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Ari Aster
Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren
Writing Credits:
Ari Aster

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival, where an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$6,560,030 on 2707 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 147 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 10/8/2019

• “Let the Festivities Begin” Featurette
• “Bear In a Cage” Promo
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer.


Midsommar [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 2, 2019)

Though 2018’s Hereditary didn’t set box offices ablaze, it turned a profit and earned great reviews. The feature debut from writer/director Ari Aster, the movie set him up as a talent to watch, and he returns with 2019’s Midsommar.

Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) find their relationship on the rocks. After a family tragedy traumatizes Dani, she clings to Christian and invites herself on a visit to a summer festival in a remote part of Sweden along with him and his friends.

An event that occurs every 90 years, Dani initially enjoys this warm, sunny respite from her pain. However, matters gradually turn more unnerving, as Dani finds herself amidst unanticipated threats.

Apparently every young director who enjoys some critical success now gets called “visionary”. A while back, I saw that appellation attached to no fewer than three filmmakers during previews, and Lionsgate tosses that term at Aster to promote Midsommar.

I guess “visionary” brings such a broad concept that it can apply to nearly anybody. It feels like it sets up Aster and the others for failure, though, as it promises greatness awfully early in their cinematic careers.

Perhaps I’d embrace these claims if I liked Aster’s movies more than I do. While I thought Hereditary offered a good horror flick, I didn’t think it merited the praise it received.

That goes double – or triple – for Midsommar. Critics loved it, but I can’t figure out why, as the movie feels pointless to me.

Aster proves himself to be a meticulous filmmaker, as the viewer can feel the effort involved. He clearly plans every shot to the finest detail and leaves nothing to chance.

While I appreciate the effort involved, the final result feels bloodless. Not literally, of course, as Midsommar boasts some gory scenes, but the movie never shows a pulse.

I get that Aster wants to create a movie heavy on atmosphere and light on overt terror. I respect those choices – God knows I complain enough about films that rely on cheap jump scares.

Unfortunately, Aster barely manages anything other than moody ambience here. While the average horror flick clocks in around 90 minutes, Midsommar stretches to almost two and a half hours, and it fails to use that real estate in a satisfying manner.

Aster seems to believe that a long film equals a serious, epic film, but that doesn’t seem true. In this instance, the movie’s length simply creates boredom, as we find massive chunks that could be lost and never missed.

The “slow boil” approach to horror worked in Hereditary, but in Midsommar, matters simply become dull. Aster doesn’t know when to say when, so shots and scenes extend far past their natural conclusion.

It doesn’t help that even when the movie opts for actual terror and not just creepy atmosphere, it doesn’t work. Midsommar comes across as silly more than scary.

Self-conscious and pretentious, not much about Midsommar works. Perhaps Aster will rebound with his next movie, but right now, I can’t embrace his status as a “visionary” – not until he learns to tell a compelling story, at least.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Midsommar appears in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image satisfied.

Sharpness almost always appeared solid. A few wider shots betrayed a smidgen of softness, but these occasions remained minor and infrequent.

No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws didn’t mar the presentation.

Though the film’s opening scenes went with a heavy orange/teal orientation, matters became airier when the movie went to Sweden. These scenes dominated the production and showed a mix of sunny tones and pale blues, all of which worked fine within the visual choices.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, and low-light shots brought appealing clarity. Expect a solid transfer here.

Unsurprisingly, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack emphasized atmospheric information, as the movie’s tone focused on a spooky vibe. Some more engaging elements did appear, though.

In particular, a lot of localized dialogue occurred, and other creepy effects cropped up in appropriate spots. These all melded together well to create a subdued but engaging soundscape.

Audio quality satisfied, with speech that felt natural and concise. Music was warm and full as well.

Effects rarely stood out as impactful, but they showed positive clarity and range, with good oomph as necessary. Though not a showcase mix, the audio suited the film.

Only minor extras appear here, and Let the Festivities Begin: Manifesting Midsommar becomes the most significant one. A 24-minute, 53-second featurette, it offers notes from writer/director Ari Aster, production designer Henrik Svensson, costume designer Andrea Flesch, and actors Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Vilhelm Blomgren, Henrik Norlen and Isabelle Grill.

“Begin” examines the project’s roots and development, story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, the film’s invented culture, photography and choreography, and related topics.

While it offers decent details, an awful lot of “Begin” veers toward happy talk. There’s enough content to make it worth a look, but don’t expect much substance.

Bear in a Cage Promo runs one minute, one second. It’s a comedic attempt to promote the film, and it’s more entertaining than the movie itself.

The disc opens with ads for High Life, The Last Black Man In San Francisco, and Hereditary. No trailer for Midsommar appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Midsommar. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

After a promising debut, Ari Aster crashes with the pretentious Midsommar. Slow and silly, the movie goes nowhere. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio as well as minor supplements. Midsommar turns into a disappointment.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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