4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Much better than Hereditary

Despite handing out a measly 1.5 stars to director Ari Aster’s previous effort Hereditary, I was optimistic about Midsommar. As it turns out, rightly so.

Dani (Florence Pugh) and her boyfriend Christian’s (Jack Reynor) relationship becomes all the more uncertain when one of Christian’s college buddies invites him and some friends to his home in Sweden for a Midsummer festival.

There is a lot to appreciate about this film. Visually, the creative shooting and effects are understated but so well done. There has clearly been much effort put into creating the traditional Swedish arts and crafts on display – it really helps to set the scene.

As for the plot, it is revealed gradually in layers. Steady and well-paced, it keeps your attention throughout. This is made possible through the fascinating backdrop of Swedish Midsummer folklore, which I was moved to Google about post-viewing. I wouldn’t have minded more of a climactic ending, but that is a minor quibble.

As with Hereditary, I could see shades of Rosemary’s Baby – however this time it felt more like inspiration than a rip-off. It has also been compared to 1973’s ‘The Wicker Man’, but I haven’t seen that yet so I can’t comment on the similarities there.

A must-see for horror and thriller fans.

Midsommar premieres in Sweden on 10 July.

Photographs © Nordisk Film

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