Tuesday, January 28, 2020

One Wolf. Two Sheep.: Comparing The Cult Actions And Goals In Hereditary and Midsommar.

Hereditary and Midsommar appear to be akin to bookends and imply the viewer is coming in at the later point of a much longer drama. Spoiler warnings for both films here on out. In Hereditary the Grandmother had planned out the entire Satanic sacrifice even going so far as to have told her grandaughter she wished she was a boy. The reason being is that is the demon's preferred gender to inhabit. So right from the beginning the granddaughter is the temporary vessel for the demon hence her clicking sound she makes with her tongue that is heard throughout the film long after she is dead. The demon is said to be a trickster and the demon appears to enjoy tormenting the host family by making the clicking noise intended to be the sound their heads will make when chopped off and the use of her head for the mockery of Jesus like statue in the structure outside the house.

In Midsommar, I think not only did the Cultist pick the girl to be his future wife, but it could also be implied that since he had to have known them for some time before the film, that perhaps he took advantage of their hereditary mental illness in the same way the Satanic followers use the bloodline of the chosen host as the means for them to bring about the physical incarnation of their master whom they worship. He may have somehow been responsible for and or engineered the murder suicide of the girl's sister and parents to force her into the isolation we perceive was a tragic accident. Perhaps the visions she has of her departed sister later in the film are warnings from beyond. 

Lucifer is the "light bringer." He is Prometheus and it is no coincidence that the Swiss Cultist's first name rhymes with Hell. In both cases the characters are doomed because they are blind to what is front of them. The house within a house in Hereditary serves as an almost Kubrick callback to The Shining where Jack Nicholson looks at the maze layout and we see Shelly Duvall's character and her son Danny exploring the labyrinth slowly closing in from an overhead point of view and transitioning from Nicholson's character's point of view to their own within the maze. When the cult is successful in Hereditary the last shot is framed within a doll's house like environment because they have been all manipulated like puppets on strings. 

In Midsommar, the paintings illustrate exactly what is going to happen yet these visiting scholars are too blind to realize it. Christians are despised by pagans in no small part for the inhuman torture and death inflicted upon perceived foes, such as the burning of pagans at the stake who refuse to convert and go and fight in the Crusades as seen in the movie   Valhalla Rising. So you know it is not a stretch for viewers to intuit the character of the girl's boyfriend, who is named Christian, as their scapegoat to be placed in the bear carcass and be sacrificed for the impurities they see the outsiders bring and to cleanse themselves of actions committed. 

They were all doomed as soon as they arrived and one could argue that although the two cults that act in the films have different objectives on the surface, essentially they serve the same master for the Devil has many names.

(C) Copyright 2020 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.