Honestly, I was avoiding watching Midsommar (2019) because I felt I would need to be in the right "mindset" to watch it. I heard ...

Midsommar (2019)

Honestly, I was avoiding watching Midsommar (2019) because I felt I would need to be in the right "mindset" to watch it. I heard it was emotional, gory, weird, and two and a half hours long. It was all of these things and so much MORE and better than Hereditary. There I said it. Let's get into the "guts" of why...*wink*

***WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD***

The main characters in play are all college students... Dani and her douche bag boyfriend Christian, his equally awful friends Mark and Josh, and Pelle who seems to have a thing for Dani. 

The beginning of the movie feels like it starts in the middle and visually it's very dark, cold, and snowy. The audience quickly learns of Dani's immediate circle. Her sister is bi-polar and commits suicide,  killing her parents too. It's upsetting and tragic and Christian was planning on breaking up with her with the encouragement of his friends, but now he feels trapped in their relationship because she thinks she needs him. The way they interact with each other is incredibly toxic. He's unsupportive when she tries to talk to him and then she just ends up kissing his ass, saying she's sorry, and telling him how great he is. Her family just died!!! He should be comforting her!!! (Yeah, I was screaming that at the screen.) Her girlfriend tells her this on the phone too, but she doesn't listen. Of course.

We find out that Christian is planning to go to Sweden with his buddies to do some "research" for his anthropology studies. He never told Dani he was leaving. She gets upset and he feels forced to invite her. He's pretty confident that with everything going on in her life she won't come along, but she says yes to his dismay.

His friends think they are going to be having sex with milkmaids the whole time. Ironically it's Christian that has sex, but it's not sexy. More on that later. Pelle is a friend of all of them and he finds out Dani is coming and she'll be there on her birthday, and he seems to be the only one that's happy about it. He says they are going to his homeland where they celebrate the Harga midsummer festival. It's a nine day festival that happens every ninety years. He almost seems like he's recruiting her to go with them, he knows she has no family attachments. He talks about the happy part of the festival and the May Queen.

Pelle telling Dani about Midsommar.

Once they all arrive in Sweden, they still have to take a four hour drive because this community is in a pretty secluded area. The sky is bright and it's never night time there. Again his buddies talk about all hot the chicks there. Poor Dani just goes along, literally for the ride. 

They finally arrive and walk around this beautiful, bright pastoral landscape. Pelle introduces them to his friends and brother. There's another couple there from London that truly look like lovebirds and just got engaged. All of them are offered magic mushrooms to connect to "the energy of the earth". This is the beginning of their hallucinatory trip. The whole festival they are constantly inundated with herbs and drugs and not told what they are eating and drinking. What if someone is allergic?! Initially Dani doesn't want to take the drugs ~ but as usual ~ under peer pressure she caves.

All of them start tripping. Dani sees herself becoming one with the earth, she thinks people are laughing at her, and she runs away from the group crying and breaking down in the bathroom. (This happens more than once, where she hides her pain.) Time passes without it getting dark, and they find her sleeping in the grass alone.

Once they are shown the buildings and the whole community, they are given more drugs. And one of the elders makes the announcement that it's the "...hottest and brightest summer. We already have so much to give back". You know what that means fellow horror connoisseurs...dun dun dun...HUMAN SACRIFICE. Now the festival will commence tomorrow and they are given something to drink, presumably more drugs. 

Let's get ready to sssaaacccrrriiifffiiiccceee!!!!

Pelle draws her picture and gives it to her on her birthday. It's very sweet. She says Christian forgot, "but it's not his fault, I should have reminded him". WTAF. He's a useless boyfriend. A little later Christian gives her a piece of birthday cake as an after thought, probably because Pelle reminded him.

The community appears in peaceful harmony. There's a lot of wide screen shots with background actors and it feels choreographed, but it a good way. At no point in the movie was I bored or felt it could have been shortened. On the contrary, I wanted it to be longer with more visuals. There was so much to take in and lines said in passing that only touched upon what was going on in the commune. The camera pans around to a sacred yellow temple, a random bear in a cage that no one asks about? (that would be the first thing I ask about because it's so out of place), hand painted tapestries that basically tell the story of what is happening to the characters in the movie, and an ornately painted sleeping barn. There's a ton of visual storytelling in the movie if you catch it.

The whole story in pictures. 

I guess with my Art History background all of this made sense when I saw it.


Here's the church-like barn.

Now begins the "fun part". The first day of the ceremony the outsiders, Dani, Christian, Mark, Josh, and the London couple have an elaborate lunch with the community revering two elderly people. When they are done eating, the old people are carried away on thrones up a rocky cliff. Their hands are cut and their blood wiped on a sacred rock, then each of them plummets off the rocky cliff on to and altar-like rock on the ground. They show the impact and how the one's face is ripped off and the other has broken legs, only he didn't die on impact so they bash his head in with a giant mallet. So yes, this is the gory part. This is their ninety year tradition. The Harga witnesses at the bottom of the cliff start moaning and writhing like they are in pain, the London couple starts freaking out and screaming, and everyone else just stands in complete shock. It's almost as if Dani was prepared for this with the death of her family. She's experienced extreme tragedy, hasn't recovered from it yet, and now this is just a continuation. She over hears a woman trying to calm the Londoners down that says "this is our custom and a great joy for them to have lived out their life." Dani goes for a walk by herself to process what just happened.

