Cormac McCarthy writes in The Road: Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.
Such is the case with Ari Aster’s films Hereditary and Midsommer. Make no mistake about it, these are both very well made films. Perhaps too much so. It isn’t just the visuals – although sawing off one’s own head is hard to forget – but more so in the music, especially in the majestic, almost comic finale of Midsommer,
I want to forget the images of Dani wailing as her boyfriend is roasted in a bear suit, but that damn music by Bobby Krlic keeps creeping back into my head. It’s that good.
Ari Aster’s Midsommer is that rarest of things – a film that refuses to let you be. It is more than a film, a story, a collection of images and sounds, but a place in which you are immersed, to find something real.
Yes, Midsommer is a film with the trappings of horror – ominous music, jump scare tactics, the standard group of unwitting fools and more than enough gruesome imagery – none of which are my thing. No. I don’t like horror.
These elements are rarely implemented in predicable fashion. Rather than focusing on the gruesome images, although there are moments, the atmosphere is the thing.
It boils down to the simplest of questions: What exactly am I watching here ? What the hell is this? What does any of this mean?
It’s not just the captivating imagery, the brooding pace, the sharply rendered dialogue, but the moments dappled into something else, an essential to which there seems no answer.