A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled 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.
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.Written by
Despite the film taking place entirely in sunlight, it does not contain one shot of the sun. The film's trailer contained one shot of the sun. A shot of the sun has been reinserted in the director's cut of the film. See more »
The sun is referred to in terms as "father", but in Scandinavian cultures the sun is often referred to as feminine because the Norse word for sun is a feminine gendered noun. For example, in Norse mythology the Sun is said the be dragged through the sky in a chariot by a goddess. See more »
[snaps fingers twice]
Christian... Hi. Hello! There you are! Listen: You can't speak. You can't move.
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The 171-minute director's cut restores nearly 24 minutes of additional scenes that were not included in the original cut. This version adds more graphic violence and extends many preexisting scenes. The biggest chunk of new footage added, as director Ari Aster acknowledges, is the subplot of Christian researching for his anthropology thesis. The newly added footage is as follows:
(1) In the party scene, Dani learns of the scheduled trip to Sweden and questions Christian's intentions. Christian gaslights (suggesting that she was not in her right state of mind) her after she had indirectly ruined the surprise of a romantic invite. The gaslight moment is repeated again in the final additional scene later after the special ceremony. This new scene also shows that he is ill-prepared, which sets up his confrontation with Mark later.
(2) In the extended the car ride to Halsingland, Dani asks Josh about the book he's reading and she's told to ask Pelle. Pelle tells her that Christian was brainwashed when he found him. This hints the characteristics of the characters throughout the film: Mark (going along for the ride); Dani (tired and depressed); Pelle (manipulative and the mastermind of the secret plan); Josh (passive); and Christian (naive).
(3) The subplot of Christian's anthropological research is put back and is evident in several scenes of him interacting with Pelle's commune. The subplot reveals two things: Pelle and his commune are well aware from the beginning that he can be easily be manipulated, proven by Maja's attempt to seduce him and his grisly fate at the end; it also reveals that his research is merely a self-serving and misguided attempt to make himself better.
(4) After the ritual suicide of the two 72-year-old natives (as to mark the end of the circle of life), Dani is invited to see a special ceremony of a young boy, dressed as tree, volunteered for another ritual. Declaring himself "what's brave is going home" the boy is about to be thrown into a body of water, which horrifies her again. At the last minute, he is let go, having proved his bravery.
(5) Immediately after the "special scene", Dani converses with Christian about what she saw. Christian, too focused on his anthropological research, gaslights her again. Soon thereafter, she asks for a sleeping pill before he is targeted by the natives.
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)
Performed by Frankie Valli
Written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe
Published by Seasons Four Music (BMI) and EMI Longitude Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company / The Four Seasons Partnership
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more »
Not for everyone
Let me first say, this is not a "bad" movie. It utilizes creative camera work and cinematography to add to the narrative. But I personally still didn't like it. Its main goal in my opinion is to disturb the viewer as much as possible through the use of sound, gory visuals and the feeling of isolation and insanity. While I can see how this can speak to a certain audience, it didn't appeal to me and made me want to turn of the movie quite a few times. If you are into these kinds of films, definitely give this a try but if you, like me, enjoy being scared by a horror movie instead of weirded out and disturbed, this might not be for you.
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