Mark is one of the main characters in the 2019 horror film Midsommar, directed by Ari Aster. He is a friend of Christian, the boyfriend of Dani, the protagonist of the film. Mark accompanies Christian, Dani, and their other friends Josh and Pelle to a remote Swedish commune, where they witness a pagan cult’s rituals and ceremonies. Mark meets a gruesome fate when he is killed by the cultists in revenge for urinating on a sacred tree. His body is then skinned and turned into a blood eagle, a horrific form of torture and execution.
Mark’s Death in Midsommar
Mark is portrayed as a comic relief character, who is insensitive, immature, and disrespectful of the cult’s traditions. He is constantly making jokes and flirting with the local women, much to the annoyance of the cult members. He also shows no interest in the cult’s history and culture, unlike Josh, who is a student of anthropology.
Mark’s death is triggered by his act of urinating on a sacred tree, which is considered a grave offense by the cult. The tree is part of an ancestral ritual, where the ashes of the dead are spread around its roots. Mark unknowingly desecrates the tree, and is confronted by an angry cultist, who curses him and spits on him. Mark is then lured away by a female cultist, who pretends to be interested in him. He follows her into a wooden building, where he is ambushed and killed by another cultist, who is wearing the skin of a bear.
Mark’s body is then skinned and turned into a blood eagle, a brutal method of killing that involves cutting open the victim’s back, breaking their ribs, and pulling out their lungs. The term blood eagle comes from Norse mythology, where it was used as a punishment for the most heinous crimes. Mark’s blood eagle is later discovered by Christian, who is horrified by the sight. Mark’s blood eagle is also one of the nine human sacrifices that the cult offers to their deity in the final ritual of the film.
Theories on Mark’s Death
Mark’s death is not only a result of his disrespect and ignorance but also a part of the cult’s symbolic and ritualistic plan. Some fans have theorized that Mark’s death represents one of the four elements: air. This is based on the fact that his lungs are exposed and he is placed in a building that has a large opening in the roof. The other three elements are represented by the other human sacrifices: earth (Simon, who is buried alive and has flowers growing out of his eyes), fire (Christian, who is burned alive in a bear suit), and water (Connie, who is drowned in a lake).
Another theory suggests that Mark’s death is a reflection of the director’s own personal traumas. Ari Aster has stated that Midsommar is a breakup movie, inspired by his own experience of a toxic relationship. Mark’s character could be seen as a representation of the director’s immature and insensitive side, which he had to confront and eliminate in order to heal and grow. Mark’s death could also be seen as a metaphor for the director’s artistic vision, which involves creating shocking and disturbing images that challenge and provoke the audience.
Other Interesting Facts about Mark in Midsommar
Mark is played by actor Will Poulter, who is known for his roles in films such as The Maze Runner, The Revenant, and Detroit. Poulter was praised for his performance as Mark, as he brought humor and levity to the otherwise dark and grim film. Poulter has also expressed his admiration for the director and the film, calling it a “masterpiece” and a “work of art”.
Midsommar is based on a real Swedish festival called Midsommar, which is celebrated on the summer solstice. The festival involves dancing, singing, eating, and drinking, as well as decorating a maypole with flowers and ribbons. The festival is also associated with fertility and romance, as it is believed that picking flowers and placing them under the pillow will make one dream of their future spouse. However, the film exaggerates and twists the festival’s traditions, adding elements of horror, violence, and cultism.
The director of Midsommar, Ari Aster, is known for his use of violence and gore in his films. He has stated that he is not interested in making conventional horror films, but rather films that explore the themes of grief, trauma, and family. He has also said that he uses violence as a way of expressing the emotions and conflicts of his characters, as well as creating a visceral and cathartic experience for the audience. Aster has also revealed that he is influenced by filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch.