Magazine August 12, 2019, Issue

Midsommar Casts a Transfixing Scandinavian Spell

Florence Pugh in Midsommar (A24)

Here is a case against Midsommar, a deliberate, artful horror trip from the young director Ari Aster. The movie’s pagan-commune plot is clearly derivative of the horror classic The Wicker Man — the brilliant 1973 version, not the atrocious Nicolas Cage remake. The movie develops in a resolutely unsurprising way: What appears to be going on is what is going on, without any twist or complication. The major characters, who fail to realize the obvious, are necessarily thinly drawn, performing types without discovering a real psychology. Aster obviously loves his curated set-pieces, his gorgeously shot gore, more than he cares

This article appears as “Sun-Drenched Horror” in the August 12, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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