Warning: This post is chock-full of Midsommar spoilers. Obviously.
Jemima Kirke got high and watched Midsommar, so I got high and watched Midsommar.
Admittedly, getting high and watching scary movies are two things for which I have a pitifully low tolerance. Both make me anxious and need to pee a lot. But on Wednesday, Girls star Jemima Kirke posted a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption, “You’re not a woman until you’ve seen Midsommar ON WEED,” and someone at work sent it to me and I was like, “Fine I’ll do it,” and they were like, “We’re not asking you to,” and I was like, “I said I’ll do it!” and bought my tickets. I wanted to be a woman, like Jemima, and also I had no plans that night.
Lots of people were watching Midsommar high, it turns out. I mean, lots of people are watching lots of movies high at any given moment, but Midsommar seemed to have a special appeal because the characters are constantly getting high, and also probably because of all the bright colors. On Twitter, reviews of the experience were mixed.
Undeterred, on Wednesday night, my friend and I split half a gummy, and took a few hits from his pen, and by the time we got to the theater, I was so high that I could feel my hair growing out of my skull. As we waited for the movie to start, they showed the trailer for It: Chapter Two, which was so scary that I almost started crying, and if I had been able to move my legs I would have left the theater and gone home. (I watched it again, sober, to ascertain whether my initial impression was correct; it remains, in my opinion, too creepy, and should only be accessible via the dark web.) “I don’t think I can do this,” I told my friend. He smiled benignly. Just like one of the people in this Swedish death cult probably would, I thought.
Fortunately, right then my margherita flatbread arrived, and I forgot all about the It: Chapter Two trailer, and the lingering question of whether my friend was a cult killer. One thing to know about Midsommar is that a lot of it is dead quiet, especially right at the beginning, so I tried to eat my crunchy flatbread as quietly as possible, wrapping my lips around a corner and letting it sort of dissolve into my mouth. This was a slow process.
The movie starts with Florence Pugh’s sister killing their parents and herself, Florence Pugh scream-crying, and Florence Pugh’s boyfriend — a self-important anthropology grad student named Christian — being a huge dick about the whole thing. I kept thinking about how Florence Pugh, 23, is currently dating Zach Braff, 44, and how his whole vibe is extremely self-important anthropology grad student. I imagined her reading the script and sighing knowingly, while in the next room, Zach Braff held forth on mixology, or jazz.
As Florence Pugh is grieving, Christian’s other terrible grad-school friends organize a long summer trip to Sweden together without telling her. When she finds out, she’s like, “What the hell,” so terrible Christian invites her along, and all his terrible friends are annoyed. They get to their Swedish friend Pelle’s commune — where everyone is wearing these cute white linen outfits — and immediately do shrooms. Florence Pugh doesn’t really want to and they’re all so rude to her about it, so she does the shrooms anyway and has a terrible time, just like me watching the It: Chapter Two trailer.
The next stretch of the movie was a truly miserable experience for me. I watched with my thumbs shoved deep into my ears, and my fingers covering my eyes, so I only really got the broad strokes, but at one point everyone watches two old people jump off a cliff, and then a little bit later one of the grad students’ skinned faces is worn like a mask. I did not, as Jemima Kirke had promised me, feel like a woman. I didn’t even feel fully human. I was just a pile of raw, exposed nerve endings being trampled on by smiling Swedish people. Plus, the smoke from the weed pen was sitting in a tight, painful ball behind my sternum that I couldn’t burp out.
Just as I was giving up on feeling like a woman, there was a big ritual sex scene, which freaking ruled. It transpired thusly: One of the young women at the commune decides she wants to hump terrible Christian, so she puts some of her pubes into a meat pie for him. Cool, fun, flirty, I love it. Then he goes into a barn, and Pube Girl is reclined on a bed of flowers, and surrounded by a dozen of the other cult ladies, who are totally nude and chanting. They’re all rocking full bushes, presumably so that if one of their crushes arrives, they can also stuff their food as necessary. Terrible Christian sees this and is like, sure, and he and Pube Girl do missionary while her friends dance and moan around them. This seemed like a really nice way to have sex — being a pillow queen, on flowers, surrounded by some of your closest gal pals. Though I’m sure trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules on a group chat would be an absolute nightmare.
At this point, my brain was so overwhelmed that it stopped fighting all of the absurd things it was seeing, and instead accepted them without question. Florence Pugh winning a maypole dance competition. A “blood eagle,” which I do not recommend googling. Terrible Christian being sewn into the carcass of a bear. Florence Pugh in an incredible Met Gala–esque flower gown. Bodies burning. It all made perfect sense.
When the movie finished, I felt relieved, both because it was over and because I felt together enough to walk again. I had nightmares all night long, which I guess means it was a good horror movie. I can’t say that I would recommend the experience. While the scenery was very beautiful and the shots of colorful flowers felt nice on my itchy eyeballs, I spent most of the stress-inducing two hours and forty minutes hoping my cells would liquefy and I could escape the theater as a puddle.
As for whether I am a woman now that I have seen Midsommar “ON WEED,” it’s hard to say. Maybe I’ll ask my friends when we all meet up for our pagan sex rituals.