Let us talk about Midsommar Part 2

This is the second part in a series of articles about Ari Aster's Midsommar.  You can read Part 1 here.

Let's discuss the drug trip, shall we?

Just after Dani and the crew arrive at what we will slowly learn is a very Wicker Man-esque village,  everyone consumers magic mushrooms.  What follows is a microcosm of the rest of the film.

It starts out "normal" enough. Dani watches trees breathe while someone drones about nature and beauty. Standard hippy stuff. Then things take a darker turn.

Dani starts to freak out.  She gets paranoid.  Laughter in the distance must be directed at her. She flees. First into a shed where a mirror shows her a distorted version of herself,  then into some very creepy woods. Then she surrenders to it. She sleeps. And awakes in beautiful,  bright sunlight.

At this point Aster has given us the equivalent of two fully formed horror stories and we have reached the point where most movies would start.

We watch as our characters are introduced to the idyllic village and meet the people who live there. Aster spends a bit of time making it seem nice so that the fall off the cliff will be farther and the impact harder. We are being set up now.

The architecture of the village is unsettling . There is something vaguely Lovecraftian about it.

Something death cult in the angles.

These touches help to build background dread. Something in the back of your mind knows that this wrong. You can't put your finger on it,  but you know that you should run.

We expect human sacrifice,  but what we get next are lovely people in Virginal white robes surrounded by wreaths of bright flowers under beautiful blue skies talking about tradition and celebration.  It is unnerving.

The music knows that something is very, very wrong here. We in the audience will have to wait to find out what it is.

There is a tapestry that lays out plot points. It just seems inappropriate and weird, but later will resonate . Aster spoilers his own movie in the movie,  and we will thank him for it. The man is a monster.

The gravity of the horror will be brought home at the first ceremony.  For the audience,  it's the point of no return.  If they have bought in to the world of the film by then, they will be tossed into the wreckage of Dani's psyche, and if not they will be finished with Aster's project.