ParkReviews’s review published on Letterboxd:
Horror filmmakers, take notes. Ari Aster currently owns you all.
If you loved Hereditary, you’ll have a hell of a good time witnessing this on screen. If you weren’t on the Hereditary train, I can’t say this will change your mind. It’s now clear that Aster has a very specific style of his own.
These aren’t jump scare Conjuring universe films. These are Ari Aster films. Which means they’re slower in pace but rely heavily on the dread and the unsettling. They portray grounded, realistic themes that are wrapped around a centerpiece of true evil— themes of families and relationships and the baggage that comes along with them, including the rough elements of guilt, grief, self-hatred, and tragedy. And Aster makes you truly feel them. When you’re watching, you’re suffering with these people.
From a technical standpoint, Midsommar has it all. The editing, sound design, color temperatures, shot composition, framing, camera movement, everything— each and every shot is just flowing with pure creativity and no matter what happens to be going on in the film these aspects alone demand your interest. And then there’s the writing— how someone can be this talented is simply beyond me. The film is longer than Hereditary by roughly 15-20 minutes, which I’ve heard has turned off some people, but the story is structured in such a way that even when nothing is happening, something is just about to. There are 2-3 minute periods where you’re wondering what could possibly happen next, and then it hits you, over and over again until the credits roll. Just when you think the film is at a stopping point, it quickly proves you wrong. Just a word of advice: Use the restroom before you go into the theater, because you’ll end up not wanting to walk out. If you do, I can almost guarantee you’ll miss something.
And the performances. My god. We have another phenomenal female lead in the form of Florence Pugh, who I can honestly say gives Toni Collete a run for her money in this. Her talent displayed throughout Midsommar is jaw droppingly impressive, and just as in Hereditary, Aster makes sure the supporting characters don’t just fade into the background— they’re all superb and play their part in piecing the film together into something truly special.
Midsommar is weird as hell. It’s colorful, it’s deeply disturbing, and it’s as bright and sunny as it is horrifyingly dark. For two and a half hours, it screams in your face with gorgeous creativity and truly unsettling evil. There’s absolutely nothing like it.