Ari Aster’s Midsommar

The most dreadful aspects of a horror film: the creepiness of silence, the drag of darkness, and the vastness of space as if one is left alone in the world. Imagine them in reverse, that’s the writer/director Ari Aster’s mark in Midsommar. It cultivates the capacity of a comforting life – wrapped in claustrophobic anxiety.

The film is cerebrally eager and unsettled. The characters are invited, as if a part of the family already, into a petrifying culture, masked as a summer celebration. It’s a hallucinatory fairytale consumed by its own duplicity. The kind that brings up its own antithesis to anchor the reality of its characters.

The dialogue and cinematography convey a trembling and relentless quality. The Nordic costumes, the vastness of nature which narrows down into tight and uncomfortable spaces, the dizzying compositions. They feel rewarding to understand in this cinematic misadventure. It’s gritty, neurotic, and infinitely isolated.

Midsommar is a picturesque film. Its narration is far more intricate than any other psychologically-horror film I’ve seen. You can’t resist the awkward and deeply scarred pull of folkloric rituals. The monstrous details of a collective dream, superior to reality, and alien to memory. To watch this manifest, as morbidly and vividly in Midsommar, is nothing short of extraordinary.