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  5. Midsommar, Village of the Damned – Review of the new film by the director of Hereditary

Midsommar, Village of the Damned – Review of the new film by the director of Hereditary

Midsommar, Village of the Damned – Review of the new film by the director of Hereditary

A disturbing horror, a unique author. Our review of Midsommar – Village of the Damned, the highly anticipated new film by Ari Aster,

Dani (Florence Pugh), a college student with anxiety problems, and boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) are in the process of separating. But when a horrible tragedy strikes the girl, the two decide to continue their relationship. In an effort to overcome the grief, Dani follows Christian and his friends on a journey to the ancient commune of Harga in the Swedish Hälsingland at the invitation of Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), Christian’s university friend and a native, where they will participate in a sacred 9-day midsummer celebration that takes place every 90 years. But this land of eternal light holds more than a secret, and what was supposed to be a dream experience will soon take the turns of a psychedelic nightmare.

Just a year after his dazzling debut with Hereditary, Ari Aster returns to the cinema with Midsommar – The Village of the Damned, a bucolic horror halfway between Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man and Andrej Tarkovskij’s Sacrifice, with a good dose of references to Ingmar Bergman’s cinema, much loved by the director. A folk-horror for the backpackers generation, Midsommar retains all the elements (and professionals) that have already made Hereditary a classic: Ari Astercruel, sporadic but intelligent violence, an excellent protagonist (Florence Pugh replaces Toni Colette in the best interpretation of her young career), the subtle construction of a sense of unease, thanks above all to the winning collaboration between the director and his DOP of trust Pawel Pogorzelski.

A film about the end of a relationship that becomes a clever satire (albeit pleonastic) on the relationships between the sexes, on toxic masculinity at war with the ancient mysteries of the female *** and on the modern culture of detachment and self-centeredness, contrasted with archaic visions of unity and a society of sharing and empathy. Dedicated, ironically, to obscene and violent pagan rituals.

The detachment from the first film, beyond the renunciation of an icy setting in favor of a new warm and bright but alien, at times claustrophobic light, is the almost maniacal attention that Aster places on detail, which manifests itself in a more evident in the well-kept scenography by Henrik Svennson, who acts as a real narrator within the film. This passion for the particular, for the hidden element, plays against a story and a setting that would have needed to be explored more carefully, or at least not left to the imagination of the viewer, all the more so considering that the excessive length of the film would have given ample opportunity to answer some questions or points of interest.

But beyond that, Midsommar remains a valid filmwhich embraces its genre nature while managing to go beyond the simple horror story, into an obscene and psychedelic bacchanal that confirms the talent and fresh intelligence of its young director and the artistic possibilities for the contemporary horror scene. .