More noise than signal


Republished from the show notes of my other site, Fuds on Film.

This podcast is apparently hosted by the only people in the world who thought that Hereditary was a steaming dungheap of a film, so quite why we are subjecting ourselves to Ari Aster’s follow up feature, Midsommar is a question that would perhaps only reveal the levels of self-loathing we have, rather than any optimism that this would be any less steaming dungheap-like, so let’s not go there.

Let’s go, instead, to Florence Pugh’s Dani Ardor, a PhD student in a strained relationship with Jack Reynor’s Christian Hughes, who tells his friends that he’s looking for an escape strategy. However, tragedy gets in first, with Dani’s sister committing suicide and taking her parents with her.

Still reeling from this, she nonetheless accepts an invitation to accompany Christian and his friends on a trip to Sweden, those friends being William Jackson Harper’s Josh, Will Poulter’s Mark, and finally Vilhelm Blomgren’s Pelle, the Swede whose village we will be visiting. A village that immediately looks like a creepy murder cult, and, well, is a murder cult, just one infused with Nordic folklore, rather than whatever was going on in Hereditary. Witchcraft? I forget, and don’t care enough to look it up.

Look, I’m not going to talk all that much more about this, because, well, I suspected this wasn’t anything I’d like going into it, and I’d had enough of a flavour of it from these two guys to confirm that it wasn’t anything I’d like, so it was no surprise when this became something I didn’t like in short enough order.

I rather wish this was a drama, rather than a horror, because I like a lot of Aster’s visuals and pacing, and there’s some solid character work and I like the actors playing them. However they are put in such a stupid situation that there’s no point caring about them. Why on Earth would I spend even of a fraction of a second trying to get involved in a conflict between Christian and Josh’s ownership of subject matter for a thesis, when we’ve already seen someone’s head being graphically staved in with a mallet and are simply waiting for equivalent atrocities to be perpetrated on our protagonists? Am I supposed to read something deeper into the state of Christian and Dani’s relationship or relationships in general, in the final reels, when both are mashed off their tits on psilocybins? Why on earth would I do that?

Not every film has to be for me. That’s fine. I have no clue who this film would actually be for, but the box office indicates that it’s a lot of you. Shine on, you crazy diamonds, but you are mysteries to me. Vive la différence.