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“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.”
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