Visceral, unsettling and beautifully crafted, “Midsommar” proves Aster to be a horror master.

After suffering insurmountable tragedy, Dani (Florence Pugh) joins her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) and friends to Sweden for a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival. What begins as a carefree pastoral party takes a sinister and unsettling turn as they soon discover the true intent of the festivities.

Fair warning, there are mild spoilers ahead.

Midsommar is unlike any horror movie I’ve experience. People screamed. People laughed. People even audibly gagged – YES, I am serious. It’s rare to find a film that is so unnerving and grotesque draped across beautiful, pastel landscapes with nuggets of dark comedy sprinkled in.

Its deep folk culture roots create an intoxicating and immersive experience. I was fascinated. A lot of this experience is credited to the hypnotic cinematography, which was mind blowing and trippy as hell.

Although the last WTF half hour of Midsommar will leave viewers extremely divided, I was here for it (well all of it except for the odd sex scene, because that was just too much). The ending represented the rebirth of Dani, breaking away from all the negative forces in her life and honestly, that’s a big mood we all need these days.

Similar to Ari Aster’s first film, Hereditary, this is not your typical horror film. It dives into the human psyche and the complexity of our emotions. Midsommar further proves that no writer or director has mastered grief and tragedy onscreen like Aster. I do not know what Aster tells his leading ladies to have them depict grief, panic and tragedy so authentically and rawly on screen, but it is a damn art form. That being said, Florence Pugh is a dynamic force. I truly hope we see more from her.

I also hope we see more from Aster. Perhaps he should try to steer a little away from the concept of grief in his next film, but until then, he’s got me hooked.

Final Thoughts: Midsommar is a wild ride with extraordinary depth and performance from Pugh.

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