~By Randy Pelish~
The golden age of the Elizabethan theater was followed by a very dark dramatic period. All the hope that Shakespeare reveled in the sinister Jacobean writers would revile. That brings us to the matter of writer/director Ari Aster.
Mr. Aster’s very successful Hereditary, a first time effort, dealt with the succession of power in a coven. It was a frightening exercise in the dark side. I didn’t think it possible for him to create a more wicked setting. I was wrong.
“Midsommar” deals with yet another cult. A pastoral Eden is the setting. Six young people are lured to this paradise hoping to enjoy a respite from their academic regimen while studying this fascinating commune, not unlike those from the hippie movement of the last century.
In fact these six have been chosen by this centuries old cult to play roles in a ritual that will end badly for the guests. The love and comradeship is only a façade. They will find this out too late.
Think of Charles Manson, Jim Jones, or Adolf Hitler and you will have some notion of what is going on in this film. Humans are simply part of a process that preserves the larger society. Once society takes the moral imperative away from the individual the serious killing can begin. In this film it most certainly does.
Mr. Aster is an indifferent observer of this carnage. As an audience we must choose too. We don’t always choose wisely. Too many people have been killed in the name of God.
This movie explores the darkest regions of our souls. It warns us to beware. Too often, like the hapless victims of “Midsommar“, we do not.
I urge you to see this 21st Century Jacobean’s latest. He is a master of the underworld.
“Midsommar” is currently playing at theaters in Reno and Sparks.