How Midsommar Made Horror Out of a Less Scary Festival
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How Midsommar Made Horror Out of a Less Scary Festival

Psychology student Dani (Florence Pugh) is traumatized after her troubled sister commits suicide and their parents by filling the house with carbon monoxide, which adds to the strain on her relationship with her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor). Christian plans to break up with her but delays the decision due to the sudden tragedy, leading to another point of friction.

Christian and his friends Mark (Will Poulter) and Josh (William Jackson Harper) have been invited together by a Swedish friend Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) to attend a summer solstice celebration in the rural commune where he grew up in Hälsingland, Sweden. Dani is really annoyed that he wasn’t invited and, despite his friends’ doubts, Christian reluctantly says he can come too.

They arrive at a secluded commune and things seem pretty chilly at first. The people are relaxed and friendly, the setting is gorgeous, and there’s plenty of time to hang out in the shrooms and soak up the hours of sunshine, which puts the whole village in an eerie glow.

Things take a gruesome turn when visitors witness a ritual in which two elderly members of the commune willingly jump off a high cliff to their deaths. They decide this isn’t cool and consider leaving, but Dani and Christian discover that there is an ulterior motive for their invitation to the festival. Meanwhile, their friends suffer a series of gruesome deaths, before Dani realizes that there may be a place for him in the commune despite all the horrors.

Aster has done his research for “Midsommar” but he doesn’t have a firm grip on what makes folk horror as a genre so dangerous. He couldn’t help but throw in some forensically disturbing gore, which only served to destroy the great atmosphere he had originally created.