Despite only having made one feature-length film, Hereditary director Ari Aster has quickly become one of the most interesting names in horror. Thanks to a clever marketing campaign, a massive plot twist, and a stacked cast who all brought their A-game, it became one of the most highly praised and talked about flicks of last year. Now, just months later, Aster is back with Midsommar, his self-described “post-apocalyptic breakup movie.”
The latest trailer for the A42 horror film dropped today, giving us our first real look at the film’s secretive plot. What begins as a familiar look at a group of pretty young faces on a relaxing vacation overseas, quickly turns into a nightmarish and violent struggle at the hands of a mysterious pagan cult.
Aster is known for stacking his film with a cast of heavy hitters, and Midsommar looks no different. It’s a treat to see The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper on the big screen, even though we know it’s likely he won’t make it out of the movie alive. Then there’s Florence Pugh, who looks like she’s giving a career-best performance as the grief-stricken protagonist. Many reputable critics called for Toni Collette to receive an Oscar nomination for her turn as a haunted mother in Hereditary last year, so if one thing is clear, Aster knows how to use his actors.
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Then there’s the reveal that almost the entire movie takes place in the daytime, which is almost unheard of for the genre. The fact that the sun never sets at the Midsommar celebration is creepy enough, but there’s something about the film’s washed out glare combined with the soulless eyes of its cult members and folky, yet harsh, string score that creates a terribly unsettling experience, made worse by Aster’s own reputation.
Midsommar is set to hit theaters August 9th, but if it’s anything like Hereditary, you’ll be feeling it in the pit of your stomach for a long time after.