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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Asks subtle questions about how devoted we are to others vs. our own needs; could a truly supportive network, despite its flaws, be better than not connecting at all?
Positive Role Models
No real role models here. Most characters, while human and flawed, show that they're capable of doing iffy to downright despicable things.
Violence & Scariness
Gory, grisly violence; some involves potentially disturbing rituals. Characters jump from high cliff and splatter on ground. Character's face bashed in with wooden mallet. Gory, smashed faces shown. A character dies via suicide (by running a tube from a car's exhaust pipe to her mouth). Body found hanging from rafters, torso torn open, lungs ripped out. Character knocked out with blunt object and dragged away, leaving blood trail. Deaths; several bodies are burned, including some burned alive. People scoop intestines out of dead bear. Drawing of a woman bleeding from her vagina into a cup. Scary nightmare scene. Ritual cutting of hands, with blood. Arguing, screaming, vomiting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Both men and women shown naked -- full-frontal nudity. Characters have sex while others chant nearby, emulating moaning noises. Kissing. Drawing of a woman cutting her pubic hair. Close-up drawing of a vagina. Pubic hair found in food. Men gaze at women. Some sex-related talk. Brief discussions of incest/inbreeding.
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Many uses of "f--k" or "f---ing." Also "s--t," "bulls--t," "bitch," "hell," "d--k," "piss," "jerk off," "sucks," "oh my God," "Jesus Christ."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters eat "magic mushrooms" and get high (trees ripple back and forth and appear to be breathing). Characters are given other kinds of drugs or hallucinogens during ceremonies. Character takes prescription Ativan tablet for anxiety. Beers at party, social drinking. Characters smoke e-cigarettes, cigarettes, and a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Midsommar is an extremely violent horror movie from the maker of Hereditary. It involves a sinister, ages-old ceremony that includes disturbing rituals. Characters are beaten and smashed, and bodies are cut up and burned (in some cases, alive). A character dies via suicide, bodies splatter on the ground, gory/smashed faces are shown, a body is found hanging from the rafters with the torso torn open, a dead bear is cut open, and more. There's also a nightmare sequence, vomiting, and general screaming and arguing. There's both male and female full-frontal nudity, as well as a fairly graphic sex scene and kissing. A close-up drawing of a vagina is shown as part of a "love" ritual. Language includes several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "oh my God," and more. Characters take hallucinogenic mushrooms and are given several other kinds of mysterious drugs; some use e-cigarettes and smoke cigarettes and a pipe. Beers are shown at a party. This is a first-class entry in the horror genre, but it's very mature and isn't for young viewers. Note: This review is for the R-rated version of the film; an unrated director's cut is also available and may include additional content not covered here. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Set in broad daylight, during the time of Northern Europe's midnight sun, this horror movie isn't about getting the creeps so much as it is about the slow, methodical unmasking of horrors most human. With Midsommar, writer/director Ari Aster (Hereditary) proves himself an upper-crust genre filmmaker, like Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) and Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse). He goes beyond jump scares, hauntings, and moody atmospheres into something deeper and longer-reaching. The movie, which echoes The Wicker Man but travels in its own direction, is complex enough to consider that the ages-old Swedish rituals may actually have their own kind of logic, which might be superior to the self-serving, entitled attitudes of the Western visitors.
Yet Aster is smart enough and tricky enough that he lures viewers through Midsommar's 140 minutes with effortless grace; his characters are flawed, but they're human, and they have traits that make them endearing. Their trials and thought processes have intrinsic logic, yet the locals -- clad in their white, flower-edged gowns and crowns of leaves -- are also unfailingly logical. Aster matches logic with movement as he establishes his large, haunted space and moves through it as if deep in thought. (Some of the movie's huge, deliberate movements feel like the Stanley Kubrick of The Shining.) There's no place to hide here, no place to be alone. It would follow, then, that there's no place to be caught off guard. But such an idea is deceptive. In the end, like the best monster movies, Midsommar shows that monsters lurk within all of us.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.