February 23, 2020

The Director Reinventing Horror

“It’s hard to think of Midsommar as a horror movie.

No, not because we use genre-stigmatizing terms that anxiously reclassify great horror films as “thrillers” or “elevated horror” or “post-horror.” And it’s also not because of the film’s unexpected comedic or even rom-com vibes.

What makes it difficult to talk about Midsommar as a horror movie is that, unlike writer/director Ari Aster’s previous hit Hereditary, I did not feel horrified throughout. Instead the primary emotion Midsommar inspires is closer to a pure, compulsory awe, with nearly every scene exuding unbelievable beauty and elation.

It may say more about the critic writing this review than about the film itself, but Midsommar is one of the only horror movies to ever leave me wanting to live in its world forever, rather than relieved to escape it.

Midsommar does present a litany of what should be (or likely for most other people is) deeply disturbing imagery. It utilizes tropes classic to the genre, like an ill-fated trip to a remote location. And admittedly, it’s now a cliché to describe the latest great new horror movie as genre-redefining.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."