Being afraid to watch horror movies might be good for your sleep, but it's not necessarily good for your social life. It's not fun when everyone around you can't stop talking about the latest buzzy horror flick when you're too chicken to see it with them. Ari Aster's Midsommar is the latest addition to the canon of horror films that are taking pop culture by storm, but many (including myself) will never watch due to fear. Luckily for us cowards, we can still at least pretend that we’ve seen it because the Midsommar plot summary is on Wikipedia, and it proves exactly why people who get easily terrified by horror movies shouldn't bother.
For film buffs that want to read the plot for themselves, or those who still plan to head to theaters to see the movie (in which case, why are you reading this?), consider this a spoiler alert for Midsommar.
While the first trailer for Midsommar definitely gave off unsettling vibes, it didn't seem too scary for the weak-hearted. But the Wikipedia plot summary reveals how truly horrifying the movie actually is. For starters, the beginning of the film reveals that the parents of protagonist Dani Ardor (Florence Pugh) were killed by her sister in a gruesome murder-suicide. And that's literally only the beginning.
The sheer horror only intensifies from there. Humans are skinned alive, their bodies chopped up, and their faces are worn as masks. The wikipedia plot summary also describes a beyond creepy and humiliating sex ritual, and even a cult practice in which an elderly couple attempts to commit suicide (when one lives, his head gets smashed with a mallet, thus killing him). It's all completely normal behavior, as you can see.
The images in the movie are so intense and disturbing that even horror fanatics and film critics are being affected in a bad way. YouTuber Tyler Calvert noted that three of his fellow movie-goers left halfway through the movie, never to return. I wouldn't have even made it that long.
The material in Midsommar is terrifying enough on its own, but what makes it all the more bone-chilling is that everything occurs in complete daylight, not after the sun sets as in most scary movies. "It happens predominately in daylight, and that is kind of a wild sort of feature in the movie," star Will Poulter explained to The AV Club in an interview. "I think it was one of those things that was embraced more and more along the way, that challenge of making something steeped in dread and very disturbing, but all in daylight."
The effect of all these horrors happening in broad daylight is to poke holes of doubt in the idea that light is somehow safer than the dark. "So really, I guess what I'm saying is there's no safe time to watch this movie. Daylight will not save you," he continued. "It's like, 'Oh, I'll catch like a mid-day screening.' It's still gonna screw you up."
So basically, if you don't have the guts to see the movie, don't force yourself. Why actually watch Midsommar and scar yourself for life when you can read all the gritty details on Wikipedia from the safety of your couch, then turn on some more light-hearted viewing material, like the Real Housewives or something? Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.