Yeah, this is pretty gross. He's still alive too.

This event convinces Christian that his thesis topic should be about this group of people, only Josh already picked it as his topic. They argue about it a little. The Harga people say that they can write about it, but no pictures, or places, and all the names have to be changed. (Kind of a useless thesis.)

This event makes Dani question why she is even there. She wants to leave. Pelle tries to relate to what's going on with her and he tells her his family died in a fire, but he was raised by a whole community. He tells her "You deserve a real family." He then asks her a really thought provoking question, "Does Christian feel like home to you?" Of course she can't say "yes" because he's garbage.

That night Dani takes a sleeping pill. (I wouldn't take a sleeping pill in a strange place like that, plus it might interact with all the other drugs they keep giving me.) That night she has a dream everyone leaves her there. When she wakes up half of the London couple is gone. The London gal who is left starts to freak out again. Both her and Dani know her fiancée wouldn't have left her there. Dani is concerned and she tell Christian about it and he doesn't care that she's upset, and basically ignores her. You know ~ his usual.

Christian learns that one of the local young girls has planted a love rune under his bed. He asks about it and learns that outside people are invited so they can control the incest in the village. Later he has her pubic hair baked into his lunch, her blood in his drink, and learns he's an "astrological match" with the gal who's crushing on him, so he's allowed to have sex with her. 

Josh is working on his research and is taken to the sacred scripture temple. He asks who writes the scriptures and they are written by an "oracle". Rubin is their current oracle because he's "unclouded' and the deliberate product of inbreeding. Um ok. That evening Josh sneaks into the sacred scripture barn and takes pictures. That's a really bad idea because they explicitly said no pictures. He gets taken and killed.

The  "oracle". This image was used everywhere to promote the film,
but he's shown briefly a couple times.

Mark ~ in his American entitlement ~ literally pisses on a sacred tree and disrespects tradition, so he's lured away by one of the local girls and killed. Oh and the London gal is now missing, presumably dead along with her partner. 

At this point, the only two outsiders left are Dani and Christian. Dani partakes in the "womans activity" for the day which consists of taking drug laced tea and dancing around a May pole until there's only one left standing, and on accident Dani wins and is crowned May Queen! She's welcomed as part of the family now. One of her duties is to bless the crops, so she leaves the party, and goes on a carriage ride to the fields.

Christian is given drug laced tea and begins to have a bad trip. He is taken away from the party to have sex with the young girl. It's very ritualized as you can imagine. He walks into a room naked with the girl naked on the ground waiting for him surrounded by twelve naked ladies chanting, humming, and singing. They all moan in unison, as if they were experiencing sex for the first time too. 


So I hear guys always want to have sex with several women at once? Here you go!

Dani comes back from blessing the field and sees this. She begins scream crying. I'm lucky to say, I don't think I've ever scream cried in my life. Her unleashing of emotions replicates her scream crying when her family died at the beginning of the movie. Now her relationship with Christian is officially dead too. The local women comfort her and scream cry along with her. She's finally able to express her emotions out in public and not hide in bathrooms and she has support unlike the awkward pat on the back her emotionally detached boyfriend gave her at the beginning of the movie.

Cathartic wailing.

After Christian's weird sex act, he runs out naked unsure of what is actually going on and finally sees the place for the first time. He sees Josh's leg in the garden, he sees a body strung up in the chicken coop. The Hargas then drug him again. When he wakes, he's told he can't move or speak.

The final event of the festival is announced. Harga sacrifices nine people. Four of them are "new bloods" and four are volunteers from Harga. The last is decided by the May Queen. She can either choose the Harga person that is chosen by lottery or Christian. She chooses Christian. THEY TAKE HIM ALIVE AND SEW HIM INSIDE A BEAR CARCASS. You heard that right. She choose Christian. I would too. He gets burned alive inside the bear along with the nine other bodies in the sacred temple. 

This bear suit is lit. (Like bad puns? I've got them!)

The very last scene we see the community again writhing/ dancing and screaming (there's a lot of screaming in this movie just like Hereditary), and the camera focuses on Dani and you see her smile. She's finally free. Free from her stupid boyfriend, free from male entitlement, she now has a supportive family, and she's a queen. What a fairytale ending.

In conclusion, I give this movie 5 out of 5 pubic hair pies. I didn't find it as unsettling as I thought I would. Pastoral dread? As long as you're not disrespecting Harga customs, you're fine. The acting is great too.

My question is did Pelle know she was going to be crowned May Queen? Was he purposefully trying to get her to break up with Christian? Why didn't he tell the people he was bringing they will die there? Did he see how awful they were and choose not to tell them? I wouldn't tell them either.

Here's the trailer




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