Let’s see if we have a classic.
We follow a group of strangers who have decided to carpool together (like a group Uber thing) and a crash leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere with the road suddenly disappearing. Now, they find themselves trapped in a dense forest with a dangerous cult around them.
This movie may have found the best reason to have people together who would never hang out in real life. I could see many other films dropping these same characters into the story as old friends, which is completely preposterous. Our lead, Elise (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) is pregnant, and her mother is pressuring her into getting an abortion. All throughout the trip, Elise sees images of children and families mixed with religious guilt. This theme goes nowhere.
Throughout the trip portion we get to know the characters. Many of them are atrocious. Mark (Will Merrick) might win the “biggest dickhead in a horror film” for 2021 but I’d have to compare notes to be 100% sure. It is a damn shame that a movie seems to know how to avoid some issues ends up making completely terrible characters.
I guess once again we need to have our common lesson: if the viewer wants to see the characters die the horror movie has failed. No matter what else works, if the characters are garbage the movie does not work.
To be fair, we have a bit of a mixed bag with the characters, but it is still a major problem.
The sets and villains are great. There is an excellent level of tension and horror here. The bummer is that the characters drag everything down. I’m not knocking any of the actors, they all played their parts well, but we end up with so many dickheads (mainly the men) that it is hard to invest.
This one plays like an homage to The Hills Have Eyes or Silent Hill. What drives me nuts is that this film has so much going for it with the cool imagery and ideas that it should be one of the best of the year. Yet, it just gives up in the final act and becomes a caricature of itself.
The mystery of what is going on is interesting. The cult, and why they operate the way they do, is a mystery worth watching. There’s plenty of good stuff here to love, but not enough to redeem the film as a whole. The problem is that there are better movies doing the same thing. Midsommar does everything this film wants to do in a better way.
The cool imagery is not enough to save this one. The final act drives this one into the ground.