Midsommar arrives in theaters as director Ari Aster’s follow-up to last year’s surprise horror hit, Hereditary. The film firmly establishes Aster’s bona fides as the “Lucio Fulci of the Pottery Barn” aesthetic but brings us no closer to answering the lingering mystery from his prior feature: Is this guy for real, or is he full of it?
Setting a story about being stuck in a cult in seemingly friendly surroundings feels like a personal filmmaking challenge, with Aster testing to see if the formula still works in a perpetually sunny fairy tale commune of upbeat Swedes instead of somewhere more innately scary. It’s as hard to tell as ever if Aster is shooting for a pretentious person’s idea of a horror film or a horror fan’s idea of pretentiousness. But when it works, Midsommar offers a ghoulishly effective alternative to the usual summer programming. This is MovieBob‘s review.