Dear Naughty Valentines — Issue #9

Why I Didn’t Like Midsommar (Movie)

I think I’ve gone over this before, a long time ago, I can’t remember. Either way, I’m doing it again. This is mostly because I keep seeing praise for this movie when for the life of me I can’t understand why. This review/rant (whatever you want to call it) is going to be filled with spoilers. If you haven’t seen this movie and for some reason still want to (and I don’t know why that would be) then feel free to skip.

Let’s start with the fact that I believe the movie is like two and a half hours long. I know it could have been an hour shorter than it was because a lot of it seemed to be real pointless filler of the lead character crying. Now, I have no problem with the fact that she cried, but I mean it wasn’t normal crying. It was this weird cry/screaming panic attack thing. Not once, not a few times, but literally every single time she cried. It was way over the top dramatic.

Don’t get me wrong, the first few times I totally get why she was that devastated. I think anyone would be. Her sister murdered her parents and then killed herself and so the lead girl, Dani, was left all alone. Anyone would freak the fuck out over that. However, I don’t think any other literal time it was brought up like a year later they would do the same level of freaking out? I mean, it was just so over the top. Any time something didn’t go her way or she was mildly inconvenienced she got this cry screaming hyperventilating shit going that was just so hard to feel bad about. It was impossible for me to have empathy for her.

On top of that, she has this boyfriend who was going to break up with her but then didn’t because her parents and sister died? And Dani loved to dump all of her problems onto this guy when really, seriously, she should have been seeing a therapist. The movie some how implies she might have been (as at the beginning and only once) did she take a prescription sedative but then after that she was just all over her boyfriend with her problems. Once again, I get that if you love someone and want to be in a relationship with them you should also share your problems and seek comfort with them but she was expecting way too much from this guy and the relationship was toxic from both sides from the start. A lot of people seem to act like it was *just* the guy who was awful but no they were both awful people.

Then her boyfriend wants to go to Sweden for this thing. A class anthropology study or something for college. It’s been like a year I don’t remember everything. Anyway, at first Dani is fine with him going by himself but then basically shoves her way onto the guest list by cry screaming a lot and demanding that she be able to go. It’s so freaking annoying and she’s the big Debbie Downer of the whole situation.

They get to Sweden for this Midsommar festival thing and immediately do shrooms or something. Everyone else is pretty chill with it except, of course, Dani. She does her freaking out cry screaming thing again. Blah blah blah. There’s a dinner that honors some old people, after which said old people go to a cliff and jump off of it to commit suicide and the scene is graphic and shocking and creepy. I’ll give them that. However, it takes the movie an hour of crappy filler and nonsense just to get to this point and on top of that, this is where it starts to become insanely unrealistic.

Other than Dani and her boyfriend being there, we have another dude who wants to study this “tribe” (commune) whatever, of Swedish people for his thesis and then another guy who is just a douche. A typical American who doesn’t respect anyone’s culture type douche. On top of that there are two other tourists who are there for some reason they are from England I think. I don’t know but they aren’t American.

Now, let’s look at this situation here. The place they go to visit is this isolated commune in Sweden that is some kind of mysterious/primitive group living off the land. I guess you could say it’s kinda similar to how the Amish are here. That’s fine, I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the fact that the Swedish guy who invited all of the Americans, like…didn’t these people tell everyone where they were going? What they were doing? Where they were going to be? Same with the Brits. Even if the location of the little commune city was super secret, there would be a record of all of these people traveling to Sweden. Just keep that in mind as we go forward.

Right, so after the suicide thing where the old people jump from the cliff and smash their faces on rocks and die, the Brits want to leave (understandably) cause it’s fucked up. Dani I guess is just okay with it? Same with her friends who are like “Oh this is just part of their culture it’s totes interesting”. They watch the whole thing by the way and in my opinion the only people who had reasonable reactions to this were the Brits. Anyone who isn’t a complete psychopath would have reacted badly to that and you’d think that Dani would have especially freaked out, far more than she did, because of how her parents and sister died but whatever okay I guess not.

From there the movie just kind of devolves into a whole thing were each person vanishes one by one but you know they are being killed by the commune people. Eventually, the boyfriend of Dani is drugged and forced to have sex with some girl who put her pubes in his food, which I guess no one found weird either even though Dani was there when it happened. They try to distract Dani from finding out that her boyfriend is doing this but she finds out anyway. Without any questioning as to why he’s fucking this girl or what transpired for this to happen or really being a rational person whatsoever, she just starts cry screaming. It’s beyond her to ask “what the fuck” like any normal person would do and she just follows the others like an idiot moron while they join her in cry screaming.

Eventually, everyone is burned in some giant fire pit because of a solstice ritual, except Dani, who is happy with this because yay her toxic boyfriend died? Even though he really didn’t deserve what happened to him? I can’t disagree that the others kinda had it coming with what they had done but the boyfriend was literally drugged and couldn’t even consent to this sex ritual but without asking any questions about it Dani is like BURN HIM ALIVE ANYWAY HAHAHAHA GIRL POWER or something.

Okay so even if we ignore all of this, we have to come back to the idea that once again, two British tourists and four Americans all connected to this ONE TRIBE IN SWEDEN suddenly vanish. No one notices? Seriously? It’s also implied that this is done every year because they need to bring in outside blood to stop the really gross inbreeding problem they have. I’m sorry but how in the world are the authorities not figuring out what’s going on here? You’d think because of the repeated patterns of people going to Sweden at a certain time of year connected to one specific family the whole time that law enforcement would eventually figure out what was going on and put a stop to it.

Though the movie had some creepy elements and I guess pretty good visuals, the acting, the story, and everything else was just atrocious. No one behaved like normal people in this situation would behave. No one did anything that made any sense (other than the British people) and I find it hard to believe that no one in America would ever figure out where Dani and her four guy friends vanished to. People would be looking for them. People would have information. People would know. As to why this movie gets so much praise, it’s beyond me. Other than it being “pretty” (in a visual sense) the rest of it is a train wreck. My conclusion is that we need to stop letting Studio A24 put out what they are calling horror movies. I’ve never once seen anything good come from that place and don’t get me started on how terrible It Comes At Night Was.

Now, obviously, this is just my opinion. People are free to disagree with me and that’s fine. I know a lot of people like this movie and they are allowed to but I wish someone could just explain to me why it’s so popular. What I hear constantly is that it should be praised because it’s some kind of ARTHOUSE film and it’s BEAUTIFUL and blah blah blah. No. I want my horror to be horror. I don’t want it to be pretty and experimental and NOT HORROR. If Midsommar wasn’t billed as horror maybe I’d have less of a problem with it. I can do weird horror, I can totally get on board with metaphorical and interpretive horror (like the movie Come True). Midsommar isn’t that. It’s just…a pile of crap covered in pretty flowers and good looking Swedish people. If this is what “good horror” has become then I don’t want any part of it.

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Nadia Valentine

Nadia Valentine

Author, screenwriter, snarky realist and horror expert!