September 09, 2019
The flaws in this longer version of Ari Aster’s bucolic horror-comedy underline the strengths of the audacious original
Midsommar: Director’s Cut review – extended folk-horror tale is a survivor
Before the arrival of Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Ari Aster’s bucolic horror-comedy Midsommar was the only film in this season’s UK box-office top 20 that wasn’t a sequel, remake or jukebox musical. It happens also to be superior in every way to the same director’s higgledy-piggledy Hereditary, shot through with sly humour, audacious shocks and a savage line in anti-date-movie rhetoric. (If it hasn’t been the catalyst for an improvement worldwide in the behaviour of men toward their wives and girlfriends, then there is no justice.) Though it’s impossible for anyone who’s seen the film to experience afresh its surprises, there is enough scrupulous characterisation and quirks of tone to survive repeat viewings. Whereas the only discernible advantage of a new “director’s cut”, which stitches 24 minutes of additional footage into a film already pushing two-and-a-half hours, is that its weaknesses underline the strengths of the original.
Related: Midsommar review – outrageous black-comic carnival of agony | Peter Bradshaw's film of the week
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