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Christian Did Nothing Wrong

Christian

A Midsommar Retrospective

Ari Aster has proven to be one of the best up and coming horror directors of this generation, but that’s not to say his films are not above criticism. If anything, rather than criticize the film itself, what may be worth further analyzing is the fan reaction to certain elements of the plot. Midsommar continues to be a pop culture milestone for horror enthusiasts and general audiences alike, but could the fans be getting the wrong message? Let’s take a look and see why Christian maybe didn’t deserve to be stuffed in a bear and burned alive.  

Midsommar burst onto the horror landscape in 2019 and was Ari Aster’s second full length feature film with film studio A24. The film revolves around Dani (Florence Pugh), a woman going through a family tragedy, and in desperate need of some emotional support during a time of crisis. Christian (Jack Raynor) is portrayed in the film as emotionally unintelligent, or maybe just kind of a dick. At the very least, Jack is not prepared for the emotional support Dani needs at that time.

Jack and his friends are invited to Northern Europe by friend of the group Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) for the Midsommar festival. Dani, who is in desperate and legitimate need of support, asks to go on the trip with Jack and his friends. Unbeknownst to the group, this invitation is a trap, and the group falls prey to the sinister true nature of Midsommar and the intention of the cult that participates in it. After every friend is picked off one by one, the film ends with Dani becoming the May Queen and sending Jack to what must be an agonizing death. 

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I saw this movie with a girl I was dating at the time who hated Christian, cheered when Dani became the May queen, and was thrilled at the idea of him being burned alive. And I couldn’t help but feel… is that what we should take out of the film? Was this truly a coming of age feel good story about a woman empowering herself and overcoming an abusive relationship? Or was this a horror movie, about how cults can take advantage of vulnerable people?

And it wasn’t just her. Social media flooded with posts showing Florence Pughs iconic smile with the caption “good for her” or “yas may queeeeen”. I couldn’t help but feel like everyone was missing the point. This is a horror movie where the bad guys win. In Hereditary, Ari Asters first full length feature debut, the film ends with King Pimond killing every single protagonist and getting exactly what he wants. Ari Asters films are TRAGIC tales of inner evil personified in the occult and supernatural.

But enough about classic horror plot structure, let’s ask ourselves, did Christian deserve to be burned alive?

Christian

At the beginning of the film, Christian was telling his friends he was thinking about breaking up with Dani. Which he should have. She’s clearly too good for him. Christian obviously does not have the emotional intelligence to support Dani, leaving her feeling empty, which is why she was so susceptible to joining a cult. But how could you break up with someone who just lost their ENTIRE family? Christian is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Now the film does portray Christian as generally being kind of a dick. He is dismissive of Dani and tries to steal his friend’s thesis paper idea out of sheer laziness but are these murder-able offenses? 

Classic slasher movies have established that creating characters that are deeply flawed and unlikable are very fun to watch meet their gruesome ends, but I just don’t think Christian proved himself to be a worthy candidate for his girlfriend to choose to kill him over a complete stranger who was already in the cult. Hell, that other guy probably would have been honored to be stuffed in the bear. 

The straw that broke Dani’s flower crown was watching him “cheat” on her in the shed with all those cult women. This is what pushed her over the cliff but let’s not forget the movie explicitly shows Christian is DRUGGED at the time this occurs. He is coerced into having sex under the influence by a cult whose NUMBER ONE tactic is manipulation. Christian did not cheat on Dani; the man was sexually assaulted. The cult used Dani’s emotional distress as a tool to complete their pagan ritual. The bad guys did bad guy stuff. 

The ending of Midsommar is not a triumphant victory for Dani. It is in fact not a “yas queen” moment. The ending shows us how scary it could be when people with bad intentions take advantage of emotionally disturbed people. Dani was in desperate need of emotional support. When people have a void in their heart, they look for solace in the strangest places. It could be crystals, star signs, or joining a Northern European pagan cult and killing their boyfriend.

Regardless, Christian did nothing wrong, and me and my ex broke up shortly after this movie was released. 

Christian

Midsommar (2019) Official A24 Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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