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Midsommar - New Film From Hereditary Director Avi Aster

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Agree with you there Kerraig, probably my biggest disappointment in a cinema so far this year.

 

Also agree with Bazjam that Pugh is great; without her this would be even more dire.

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Found one of the main issues to be the story is far too slight for a 90-minute run-time, let alone 140-minutes plus.

 

Add every shock being heavily telegraphed then the whole purpose of the film is undermined.

 

The only remotely creepy moment for me:

 

 

Dani’s smile at the end, and yet even that feels like a cliched, dun-dun-daaaaa ending, rather than an earned moment of horror.

 

The old couple dying could have been unsettling but the prosthetics used are mostly utter garbage. The rock face plunge looks like some Troma-level b-movie shite and completely undermines the moment.

 

The old fella’s leg shattering at least looks suitably nasty but then there’s a big comedy hammer to stave in his rubbery face. The hammer actually bounces off on the last strike, was half-expecting a comedy boing sound effect.

 

Anyway, I’ve over-egged not liking it. Good luck to anyone going to see it, I hope you find more to like than I did.

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Put me in the 'this was poor' camp. Ari chucked in so many stylistic references that it was almost overwhelming: Kubrickian camera movement, Joderowsky-style folk apocalypse, the feverishness of The Devils and the doom-laden cosmic nihilism of that poor bastard Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General).

 

Absolutely nowhere near the sum of those parts, though. I was desperately trying to find a subtext, but other than the broad 'white people are cliquey and have too much power and can do whatever they want', there's no message; no substance to this. 

 

A mediocre, overlong and insubstantial effort, I'm sorry to say. 

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I thought this was dreadful, just a bloated mess of tone shifts and mis-comunication.

 

I'm not sure what Aster's plan was but a resoned plot seems not to be high on the list of priorites, the art direction / production design were awful too.

 

Derivative and lazily constructed pap.

 

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It completely missed the point of wicker Man too. The people of summer isle are not some psychotic murder cult. They're just driven to extreme measures by failing crops. And it's tragic because the policeman is sacrificed precisely because of his virtue

 

In this there is no rug pull. They seem like a cliquey murder cult because that's precisely what they are. Surprise! And the boyfriend is a douche character so we don't care. 

 

This was terrible 

 

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10 minutes ago, max renn said:

I've not seen Hereditary, worth a squint even though I disliked this?

 

Some people think so. I personally thought it started well, has this amazing moment in the middle and from then just fell apart.

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40 minutes ago, max renn said:

I've not seen Hereditary, worth a squint even though I disliked this?

 

Hereditary is worth a watch. It at least has some stronger set-ups and far creepier moments. The psychological aspects of the film are initially really strong too. Toni Collette turns in an excellent performance to cap off the good elements.

 

I didn’t mind the change of tone that happens midway through, but also wish the film stayed on its initial course.

 

Feel like Aster has a great film within him, but needs a strong screenplay (and after Midsommar, a really great editor) to reign him in.

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Saw this on Saturday and enjoyed it, despite not liking Hereditary much.

 

Personally I thought there was a lot of humour in the film, something that hasn't been commented on as much, at least in this thread. Loads of bits that had people laughing out loud in the cinema I went to. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 05/03/2019 at 20:07, Loik V credern said:

It will be interesting to see how the careers develop of some of these young directors who broke through with horror films, mainly thinking of the directors of The Witch, Get Out, Hereditary and It Follows. Wonder who will have the best career. 

 

 

...in conclusion, Eggers seems to be the only one to sustain the quality in a sophomore effort. (I didn't think much of Us, I hated Under The Silver Lake) ..although i forgot The Babadook's director as well, whose second film I've not heard of, The Nightingale. ..looks good! 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Loik V credern said:

 

 

...in conclusion, Eggers seems to be the only one to sustain the quality in a sophomore effort. (I didn't think much of Us, I hated Under The Silver Lake) ..although i forgot The Babadook's director as well, whose second film I've not heard of, The Nightingale. ..looks good! 

