(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON LETTERBOXD - 06/07/2019)
CUT TO: Written reviews.
My screening was filled with couples clearly expecting this to be a fun weekend horror flick and they certainly weren't prepared for the most messed up break-up story of this decade (yes, even more fucked than Blue Valentine). I'm not kidding when I say that there was a solid 5-7 minute period where most people were laughing uncomfortably because they just didn't know how else to react, a reaction like that is well worth seeing Ari Aster's newest emotion wreckage on the big screen.
This film seriously affected me in such an incomparable way and I don't know why, I've already watched Hereditary’s messed up atmosphere, I've seen these types of characters in other films, a cheerful but terrifying "cult" is nothing new, and a horror film set in the forrest is something I've seen probably hundreds of times, but just something about the way Aster constructed this story really put me in a place that the closest comparison I can make is how I felt after Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria. I almost felt a form of claustrophobia even though I was sat by myself in a cinema and the majority of the film takes place in the wide open Swedish fields during the daytime, and still I felt as if I wasn't even settled in my own skin, but I couldn't look away.
Florence Pugh was nothing short of fantastic in her lead performance, it's as if I can already see a megastar in the making, not too dissimilar to Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name. She was the perfect mixture of everything needed to really make us be invested in the film.
The ambitious 147 minute runtime can definitely be a turn-off for some people, but that's exactly what sold me on it, and it paid off big time, the long dragged out moments is what made this such a beast of an experience, and if it was the average under two hours horror film, I feel like a lot of the film's tone would have been severely taken away.
During my walk back home from the cinema I let the film brew in my mind, and firstly I've never been more nervous about walking out to a blue sky at 9pm after seeing a horror film than I was with this one, and secondly I got serious vibes of a new-age Kubrick style of filmmaker, I'm not saying Ari Aster is the next Stanley Kubrick, I'm saying he's the first Ari Aster, and in due time that will be just as high of an honour.