As its latest trailer proves, Midsommar looks unlike anything we’ve seen before. A horror film set in the continuous daylight of Sweden, of all places, Ari Aster’s new project couldn’t be more different than the dark shadows of Hereditary.
And yet, while visual opposites, the director is quick to note in a recent chat with IndieWire that his debut feature shares a few similarities to his upcoming follow-up:
“There’s nothing as explicit as [worshipping King Paimon]. There’s no Paimon involved. But I would say that the film is something of a companion to ‘Hereditary,’ although the similarities didn’t really occur to me until we were on set. But nothing so overt as Paimon worshipping… I would say ‘Hereditary’ absolutely was a horror film, unabashedly, and this film is, I am very careful to call it an adult fairy tale.”
From what we’ve seen of the highly secretive Midsommar, the two films could not look any different, yet both seem to toy with the idea of failing relationships and spiritual sacrifices. The “fairy tale” facet seems to be its most distinguishing aspect, as the horror in Hereditary was very grounded amongst modern family life, from high school parties to grief counseling.
Despite being the only feature under his belt at the time, Aster blew up on the horror scene immediately after Hereditary’s release. It’s a brutal movie about loss and suffering, receiving high praise from genre fans and film critics alike. The director is hoping to replicate its disgusting unease in Midsommar, but instead of focusing on the demons hiding in the shadows, Aster is pointing his camera into the unrelenting sunlight.
We won’t have to wait long to see if the director’s sophomore effort is as effective as his first, as Midsommer hits theaters July 3rd, but if our first look is any indication, it’s going to be a strange, frightening journey.