Midsommar 2019 is among one of Ari Aster’s folk horror masterpieces. Aster’s previous work Hereditary blew audiences away. A critically acclaimed favorite.The way Midsommar takes you on an adventure to the more disturbing horrors one might witness. The daylight horror, filled with disturbing rituals leaves one with chills.
The Beautiful Creepiness of Midsommar 2019
Midsommar revolves around Florence Pugh’s Dani, a college student who has tragically lost her entire family to a murder-suicide. We hope that her boyfriend Christian played by Jack Reynor will help Dani heal and deal with grief. Firstly, he is more concerned about having fun and going to a special festival in Sweden with his good friend Pele. Secondly, Christian is surprisingly dispassionate towards Dani, who ends up awkwardly joining him on the trip along with his friends Josh and Mark. Finally after briefly enjoying the Swedish sun and arriving at their destination. It becomes quickly apparent that there is something wrong with the Hårga commune.
There are drugs, murder, rituals, blood, unsavory pastries, and bears. All culminating in a brutal climax. Where in conclusion, the entire group is slaughtered alive and Dani becomes the May queen, as she watches her un-supportive boyfriend burn alive. It is a very dense movie with a lot to unpack.
How Midsommar 2019 uses Foreshadowing
The film gets better with every viewing. As it beautifully uses foreshadowing which makes it a real treat to re-watch. From the very first sequence, the movie actually maps out the trajectory of Dani and Christian’s fate. The most obvious is the mural that appears in the beginning. Right there in the first frame, it is revealed that Pele knew that he was bringing his friends to be offered to the cult. As he ends up being the mastermind behind their demise.
Since we see a camera sweeping through Dani’s childhood house after we find out her sister has killed herself and her parents via carbon monoxide poisoning. You can see a graduation photo adorned with flowers next to her parents’ bedside. Hence, foreshadowing her eventual crowning as the May queen.
In Dani’s apartment, you can also see a giant portrait of a bear with hints at Christian’s fate. There is also the picture of a scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz on the top of the fridge of Christian’s dorm. Hence, also foreshadowing the way they are going to stuff the dead as strawmen. The wizard of Oz has inspired Ari Aster quite a bit. As he told Vulture, “It’s a Wizard of Oz for perverts”.
Even Dani’s last name Ardor hints about everyone’s cursed fate. For instance, the Latin phrase Ardor translates to flame, fire, and heat.
The horrors of the Hårga
The Hårga takes Dani and treats her grief as their own. After going through so much Dani is left surrounded by people that couldn’t give her even a pinch of kindness to comfort her grief. She was cornered by people who she thought were her own. And here the cult Hårga plays a big role in taking control over Dani’s psychology. They treat her as their own, they laugh with her, cry with her, grieve with her. Dani feels like she had finally found a place where she belongs. A place that understands her and is present for her.
Midsommar brainwashes not only Dani but the audience as well. Because we see the last shot of Dani finally being happy and content while she has slaughtered her friends and boyfriend. Because she went through suppressing her emotions for so long that she finally found peace in the violent unsettling nature of the cult.