Ari Aster’s sequel to the traumatic family horror Hereditary is a lighter affair. Or at least that’s for a film that still begins with a harrowing murder-suicide. Florence Pugh stars as Dani, a girl who lost her parents and sister in said act, and who persuades her asshole boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) to take her with him to a Swedish village where he heads with his Swedish friend to participate in the Midsommar celebrations. Dani’s severe grief is then reinforced by psychedelics, which are slipped into her food, creating a truly nightmarish experience for her. That’s until maybe it’s not.
Aster’s film takes place almost entirely in broad daylight, in an idyll dressed in multicolored flowers, which vibrate to the rhythm of Dani’s troubled spirit. It’s beautiful, gruesome, quite funny, and has an ending to die for.
Director and screenwriter Frank Darabont has gone from directing emotional and highly dramatic adaptations of two Stephen King prison stories (The Shawshank Redemption and The green Line) to that, a rock-’em, sock-’em, no-holds-barred take on King’s famous 1980 short story. interdimensional space contained within allows an unstoppable army of grotesque creatures in our reality to snack on humans and wreak havoc.
Thomas Jane, Toby Jones and others are trapped in a supermarket when the horror begins, and this is where King and Darabont focus on how ordinary people would react to such a calamity, with rational people one side and the rest – led, of course, by a crazed religious fanatic – on the other. As both a microcosm of societal collapse and a monster movie, Darabont’s low-budget thriller works beautifully. The director ends the play on an even darker note than King’s ambiguous original text, adding a nihilistic coda to an already chilling treatise in which it’s unclear which is worse – the monsters outside or within. .