In this unapologetic horror film rip-off of classics like The Wicker Man, Jack Reynor and Florence Pugh play American college students Christian and Dani, a boyfriend+girlfriend combo that doesn’t really work anymore. Dani is having “family problems”, but Christian doesn’t want any part of that (or of her). Christian is a slacker–He’s too lazy to break-up with the “overly-needy” Dani, and too lazy to come up with a doctoral thesis of his own. Christian is a procrastinator of the worst sort. Don’t be like Christian.
Amid their relationship of discontent, a fellow classmate invites the couple and a few friends to visit Sweden for summer solstice, to take part in his commune’s drug-ladened, pagan celebrations and meet the extended family. Fiction doesn’t have to always be believable, but Midsommar stretches that license to unbelievable extremes?
Some related horror to watch if you liked Midsommar:
Motel Hell — for planting humans in a vegetable garden with the hope they’ll grow or at least fertilize the other plants. The Cabin in the Woods — for sacrificing a group of young men and women to appease the gods, ignoring for a moment that they all brought cell phones which will lead Swedish police straight to your unholy garden. The Hotel New Hampshire — for thinking a person in a bear suit is ever the least bit entertaining.
Venue: SIFF Uptown
Genres: Drama, Horror
Assume for a moment that none of this story is true. That it’s the product of over-active imagination and a team of Hollywood screenwriters run amok. Given that, why is there so much desertion from the German military, and so much talk about looting? Neither concept breathes any sympathy into the story’s already-unsympathetic characters. A man, in attempt to evade his aggressors, masquerades in plain sight as the type of monster from which he’s running. After a while, I started rooting against The Captain and wishing he’d surrender before raining any more carnage down upon those around him. The captain never stops fighting for his survival though.
In April 1945, a corporal in the German army named Willi Herold became separated from his unit. Shortly thereafter, he hooked up with a bunch of other deserters. Together they occupied an Emsland camp and began ordering the execution of its prisoners. 18 months later, after Herold’s capture by the British, he was guillotined for his war crimes.
In Willi Herold’s case, there’s no screenplay with notes in the margin to explain why he did what he did. According to a PBS story from a few years back, army deserters rarely face prosecution. My feeling is that such cases are often handled by the internal command structure of a post, making it hard to see any commonalities of cause from the outside. A more recent case involving Bowe Bergdahl resulted in no prison time and has been, in contrast, heavily reported on–The verdict still being contested.