Jason Arment reviews Midsommar, a folk horror film by Ari Aster, the same writer and director of the commercially successful Hereditary. (A24 Films)
Midsommar, much like Hereditary, watches like not only had Ari Aster recently steeped in his films’ subject matter (the director was going through a breakup when he wrote Midsommar) but as if he was told the movie needed to be painfully self-referential.
Unfortunately, this didn’t help his films, because aping Kubrick does not make one Kubrick, the same way writing a story does not make the story great.
After watching Midsommar, I took the time to watch Hereditary, which is basically a wet dog story with an antagonist so powerful the entire film is negated by that which provides for its logic (or rather, the corrupted logic of the satanic). If the antagonist can lend its ability to see the future to the cult, then why is there even a movie?
Similarly, in Midsommar, there is a cult and rituals cribbed from reality, and a storyline which only sort of makes sense. And by “sense” I’m referring to verisimilitude surviving casual scrutiny. Simply stated, it isn’t enough to sprinkle a multitude of loosely related tropes and symbols throughout the film.
Beyond this, I’m not sure what to else to say about these films (Midsommar and Hereditary), save that the last time I had an invest with so little return was recent—social security tax.