But even with most of the activity taking place in the extended daylight of Sweden’s wilderness, it looks like there are some surprises that await anyone who steps into their local AMC theatre for their first available showing.
Much like his work in HEREDITARY, it looks like Ari Aster has taken a horrific concept, such as a bloody Swedish festival, and turned it into something even more horrifying. And the trick to making MIDSOMMAR scarier than a straightforward horror film is, of course, truly showing the anguish on the faces of totally identifiable characters. Just looking at Florence Pugh’s face on the movie poster says it all, as those tears are just enough to show that this isn’t going to be a safe and easy slasher film.
With advanced audiences already mulling over what Ari Aster has shown them in MIDSOMMAR, this unconventional horror film is ready to thrill moviegoers that are looking for another opportunity to follow the writer/director’s twisted mind into some twisted corners. And in the middle of the summer movie season, where the days are longer and the temperatures are climbing, people may just want to stay in the dark a little longer, as their new fears will be turned into what’s standing outside in the daylight.
Head out to your local AMC theatre and see MIDSOMMAR this weekend.