Warning: The following review and analysis of Ari Aster’s folk horror movie Midsommar contains extreme spoilers. If you have not yet seen Midsommar, but plan on seeing it, read this article afterwards.
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Separating the Layers
Before I can begin to give my analysis of Ari Aster’s masterpiece folk horror film Midsommar, I have to clear up something with my reading audience which is critical regarding their understanding of my approach. Ari Aster is an accomplished filmmaker and story-teller. Like all good works of film, and like all good stories, Midsommar is a complex work that operates on more than one level at the same time. When these different levels are presented in a finished form, they are all combined; this combination of the various layers, techniques, and messages is the movie as we see it on the screen.
But to perform an analysis of the film and to tease out its many messages and communications, we have to separate these distinctive levels. Midsommar is a horror movie, specifically a folk horror movie, which endears it to me (almost) automatically, for folk horror is my favorite genre of film. There is a certain level of Midsommar that is truly horrific- we can call it the “horror layer” if we want. And this layer is required for the movie to be what it was intended to be: a horror movie. Continue reading