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Ari Aster’s Midsommar is a true thriller

There are spoilers in this review. This movie is for mature/ adult audiences.
Photo Credit: Photo via A24 under Creative Commons Licence
Pictured is the official movie poster for Midsommar, which was released in July of 2019. It perfectly harnesses Florence Pugh’s raw emotion in the film. When watching the movie, look closely for Easter Eggs in the backgrounds which foreshadow events.

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s only right to talk about one of the folk movie industry’s most gut-wrenching films: Midsommar. Producer Ari Aster’s 2019 folk horror film kept watchers on their toes until its closing credits.

Midsommar synopsis

The movie begins with a very ornate tapestry that will be imperative to the progression of the film. Then, the action starts with the main character, Dani. Her sister had killed herself and Dani’s parents, leading Dani to go into a deep depression.

Her relationship with her boyfriend Christian was already going south, and this puts even more of a strain on it. Christian reluctantly decides to bring Dani on his trip to Sweden with his friends. One of the people in the group, Pelle, is native to Sweden. He coerces the group to visit his home “village” in a secluded forest.

Upon arrival, Dani and the group take hallucinogenic drugs for the duration of the trip. This causes their sense of reality to be skewed. It is ultimately revealed to the characters that this “village” is a cult after they watch a ritual in which the elders jump from a cliff, killing themselves.

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Each of the group’s original members begin to disappear one by one until only Christian and Dani remain. However, after winning May Queen in the village, Dani fully succumbs to the cult and their ideals. However, Christian is so disoriented from the drugs given to him that he gets forced to participate in a sex ritual of the cult. Eventually, Dani is the only original member of the group remaining. The movie ends with her as the cult’s new leader.

Hidden meanings

Aster incorporates Easter eggs in Midsommar that essentially say what’s going to happen for the rest of the movie. For example, the tapestry shown at the very opening of the film shows every single thing that’s going to take place for the rest of the movie.

It shows the group entering the village, the elders jumping from the cliff, the deaths of everyone in the group, and even Dani being crowned May Queen. During the May Queen scene, look in the bushes in the back to find a tree version of Dani’s sister with the tube in her mouth. Another example, the final scene of the movie ends with Dani flashing a sinister smile. The sun in this tapestry is smiling in the exact same way Dani is at the end of the film.

There are other hidden images throughout the movie. There are other tapestries hanging up in the homes of the characters that further depict scenes in the movie. For example, there is a picture of a little girl and a bear in Dani’s apartment and a tapestry of a bear in the guests’ house in Sweden. This foreshadows Christian’s death later in the film. There are so many other details in the film for viewers to spot.

Psychology in Midsommar

The psychological aspect of Midsommar must be up for discussion. We see from the beginning that Dani is mentally unstable after the deaths in her family. This may leave her feeling alone and essentially abandoned. Her boyfriend didn’t offer her much support either after their deaths. Leaving her feeling unwanted, this may have been why she was so susceptible to the cult and embraced their ideals so easily.

This film also messes with the minds of the viewers as well. The use of dark colors in the beginning signifies that the movie is off to a negative beginning. However, the use of vibrant colors in the village makes viewers believe that things will get better for Dani. The visuals in the movie are often misleading. The plants in the background move and change shape while the group is under the influence of drugs. This simulates the feelings of hallucinogens to the viewers.


Florence Pugh starred in this film as the main character, Dani. She put on a great performance, showing raw emotions from beginning to end. By the film’s end, we are fully convinced that she is converted to the ways of the cult. Aster deserves commendation as well. He messes with the minds of his viewers constantly in this psychological masterpiece. His attention to detail is impeccable. Some of his tactics are so unorthodox to viewers that it leaves them on the edges of their seats.

In terms of the movie, Midsommar won several awards including Best Original Score for the Ivor Novello Awards, and the Virtuoso Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

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About the Contributor
Dylan DaCunha
Dylan DaCunha, Editor-in-Chief
Dylan DaCunha is a senior at Colonia High School. She has enjoyed writing all her life, going all the way back to elementary school. She plays softball and has big aspirations to play in college, which is what fuels her passion for writing about sports. She’s an avid baseball fan which doesn’t hurt either. Not only does she play softball at CHS, but she’s an active member in multiple honor societies including Quill & Scroll Media Honor Society. She loves maintaining good grades in order to participate in these activities. Outside of school, she enjoys being with her friends as well as watching movies and listening to music. She plans on traveling the world someday and taking in as much as she can. Her favorite quote, by singer Harry Styles, is “If you’re happy doing what you’re doing nobody can tell you you’re not successful.”   

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Ari Aster’s Midsommar is a true thriller