The film was released on June 24, 2019, receiving extremely good ratings and reviews from the audience. The plot as a whole is not new: a youth company sets off to explore an ancient place, shrouded in various legends, without even realizing the danger that awaits them, eventually meeting a terrible and terrible fate from dark forces. However, “Solstice” is unique among other “horror films” if only because it touches very deeply on the history of northern religious cults and remote villages where Old Believer rites are still held. The main characters are young anthropologists who came to a Swedish settlement cut off from the whole world precisely for their work, so all the details of ancient rites, their description, costumes and linguistic features were given special attention, which makes the film especially interesting from this angle.
The plot and meaning of the movie Solstice
The meaning of the film “Solstice” is the desire of a person to belong to something great. The fact that a person is ready for anything to gain recognition and approval of society.
Religious themes and terrible events are only the first layer of the story. In the film, especially at first, the main emphasis is on the emotional state of the main characters. The main character, recently orphaned, is acutely worried about the loss of her entire family. Her relationship with the young man does not go well, but he stays with her out of a sense of duty. After a bit of a conflict between them, he invites her to settle their relationship with a small exploratory trip to a secluded Swedish village on the solstice with a couple of his friends.
The girl agrees, and a group of young students arrive at Khorge, an ancient Swedish community. Having met two more anthropologists along the way, the company joins the ongoing ritual, having previously taken drugs from the cult’s mentor. The ritual itself is shocking: it turned out to be a terribly sophisticated gerontocide. Community elders commit suicide by jumping off a cliff. After their fall, the cult imitates the screams of agony of the dying, until several men finally finish them off.
This is so shocking to Simon and Connie, who have just joined the group, a married couple who decide to leave immediately. The group loses contact with them, believing that they left for the train station, but in fact they were killed by cultists.
The rest are too passionate about Horga culture to leave. However, two more terrible events occur: two friends of the main character’s boyfriend are killed in turn by the community; one for urinating on a sacred tree, and the other for trying to photograph the sacred text of the cult.
The next day, the main character is again forced to take drugs and participate in a dance competition on the field. The girl wins this competition and is crowned May Queen.
Her boyfriend also takes drugs and participates in another ritual that involves having sex with one of the cultists. Learning about this not entirely free betrayal, the main character is experiencing a nervous breakdown, and surprisingly, many women of the community support her, imitating her crying.
At the end of the film, tensions escalate to the limit when the surviving young people discover the bodies of their dead comrades. The cultists finally explain the meaning of the solstice festival: a ritual sacrifice that requires nine people. The first four victims are anthropologists lured to the feast, who were brutally dealt with by the cultists. Four more are volunteers from the community, two of whom are elders who died at the beginning, and two more young people whose deaths were not shown to the viewer. The last victim must be chosen by the May Queen, who recently became the main character. Still experiencing severe emotional trauma, wanting to avenge her broken heart, the girl chooses her boyfriend as the last victim of the holiday. The ritual murder is terrifying – the guy is sewn into the skin of a gutted bear and placed in a temple, which is subsequently burned to the ground. When it finally ends, the cult celebrates the completion of their ritual, and the main character, having survived this madness, begins to smile.
Meaning of the Solstice ending
It seems that after everything she has experienced, the main character has become part of the community, yet with difficulty and tears she accepted the death of her friends and the savagery of ritual murders. However, some viewers are surprised that she chose her boyfriend as the last victim, although she understood that he cheated on her under the influence of drugs, and not of her own free will. The girl chose her boyfriend for one simple reason: she had long lost her mind. According to her logic, it is he who is the cause of her pain when, as the Horga, they finally gave her the opportunity to regain the sense of belonging that was lost after the death of her entire family. The horror of ritual sacrifice is a catharsis for the heroine, a way to cleanse herself of all her previous life and suffering, and finally feel needed.
Write in the comments your assumptions and theories about what and what is the meaning of the film “Solstice”. We look forward to waiting!