16 July 2019

What A Massive Cult

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When it comes to the dating game, I think it's always best to go for somebody that's good looking. You can fake a nice personality but, conveniently, looks are only ever skin deep. The hottie will stab you in the heart too, but after however many years it takes to get over them.. at least you'll always have the wank fodder to remember them by. Hereditary director Ari Aster's latest film Midsommar might seem like it's going to be a complete rip-off of The Wicker Man which might be because in many ways that's exactly what the fuck it is. In fact, the only thing that it didn't have was Christopher Lee dressed up like a mad aunty at a party as she dances about in an attempt to hide the menopause. However, if there's one thing that does separate this from that 1973 cult classic it's that its director is calling it a break-up movie. Of course, it still has horror elements to it because what break-up isn't completely fucking horrific? I tried to break-up with somebody once and the night genuinely ended up with us in hospital after she'd cracked her head on the corner of a table after forcing herself pass out. That was also the night that I decided that personalities can't be trusted and to only go for hotties. I've been single since. If The Wicker Man is to go by though it seems that the average cultist is even more hardcore and jaded than I am. We both prefer people to be hot but in their case, it's because they've locked them inside a big wooden structure and set them the fuck on fire.

The film begins with Florence Pugh's character Dani going through a family trauma that is even more horrific than the standard Sunday lunch. Although you really haven't known horror until you've had the tension of a family meal explode because the dog has tried to lick its own balls, gagged from the smell, and then fucking puked on them instead. Unfortunately, this puts Jack Reynor's Christian in a difficult position because he wants to get rid of Dani as a girlfriend but feels too guilty to actually chuck her. This is why most break-ups happen at the start of December too by the way. Because people don't want to dump their partner over Christmas but nor can they be arsed to go through the festive period with them. So if you think things are on the rocks then just avoid your loved one for the first half of that month and then buy them some incredible presents for Christmas day. Or you could just treat yourself to some self-respect and dump them in November. Rather than dumping Dani however, Christian makes the counter-intuitive move of inviting her on a lads holiday to Sweden with his mates. I'm not sure how he manages to do this because, like so much of the horror in this film, it happens off-screen. But his mates are hardly chuffed with the idea. Clearly, they don't know that the people they're going to be staying with are kill-crazy fuck-nuts. But when you're going on holiday and planning to get your end away with what might turn out to be a local death cult, then the last thing you want with you is a cock-blocker.

The great thing about this movie though is that I could completely relate to almost every single character in it. Well, not the cult people obviously because who can be fucked with a belief system? But in terms of the main characters, even Christian's mate Josh played by the always great Will Poulter was pretty relatable. And that's despite the fact that a lesser movie would definitely have painted him as being just a dick. He's annoyed that Christian hasn't already dumped Dani but that's only because he cares about his mate and it's his mates side of the story that he's only ever hearing. I also have a zero-tolerance attitude to drama and bullshit and I've even been in his position in which a friend has asked me what to do about the needy partner that they don't have the balls to dump. Although if you want to learn from my mistakes then I'd at least get your mates family in on the lie before you announce their sudden and tragic death on their social media. Even in the case of Dani and Christian we see their situation from both sides. She needs somebody to be there for her after the genuinely horrible incident at the start and he really would be timing it pretty badly to jump ship during the immediate aftermath. If there's anything that I can't relate to it's that they stick about at their little holiday festival even after things begin to get a little bit sacrificey. If I was in so much as a shop and all I saw was somebody spontaneously laugh out loud and for no obvious reason then I'd be so creeped out that I'd have to throw my fucking shopping on the floor and fucking run.

I think the problem with Midsommar might be that it's being marketed as a horror movie and after Hereditary you're likely to have already pre-booked the counselling sessions for afterwards. Except it's two and a half hours long and other than when I thought that might my bladder might fucking explode I didn't really feel any fear at all. Of course, there are moments of horror in it but I genuinely laughed more than I felt afraid and I'm pretty sure that the movie was in on the joke. Without giving too much away there was one moment in which somebody had their face brutally smashed in with a hammer which was horrible and gory but there was just a complete matter of fact efficiency to it that made me think it was funny. I stood on a slug by mistake before and I'm currently googling for a therapist after I had to clean its popped head off my other shoe. But there's no fucking about with the pricks in this cult with them seeming to enjoy hammer time even more than the crowd at an M. C. Hammer gig. Perhaps one of the reasons that I didn't feel afraid was because when the gang reached their holiday destination it was so obvious that they were staying with a mad cult that it was like arriving in Llandudno in Wales. There's just something off about the people there and you start to worry that you might never be allowed to leave. In fact, it was so obvious that rather than wondering what the cult was up to I began to think about why they were all wearing white gowns instead of green ones. They live in a fucking field. Aren't they worried about the grass stains? These people truly are mad!

Not that I think that to imply that this is a clich├ęd depiction of a cult is particularly a criticism of the film either. The true horror is in the crumbling relationship between Dani and Christian with the cult simply acting as a kind of metaphorical exaggeration of what happens when there's a dumping in the post. Perhaps one example of this might be in the way that one young female cult member takes a clear shine towards Christian. In real life, she'd probably just attempt to tug him off outside a pub but this girl puts a stick under his bed to represent her willingness to bone. Who knew? After seeing the sticks that she left outside their tents perhaps the Blair Witch was just in love all along too. I guess if you both put a stick under each other's bed then that must be the cult equivalent of a Tinder match. Obviously, you can see how this love rivalry might cause some tension for Dani and Christian though. This is made worse too by the fact that Dani is surrounded by the happy family of the cult whilst still dealing with her own family ordeal. Whether it be Trump, Corbyn, or Brexit, you can't help but wonder if there's a parallel here between our modern world and how vulnerable people now seem more easily seduced by the increase in political cults. All of which goes back to my original point about only going for good looking people. Because you can't trust that people aren't just hiding their crazy deep down and if this film is proof of anything it's that break-up can be fucking messy. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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