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I HATED this film. It is technically well-made and well acted, but it is an example of style over substance. I didn’t care about these characters at all. The “scary” parts made me laugh out loud in the theater because they were so over-the-top. I liked Hereditary, but this was too much of a retread of The Wicker Man with some Kubrick references thrown in. I almost walked out but decided to wait for the “crazy” ending. I should have just left.

On the plus side, there is definitely enough here to make a solid episode. What did you all think?

 

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22 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

I HATED this film. It is technically well-made and well acted, but it is an example of style over substance. I didn’t care about these characters at all. The “scary” parts made me laugh out loud in the theater because they were so over-the-top. I liked Hereditary, but this was too much of a retread of The Wicker Man with some Kubrick references thrown in. I almost walked out but decided to wait for the “crazy” ending. I should have just left.

On the plus side, there is definitely enough here to make a solid episode. What did you all think?

 

I found it very effective and enjoyable, insofar as one can enjoy such a thing. Sorry dude! I don't think it was a perfect movie by any means, nor as good as Hereditary, but then Hereditary was also more of a surprise and that counts for a lot with me. I liked the idea with both films of taking a horror classic (The Exorcist and The Wicker Man) and dressing them in a new skin. The director was saying in an interview I read that he wants to explore all kinds of genres, so I don't know if he plans on doing more of these horror remixes, but if he does I'd love to see what he could do with, say, early Cronenberg.

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I actually liked this a bit more than Hereditary, as it was a bit clearer in what was going on, although some of the character choices made after the midway point are very tropeish for horror movies. I will say I was amazed that there was no argument/fistfight between the female lead or her boyfriend and the friend who was working on his thesis who clearly knew what the cliff lunch was all about, but didn't inform her even knowing what she was recently dealing with in regards to what happened to her family. It might possibly be one of the biggest dick moves in all of movie history.

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I didn’t think William Jackson Harper (the guy from The Good Place, which is great)’s character knew that the cliff jump was part of their rituals. I think he was drawn to the mystery of the group and the fact that they were so secretive, the appeal being that he would be the first person to really write about the inner workings of this cult. The cliff scene shocked him as much as anyone.

On the other hand, I could be wrong about that because the movie started falling apart for me at the cliff sequence (and so I wasn’t paying super-close attention).  The idea of horror in the daylight works as a concept for me, but this movie made it into a cartoon. 

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I agree. 

I don't think this movie is bad enough to do on the podcast, but it's definitely just a ripoff of movies like The Wicker Man. I think there's actually a lot of interesting things to discuss (the girlfriend character was from this community, right? That's why she speaks Swedish at the end?) But, I felt the same way about hereditary. I laughed my ass off when the head flew off. I did get scared by the end, but I was also like, "isn't this just Rosemary's baby, with a slightly older child and more willing adult?"

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On 8/13/2019 at 2:39 PM, GrahamS. said:

I didn’t think William Jackson Harper (the guy from The Good Place, which is great)’s character knew that the cliff jump was part of their rituals. I think he was drawn to the mystery of the group and the fact that they were so secretive, the appeal being that he would be the first person to really write about the inner workings of this cult. The cliff scene shocked him as much as anyone.

On the other hand, I could be wrong about that because the movie started falling apart for me at the cliff sequence (and so I wasn’t paying super-close attention).  The idea of horror in the daylight works as a concept for me, but this movie made it into a cartoon. 

The friend knew what was going to happen once they told him the name of the ritual, which is why he asked them to repeat the word to confirm it, and was looking like he was gonna cream his jeans knowing what he would see. It was an uber dick move in the vein of taking someone to a donkey show and telling them it was a singalong instead of what it really is.

On 10/13/2019 at 7:30 PM, Kothel said:

I agree. 

I don't think this movie is bad enough to do on the podcast, but it's definitely just a ripoff of movies like The Wicker Man. I think there's actually a lot of interesting things to discuss (the girlfriend character was from this community, right? That's why she speaks Swedish at the end?) But, I felt the same way about hereditary. I laughed my ass off when the head flew off. I did get scared by the end, but I was also like, "isn't this just Rosemary's baby, with a slightly older child and more willing adult?"

The girlfriend wasn't from the community but had started to know the language through osmosis by ingratiating themselves in that village like they did, plus I assume the various spells/drugs they were using throughout their visit. The person from the village was the male friend of the boyfriend who at times seemed like he was hitting on the girlfriend when they were talking alone.

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My main problem with this movie—which took me awhile to realize—is that it uses a real mental illness that unfortunately has a stigma to put the whole movie in motion. The unseen sister—who murders the protagonists entire family—is mentioned as being bi-polar. 

A good number of people in the U.S. are bi-polar. The majority of them don’t murder their families. Movies and TV shows that sprinkle mental illness on their plots to make events more dramatic are annoying at best and harmful at worst. There was no solid reason in Midsommar why the sister had to be bi-polar. The only reason I can think of to have it is that Florence Pugh’s character seems mentally unstable at the outset and depression and bi-polar run in families.

This detail could have been developed in an interesting way, but nothing was done with it. Unlike Hereditary, it really felt to me like we weren’t really allowed to see the movies’ events through the protagonist’s head. The film kept her—and all of the characters—at arms length.

The film was interesting enough to keep me engaged for about half of its length, and although its use of mental illness as a plot device bugged me from the get-go, I was initially willing to ignore it. it wasn’t until the final third, where the film really didn’t seem to have anything coherent to say about grief or mental illness or romantic relationships (despite acting like it was), that I began to resent it for being an empty vessel and its use of mental illness felt especially cheap. 

If you enjoy the style behind it, and like it, cool! For me, it’s the definition of “the emperor has no clothes,” and I never want to watch it again.

P.S. Not trying to put people on the defensive for liking it. this realization of WHY I disliked it so much only occurred to me over two months after I’d seen it (and initially posted about it).

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The message of grief always being at the focal point of the main character's arc had a couple of layers that only got revealed months after release, like how the image of the dead sister is hidden in the environment at various points of the film showing that it's still a big part of what that character is going through all while trying . I will say this was a lot more upfront about what was going to happen in comparison to Hereditary which hid it's clues way too well for many people. I mean the opening scene is a tapestry that basically shows the whole plot of the movie and another that shows how the village sister is tempting the boyfriend by use of old school potions. It is like the director got a note about making this more film more approachable for audiences, but he took it too far in the opposite direction outside of a couple things like the hidden images of the sister.

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On 10/17/2019 at 8:57 PM, RyanSz said:

The girlfriend wasn't from the community but had started to know the language through osmosis by ingratiating themselves in that village like they did, plus I assume the various spells/drugs they were using throughout their visit. The person from the village was the male friend of the boyfriend who at times seemed like he was hitting on the girlfriend when they were talking alone

Well obviously the Swedish friend was from the community! He was explaining all the circumstances. He said it like a million times. That makes it seem like I didn't actually watch the movie. I'm positing a theory. I think the main girl was one of many women put out into the society at a very young age only to be brought back for the ritual. Like some kind of reverse rumspringa. I don't think there's anyway she could speak the language that fluently after like six days. She also bought into the system too fast. Maybe the drugs are an explanation, but I like my theory better. I also don't think her "sister" killed herself. I think the community did that to disorient her and create the right circumstances for her to be Queen of Summer or whatever it was. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just saying I think that makes it more interesting. 

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