Pack those bags and travel with loved ones and friends on a multi-day journey to Sweden, where everyone will stay in one of the most beautiful locations on Earth and meet tons of new, cordial people of a different culture. Oh yes, the fine print is that everybody will take an active part in a sadistic pagan ritual over the course of a few days where lives might be at stake. Welcome to Midsommar. This 4K release from A24 has a demo-worthy new video presentation with Dolby Vision, the same excellent DTS-HD 5.1 audio track as the Blu-ray, and zero bonus features. The reason why there are no extras is that the disc is housed in a 62-page clothbound hardcover book that details a lot of the film. Must-Own!
Perhaps one of the most sadistic and darkly funny relationship movies ever made is Ari Aster's (Hereditary) second feature film titled Midsommar, which is sure to create a state of shock as the credits roll. If Hereditary tackled the paranormal within a generational family of horror, then Midsommar takes the mind and soul on a chaotic rollercoaster of a couple's vacation overseas. This is nothing short of spectacular on every level and just like Aster's previous film, there are many things to take notice in the background due to his explicit attention to detail and filmmaking. Ari definitely knocked it out of the park once again.
One thing the people must know when going into Midsommar is that one shouldn't expect something as scary as Hereditary. That film was a slow burn of a demonic value that had otherworldly entities at play there. That's not Midsommar. This particular movie feels very realistic and even takes place during the light of day, but continues to make those hairs on the body stand on end. It's not the horror one should expect when someone is standing behind you with a snarl on their face, but rather some actions that are completely out of the ordinary, primal, and wholly sadistic that make this situation very real. With Aster's storytelling, camera movements, and attention to the most intricate details, the world has another perfect horror film.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
Midsommar dances its way to 4K from A24 in a very limited Collector's Edition release. There's only one Disc that is housed in a clothbound, yellow slipcase with the artwork of the film. Inside this case is a 62-page hardcover cloth book where the actual disc is located. This book has a forward from Martin Scorsese, artwork by Ragnar Persson, and more. There is no digital code.
Midsommar comes with a brand new 2160p 4K UHD transfer in a 2.00:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision. The result is an absolutely stunning video presentation that is demo-worthy on all accounts. This is by far the best this film has ever looked thus far. The movie was shot in native resolutions of 8K and finished in 4K.
The 1080p HD version truly knocked the video presentation out of the park, but this 4K UHD release knocks it out of the sky with amazing upgrades in the fantastic color palette and detail throughout the whole film. The colors are simply phenomenal and beautiful on every level. The first 25 minutes of the film are mostly set in darker interiors, inside an apartment, a dark pub or party, and of course Dani's parent's house during the horrific tragedy. There's a cold spectrum of colors being used here that range from grays to blues and solvers that coincide with the frigid winter time frame. The Dolby Vision gives that excellent uptick in the nuanced colder and darker sequences with excellent shadow detail in the lower lit scenes. There's even a sequence steeped in red that looks amazing too where it never loses detail.
Once in Sweden at the Midsommar Festival, the color palette takes a 180-degree turn from a wintry cool mix to a bright sunny spectrum set during the height of summer. The hills are alive with varying shades of green grass, beautiful flowers of all colors, brown log houses, and bright yellow fixtures everywhere that contrasts nicely with the crystal blue sky above. During the may queen sequence, there are a ton of flowers on the girl's heads and in the background, all of which pop with extreme vibrancy. There are some excellent red colors in the blood and guts that are shown throughout the film, along with the climax of fire that burns bright orange and yellow. It's simply perfect.
The detail is sharper and more vivid as well, revealing some amazing close-ups that showcase individual beard hairs, textures in the quilts and dresses that were handmade, and more. The practical makeup effects look good as well, especially when body organs and blood seem to spill out of both animals and humans alike. Individual grass blades, leaves in the trees, and imperfections in the wooden houses look exquisite too. Wider shots look fantastic as well and never go soft. There are a few sequences that resemble a drug-effect where the image gets hazy, wavy, and has a rainbow glow to it, all of which is enhanced by the Dolby Vision here. The black levels are extremely deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There are zero issues with any video problems too. This is a demo-worthy 4K presentation and one of the best-looking discs around.
Midsommar jumps off the cliff with a flawless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track that is equal parts terrifying and satisfying with superb sound effects, a hauntingly bright score, and delightful atmospherics.
Sound effects are big and well-balanced on each speaker, especially during the drug-fueled sequences where sounds are enhanced quite a bit. Noises of people clapping, limbs being broken, and fire crackling is robust with good directionality. There aren't any giant explosions or gun blasts here, but don't let the subtle intense noises of cooking, eating, or other normal everyday commotion fool those looking for soma major action-sequences. This is an expansive audio mix.
The atmosphere sounds of bigs, wind, and trees rustling, along with other people talking and singing are well-rounded and loud and come through the rear speakers often. This fully immersive track utilizes every speaker smoothly, specifically when some of the main characters are speaking just off-screen, where you'll be able to tell exactly where they are behind you. Also, during the May-Queen dance sequence as Florence Pugh is twirling around, the music seems to flow in circles as she moves around the live music and becomes fainter on one side of the infamous totem. Bass rolls in during the heavier music cues and the dialogue is cleanly rendered without any pops, cracks, or hiss. This is a fantastic audio presentation that guarantees to impress.
There are zero extras on this limited release from A24. Instead, there is a collectible cloth cover and hardcover book to go along with it. The sole disc itself is simply the movie only, which is the DIrector's Cut and is almost 30 minutes longer than the theatrical version. There are a ton of new sequences added that focus on some of the diabolical rituals and the intense relationship between Dani and Christian.
Midsommar is one of my favorite films of 2019. Without debate. It's intense, highly detailed in its visuals and characters, along with great performances and a scary-as-hell story. Ari Aster has definitely hit another home-run with this film. A24 has delivered fans a 4K transfer with HDR10 / Dolbyvision and an audio mix that are both demo-worthy. There are NO extras here, but instead, the disc is encased in a fantastic cloth bound booklet with a sleeve that features a ton of artwork and forward written by Scorsese. This is a MUST-OWN!