Midsommar

 

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Of all the casualties of COVID-19, one of the most painful losses has been my desire to write…at the very moment I’ve been watching more films than any point in at least the past decade, I lost all desire to write about them. Part of the issue was that I haven’t been watching much of substance…but Midsommar changed all of that.

There is SO MUCH to unpack in Midsommar. It’s not your average “scary movie” – in fact, it’s not scary at all. It’s more like a trip to IKEA on mushrooms….if you’re not in the right state of mind when you start, you’re gonna have a bad time. (The same is true about shrooms and IKEA each on their own, I guess?) “Suspenseful” is a better description, because with every Swedish atrocity performed, you are incredulous and wondering how far they will go. There’s definitely some gore, but the gore isn’t what will shock you. For example, my kids were far more grossed out by the pube pot pie, than by the blood eagle.

I will point out that every time I said that “Christian is a shitty boyfriend,” my husband responded that all the characters are shitty and unlikeable. That may be true…but Christian is extra shitty.

By the end…I was straight up cackling (just like you, Andrew Delaney). Maybe it’s my dark sense of humor…or maybe it’s that I’m about 1/4 Swedish? Or maybe it’s because I understood Dani’s struggle? It’s hard to be surrounded with people who don’t “hold” you. I feel like my college relationship was a lot like Dani’s…too bad we went to Amsterdam instead of Harga.

So…this is obviously not a very long or a very complete review…baby steps.

The kids really liked it, I think. My daughter kept saying, “This movie is weird,” but she didn’t give up on watching. They are demanding Hereditary next…I cannot say no to sampling more Ari Aster. Also, a shout-out to Eli Roth’s History of Horror – his show has given the kids a horror watch list a mile long. I started them on Cabin Fever and they were laughing and screaming. My son is wanting to go straight to the hard stuff – Audition, etc…but again, baby steps…

Freaked

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Freakshow!

Alex Winter stars as Ricky Coogan, a “wacky” washed up child star that travels to South America in order to promote a mutagenic fertilizer. His “wacky” best friend (played by Blossom’s brother…not the one that says “Whoa!” all the time…the other one) accompanies him and they hook up with a “wacky” environmental activist. They end up visiting a roadside Freak Show and get captured by the “wacky” proprietor, played by Randy Quaid. Are you seeing a theme here? Everyone’s “wacky”? If everyone’s “wacky” – what’s the point?

Randy Quaid then doses them with stuff that looks suspiciously like Double Dare Slime to turn them into Circus freaks. He locks them in a shed, where they meet the rest of the Freaks. Mr. T is the unsexiest Bearded Lady ever. Bobcat Goldthwait has a sock puppet for a head. There are a bunch of other, less amusing freaks as well – like Worm-Man and Cow-Boy. There’s also a guy who farts a lot. I don’t mean to be picky, but that doesn’t seem to be much of a Freak Show attraction. I could do the job after a visit to Taco Bell.

Keanu Reeves was excellent (pardon the pun) in his cameo as Ortiz, the Dog Boy. Finally, he’s found a role commensurate with his talent, experience and emotional range. Oh, I kid, I kid…he isn’t qualified to be a Dog Boy either. I’m just glad to see him not saving the world for once. What a burden, being typecast as a messiah.

You know the one thing in this movie that I just DID NOT get? The Rastafarian Eye Police. Literally – Eyeballs…that were Rastafarian…in police uniforms, brandishing automatic weapons. Maybe it was because I was stone cold sober…or maybe it was because the makers of this film obviously were not.

At least the music was good. I immediately recognized Henry Rollins singing the theme song during the opening credits. Gibby Haynes has a cameo and also provides some Butthole Surfers music. I tell you, I sure do miss 90s music.

Imagine what those sick fucks over at TROMA could have done with $12 Million. I bet they could have made Freaked 3 times over, with money left to spare. I appreciate the attempt to make a somewhat big budget “B” movie – but really, it was kind of a waste. I’m thinking that I would have like Freaked a lot more if I had seen it when it first came out…but it’s hard to get overly excited about Claymation in 2006. If it came down to it though, I prefer good Claymation to bad CGI any day of the week. Take that, Sci Fi Channel!