 

 

That looks very promising. Disagree with you about Peele and Aster though, as for me they both made better films with their sophomore efforts.

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I was in the camp that loved Hereditary and I think I loved this even more. Some random thoughts straight after watching:

 

Spoiler

First of all like everyone says, this is very similar in set up to the Wicker Man (which is another favorite of mine). Rather than being a complete knock off it has it's own vibe. Wicker Man had people going about their normal business, but this is very much over the top and mid festivity. The other film which came to mind was 2001 Maniacs, because of the set up and the fact that it's a group of teenagers in a seemingly back to basics community during a celebration. 

 

Lots of very black humour which seemed lost on the small audience tonight but as a horror fan I got a lot out of it. The sex scene with a helping hand actually had me properly laughing. 

 

I was convinced that the main lass would be sacrificed but liked how my expectation wasn't met but instead she "moves on" from her uncaring ex and gains a new family. 

 

Amazing cinematography and soundtrack and best of all hardly any jump scares (the blight of modern horror). Also mainly in the daylight which sets it apart from other films in the genre. There was a lot of foreshadowing and symbolism and I'm looking forward to watching it again in time and seeing what else I get out of it. 

A full 5 Skulls from me. Not everyone's taste (clearly) but lots to pick apart and enjoy. 

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This really won’t be everyone’s cup of herbal tea, and it’s undoubtably quite baggy and indulgent, but I fear that anyone thinking it’s without subtext has completely missed the point.

 

It’s not a film about a crazy cult, it’s a film about breakups and toxic partners, and not a very subtle one at that.

 

Spoiler

Her boyfriend is a half-arsed shithead from the opening scene to his fiery end, in a way that many of people (myself included) will find uncomfortably relatable. She’s not smiling at the end because *gasp* she’s gone mad, she’s smiling because she’s finally moved on. Everything from the dance scene onwards in particular is an almost literal metaphor for the various stages of a breakup. 

 

I found the relationship sections more stomach churning than any of the traditional horror stuff, they’re incredibly well observed.

 

My immediate reaction is that I much preferred it to the paper-thin nonsense that was Us, but I also have no desire to ever rewatch it.

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On 08/07/2019 at 01:17, glb said:
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The old fella’s leg shattering at least looks suitably nasty but then there’s a big comedy hammer to stave in his rubbery face. The hammer actually bounces off on the last strike, was half-expecting a comedy boing sound effect.

 

Yeah there were some laughs from lads behind me at this. But that might have also just been because of how unneccessary the last one was.

 

I thought Hereditary was great, and I liked this too, althought not as much. It has a similar trick of something horrible happening and then choosing to linger on the immediate aftermath in a way that's very uncomfortable and probably upsetting to many.

 

Spoiler

But given this happens right at the start of the film, and we don't know the characters involved yet, it isn't as much of a gut punch. As it's just something that kicks of the rest of the narrative, it felt like it was trying too hard to be upsetting, if that makes sense? Even though it didn't really need to.

 

I think my favourite aspects of the film were the more traditional comedic / drama aspects. You could take elements of this "horror" film's script, rework it a bit and make a film about how a woman in a relationship with a emotionally unavailable, gaslighting boyfriend goes on an uncomfortable trip with him and his friends to Sweden, and realises that her self-respect is in the toilet. It could be low-key dramedy about emotional growth and hard truths, for the crowd that enjoyed Sideways. Many of the scenes are a wonderful portrayal of your average, everyday hypocrisy. William Jackson Harper and Will Poulter are absolutely hilarious in this, particularly the latter. There's so much to dislike about so many of these characters, self interest and cowardice being chief among them. I really enjoyed watching them being deplorable little narcissists, for some reason, and that was my favourite aspect of the film.

 

But it insists on being a horror film for some reason (probably because it's all meant to be a metaphor or something) which would be fine if the film had enough shocks and surprises in store. Instead the beats only become more and more predictable and overly foreshadowed as the film goes on. All the scenes are individually well exucted, but I think it has some problems with structure, plotting and pacing basically.

