Have you ever watched a horror movie, psychological thriller, or other dark piece of film and burst out laughing? Usually I can suspend belief enough to get caught up in the moment, but every once in a while something is just so outrageously ridiculous or badly acted that it strikes me as funny.
So it was with Midsommar, a 2019 flick by written by Ari Aster. I pretty much laughed my arse off for the last 30 minutes of the film. The plot as summarized on IMDB is thus:
A couple travels to Scandinavia to visit a rural hometown’s fabled Swedish mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Without sharing any spoilers, because it is actually considered a decent horror flick and a lot of people loved it (and I won’t judge you if you do), what killed it for me were two scenes in particular. One is a sex scene in which a whole bunch of naked old women stand around watching the couple and mimicking, at ever-increasing volume, the groans of the woman. It was just so contrived and ridiculous.
The other scene is similar. The main character, Dani, as played by Florence Pugh, pretty much spends half the movie bawling like a child who was pushed down in the playground. She has the moment of shock, the flash of realization, the crumpling face, the deep breath, and then the howling MMMMWWOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW that is one of the reasons I chose to forgo motherhood, and she does it so many times that by the fourth or fifth time all I could think was “here we go again.” I wanted to give her a binky and put her in a crib for a nap.
At a key point in the movie she starts bawling yet again, and this time it’s a bunch of young women gathering around and joining in the ruckus. I really don’t know how the actors kept a straight face. I nearly fell off the couch laughing.
Maybe there’s something wrong with me.
Have you seen Midsommar? What did you think? Have you ever burst out laughing at something really dark?