WARNING THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
Ari Aster made quite a name for himself in the horror community last year with his film Hereditary. The success of Hereditary made his latest film Midsommar one of the most highly anticipated horror movies of 2019. If you watched the 2 hour and 35 minutes film than you probably have quite a few questions about the ending of Midsommar. That’s okay because we have you covered. Here you will find Midsommar ending explained.
Midsommar tells the story of a group of college friends who visit one of their classmates, Pelle, home village in Sweden. The village is a commune in a remote area of Sweden. The people that live in the commune are a fictional cult-like community called Hargan. At first, the Hargan seem unique but harmless, but things quickly change as the Midsommar festival progresses.
To properly understand the ending, we need to take a look at the characters in this film.
The Hargan People
Ari Aster created this cult-like group of Swedish commune dwellers. To make them feel real; their traditions and clothing are based on authentic Swedish folklore and traditions. The Hargan live together in harmony. Every ninety years they have a festival called Midsommar. During this festival, they choose a May queen, bring in outsiders for new blood, and sacrifice nine humans. The community does these things to continue their way of life and be blessed by whatever entity it is that they are worshipping.
Dani is the central character of the movie. We are following her transformation and journey. Dani is a distraught young lady. She is on the verge of a mental breakdown. Dani has lost everything in life including her mother, father, and sister. The only thing that she has left is a failed relationship with her boyfriend Christian. But she is clinging to this relationship with everything she has. Dani is barely making it in life. She is utterly alone and does not fit in anywhere. The one person who should love her, Christian, is playing her and wants to break up with her.
The difficulty I have with Dani is that she is hard to empathize with. On the one hand, I feel sorry for her. She is lost so much. She doesn’t deserve to be mistreated by Christian. But on the other hand, she comes across as this high maintenance girlfriend who is so emotionally clingy that it is difficult to be around her. Clearly her relationship with Christian is over, but for some reason, neither one of them has had the nerve to just ended. Dani is in denial and doesn’t see Christian for the bad boyfriend that he is.
Christian is that boyfriend who is just doing the bare minimum to stay in the relationship. Dani’s needs emotionally drain him. He appears to want to escape. However, the loss of Dani’s parents and sister makes it difficult for him to end. He didn’t want to invite her to Sweden. He felt he had to because of the circumstance. Christian does not want to be with her.
Midsommar Ending Explained
The Hagan people use psychedelic drugs in the celebration of Midsommar. It is almost impossible for the viewer to tell the difference between what is a psychedelic hallucination and what could be a supernatural experience. Dani is given some tea and enters a dancing contest that she wins. She is crowned the May Queen. It is during this contest that she looks over to the side where the audience is watching. Everyone in the community is cheering her on. Everyone in the community is sharing in her happiness. Everyone except for Christian. It is at that moment that I believe that she is starting to understand that Christian is not supportive or caring to her.
Christian’s purpose in the festival is to provide new blood to prevent inbreeding within the commune. He was approved to be the mate of Pelle’s sister. Christian takes part in the mating ritual, therefore, fulfilling his purpose in the festival.
Dani sees Christian having sex with Pelle’s sister. She is overcome with grief. The reason she is overcome with grief is not merely because Christian is cheating on her. She is overcome with anguish because now she realizes that she has no one. She is utterly alone in this world. Her relationship with Christian was the last thing that she had. It was the only thing that was keeping her from feeling ultimate loneliness. Now she has no one. But what makes this so bad for Dani if she feels the weight. The emotional weight of being alone. It is something that she has feared her whole life. That fear of loneliness has caused her so much anxiety that she doesn’t know if she can live anymore.
She runs into the house and is surrounded by other females in the commune as she cries the other members of the commune cry. They share her emotional sorrow and grief. She begins to realize that she is alone. She has the other members of the commune there with her. They are not judging her. They are not making fun of her. They are there to support her in this moment of grief. They are sharing this emotional toll with her. Dani is no longer alone.
As the festival draws to a conclusion, the May Queen, Dani, has to choose to either let Christian live or to sacrifice him. She decides to sacrifice him. By choosing to let him die, she is committing herself to the commune which is now her new family.
Midsommar is about the transformation of Dani. The ending is about her letting go of pain and anxiety that she had experienced through the loss of her family and her relationship. Dani changes from a stressed-out basketcase of a college student to a peaceful cult member.
If you’ve ever wondered why someone would choose to join a cult, you will find the answer in Dani’s transformation in Midsommar.
Additionally, I do believe that Midsommar is a commentary on religion. I find it humorous that her boyfriend’s name is Christian. Does Christian represent Christianity? Does Dani represent the people that are suffering but still follow Christianity? Dani’s change and chooses could represent the replacing of Christianity with new means of coping with loss and anxiety.
There is a longer cut of Midsommar that will be released. It will be interesting to see the additional footage and if it provides any further explanation for Midsommar’s ending.
I do believe that Midsommar has lots of Easter eggs hidden throughout the picture. Feel free to leave a comment on anything that you picked up on in Midsommar Ending Explained.