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10 hours ago, Davros sock drawer said:

Personally I thought there was a lot of humour in the film, something that hasn't been commented on as much, at least in this thread. Loads of bits that had people laughing out loud in the cinema I went to.

 

I watched Hereditary in a packed early evening showing, and there was laughter from beginning to end. Watched this in a fairly empty theater, and much later, and there was only slight giggles. I think that says more about the respective audiences than the actual films. But I would sort of agree - Hereditary seems to be want you to teeter on the edge, where you're not sure whatever to laugh or not. Midsommar has many many elements that are just explicitly and unambiguously comedic, where the film is absolutely giving you permission to laugh at something tragic or uncomfortable.

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7 hours ago, CarloOos said:

This really won’t be everyone’s cup of herbal tea, and it’s undoubtably quite baggy and indulgent, but I fear that anyone thinking it’s without subtext has completely missed the point.

 

It’s not a film about a crazy cult, it’s a film about breakups and toxic partners, and not a very subtle one at that.

 

  Hide contents

Her boyfriend is a half-arsed shithead from the opening scene to his fiery end, in a way that many of people (myself included) will find uncomfortably relatable. She’s not smiling at the end because *gasp* she’s gone mad, she’s smiling because she’s finally moved on. Everything from the dance scene onwards in particular is an almost literal metaphor for the various stages of a breakup. 

 

I found the relationship sections more stomach churning than any of the traditional horror stuff, they’re incredibly well observed.

 

My immediate reaction is that I much preferred it to the paper-thin nonsense that was Us, but I also have no desire to ever rewatch it.

 

I think everyone who watches this will see the relationship allegory. It's not particularly subtle. We just don't mention it because its so shit. 

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I agree it’s not subtle in the slightest, but there are people who thought it had no subtext or meaning on this very page, which isn’t the case. I’m not trying to argue it was deep enough to merit the length or anything.

 

My reaction was similar to @Liamness, the drama aspects felt like the meat of the film with all the Wickerman-esque stuff verging on window-dressing. That stuff starts out quite intriguing/amusing but the mystery trickles away rather abruptly after the cliff scene.

 

Spoiler

I liked the chicken coup bit though, that was completely unexpected and horrible to comprehend.

 

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I really enjoyed this. Review later.

one thing though

there’s a bit in the trailer that shows someone’s feet lifting off the floor. I disn’t See this at all.



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1 hour ago, max renn said:

@CarloOos

 

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what reason was there for exposing his lungs? Did I miss it? Or was it just to show the FX teams chops?

 

 

Spoiler

None given that I noticed, but pulling someone’s lungs out their back like that is called a ‘blood eagle’ and according to myths was allegedly something that Vikings did.

 

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Spoiler

Yeah and there is a lot of debate over whether it was really practiced / possible. It seemed like quite a fanstastical element in a film that was otherwise grounded in reality.

 

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1 hour ago, strider said:

I really enjoyed this. Review later.

one thing though

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there’s a bit in the trailer that shows someone’s feet lifting off the floor. I disn’t See this at all.

 

 

 

 

 

Just rewatched the trailer and that shot seems to belong to a scene set during actual nighttime, which I don’t recall? It’s at 1:50 below.

 

 

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15 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

 

I think everyone who watches this will see the relationship allegory. It's not particularly subtle. We just don't mention it because its so shit. 

 

I completely disagree. 

 

The bits with her boyfriend being a complete prick and all his friends egging him on were depressingly realistic.

 

I really enjoyed this. It wears it's influences on its sleeve but I think it really works as a black comedy. It's not at all scary, but I laughed at least ten times, which is more than most films I end up seeing.

 

Also, Florence Pugh is outrageously talented. Her performance carries the whole film.

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I wasn't going to bother with this but the black comedy take is making me want to try it. I really enjoyed the first half of Hereditary and chuckled quite a lot, even though I don't think it was supposed to be funny.

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I think this is supposed to be funnier than Hereditary, there are scenes in the second half that are quite obviously played for laughs, in a horror way.

 

The lottery scene and the sex scene being absolute highlights

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