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Saturday June 15th

Midsommar Director’s Cut: A disappointing dupe

<p><em>Midsommar&#x27;s movie poster (photo courtesy of </em><a href="" target=""><em>IMDb</em></a><em>).</em></p>

Midsommar's movie poster (photo courtesy of IMDb).

By Maia Venuti
Staff Writer

A24 Production company re-released some of its most popular horror films in participating theaters throughout the month of October in the spirit of Halloween. The studio announced that “The Witch” (2015), “X” (2022) and “Under the Skin” (2013) would return to theaters, and the fourth and final film in this series would be the director’s cut of Ari Aster’s 2019 masterpiece, “Midsommar.”

The showing of “Midsommar” was announced to be on Oct. 25, and I bought my ticket the day it was announced, waiting excitedly to finally see my favorite movie of all time in theaters. 

There is a massive difference between the theatrical release of “Midsommar” and the director’s cut. The theatrical release of the film has a runtime of approximately 148 minutes, whereas the director’s cut is 171 minutes long and has a lot of extra footage and scenes that were completely deleted from the theatrical release. You can only see the director’s cut by purchasing a copy of the collector’s edition of “Midsommar” from the A24 website.

As a proud owner of the collector’s edition of the film, I have seen the director’s cut probably just as many times as I have seen the original. The director’s cut is not much different but does a far better job at showing the cyclical nature of the characters Dani and Christian’s toxic relationship. It reveals the true age of Maja, one of the girls in the Harga commune that is obsessed with Christian and also has far more humorous moments from Mark, the comedic relief character. Having the opportunity to see the director’s cut in theaters was a once in a lifetime experience, one that many fans were so excited to see. 

On Oct. 25, I made the 40-minute solo journey to the Neshaminy AMC in Bensalem, Pennsylvania dressed as Harga-esque as I could. Almost shaking with excitement, I took my seat and chatted with the group behind me about the director’s cut, as they had never seen it, and listened to how excited they were to get an entirely new perspective on the film. As Nicole Kidman’s iconic AMC announcement ended and the film began, I was beaming ear to ear as the opening song, “Prophecy,” began to play. 

All that excitement changed very quickly.

About 15 minutes into the film, the first extended scene begins when the main character, Dani, is confronting her boyfriend Christian about going to Sweden without her. I was so excited to see the extended version, where she begs him to stay and he ends up inviting her to go, but the film cut to a new scene before this could even happen. 

That was when I had a feeling that something was wrong; this was not the director’s cut. Slowly, more and more scenes that should have been extended were not, and I felt like I went through the five stages of grief in the first thirty minutes of the film, as I came to accept the fact that we had all been duped: this was the theatrical release, and not the director’s cut we were promised. 

After the film ended, I heard the people I had spoken to earlier ask if that was the director’s cut, and what happened. While we were all happy to see a terrific film that we all love and appreciate greatly, we did not pay $5 to see the theatrical release. On the drive home, my head was swimming with questions. Did we all imagine it was the director’s cut and not just the theatrical release? 

As soon as I came home, I went and checked online to see if there was a mistake in just the theater I saw it in, or if it was a nationwide mistake.

On r/Midsommar, I saw that everyone else was just as disappointed as I was, and that this was indeed a nationwide issue with the film’s showing. Sadly, a lot of the fans on the subreddit had never seen the director’s cut, so they felt especially conned by this error. The film’s runtime on the AMC website also said 2 hours and 50 min, which is the same runtime for the director’s cut. It was advertised as the director’s cut, so there was no reason for any of us to believe otherwise. 

It is still not entirely clear what happened, or why this mistake was made, but it was a deeply disappointing experience for many like me who also bought tickets in advance and drove a distance to get to the theaters. While I loved watching “Midsommar” in theaters for the first time, and it will always be my favorite movie, I did not pay to see the theatrical release; I paid to see the director’s cut, and I did not get what I paid for.


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