Ari Aster’s MIDSOMMAR Proves That Horror Is A Serious Business

Writer/director Ari Aster’s Midsommar is a mind-bending, genre-defying piece of cinema. Yes, superficially the 2019 release has all the traits of a horror film, but Aster’s movie is much more than that (I won’t use the phrase ‘elevated horror’). It’s richly textured and incredibly well acted. Everyone is great, but the stand-outs are Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor. It’s a career making turn from Pugh, showing that the actress has the talent to go the distance. 

Misdommar owes a debt to the Robin Hardy’s fellow 1973 classic, The Wicker Man, and there are many similarities with that folk fright pic, but this is as much as mediation on grief and an analysis of relationships as it is a horror film. 

The Aster’s director’s cut runs around 2 1/2 hours and while the whole thing works, it does feel a little on the long side. Having said that, a good movie is a good movie, – no matter how long it is. 

With a $9 million budget, Midsommar grossed $27 million at the US box office and $47 million worldwide.