What’s on TV Saturday: ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Dracula’

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MIDSOMMAR (2019) Stream on Amazon; rent on Google Play, Vudu or YouTube. Ari Aster made waves in 2018 with the release of his debut feature, “Hereditary.” A year later, he delivered another haunting watch, “Midsommar.” The protagonists, Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), are on the verge of breaking up until a family tragedy brings them closer. Not close enough, that is, as Christian is emotionally detached while a grieving Dani clings onto him for comfort. Months later, Christian reluctantly invites Dani to join him and his friends at a festival in a remote Swedish village that occurs every 90 years. The group arrives at the sun-kissed landscape in awe, until they realize they have entered the terrain of a pagan cult. Needless to say, terror ensues. Aster tried to center the horror around Dani and Christian’s deteriorating relationship, yet critics have said their back story was not given enough weight to begin with. Aster’s real strength, Manohla Dargis wrote in her review for The New York Times, “is the setup, that part when he lays out his characters, their worlds and the menace that closes on them like a claw.”

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