Review: Midsommar

Midsommar arrives in theaters as director Ari Aster’s follow-up to last year’s surprise horror hit, HereditaryThe 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.


6 points:

Our Scoring System:

Escapist Magazine reviews products based on how well they achieve their overall artistic vision, and what lasting benefit they provide to humanity. Relatively enjoyable products may score low on our scale; conversely products might score high even if they're aren't much fun.

  1. Undeniably unfinished, broken, or devoid of value.
  2. Complete, but with inexcusable flaws.
  3. Suitable for a hardcore fan; otherwise few redeeming virtues.
  4. Some bright spots, but overall a failure of vision.
  5. Gratifying, but has little lasting value.
  6. A strong entry in its category limited by significant flaws.
  7. An excellent experience un-diminished by occasional flaws.
  8. Wide appeal. Minor flaws that can be off-putting.
  9. Very nearly perfect.
  10. Perfect. An undeniable classic.

Bob Chipman

Bob Chipman is a critic and author.