Emerging filmmaker Ari Aster is set to stun audiences with Midsommar. His 2018 directorial feature debut - Hereditary - absolutely terrified audiences, with many critics hailing it as a modern horror masterpiece. Striking while the iron is hot, Aster has wasted no time in rolling out his second feature, the intriguing Midsommar.
Most audiences were impressed with Hereditary as it's undeniably a solid and very promising debut. However, it's a film which began very hauntingly and gradually escalated into a brigade of horror tropes and familiar sequences. In the end, the film that promised something new revealed itself to be a very skilled showcase of what the genre has long had to offer, itself offering nothing new. Aster is no doubt a very skilled filmmaker and exhibiting a real grasp of the horror genre so early in his career is testament to that. Now, we want to discover what makes him unique.
The trailer for Midsommar dropped recently and Hereditary fans are preparing for something special. Honestly, it's a pretty effective trailer and teases a visual feast. Perhaps the most alluring promise Aster is making with Midsommar is a gorgeous colour palette - the visuals look spectacular. Although the narrative details are kept to a minimum here, we already know to expect a couple involving themselves in a potentially dangerous summer festival. The trailer is quick to confirm this. However, it's hard to decipher whether this will be a horror film, or rather, a psychological one. There are visuals of a man breathing in the rising steam from a mysterious mixture, accompanied by narration: "You can't speak, you can't move, but this opens you up to the influence and it breaks down your defences."
Along with this, certain psychedelic imagery and bright colours suggest that this could be a hallucinatory experience; if this is the case, there are no rules. Nothing to restrict Aster's nightmarish vision. Could we be witnessing the interiors of the couple's mind while on a drug? All we can do is speculate, but the trailer - as the best ones do - has gotten us contemplating. Hopefully, it's not a generic retread of something like Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man or Gareth Evans' Apostle. Fortunately, this doesn't look to be the case. We want Aster to blow us away with some originality and Midsommar may just be the film to secure him as one of horror's brightest new hopes. Here's everything we know so far:
Florence Pugh - Dani
Will Poulter - Josh
William Jackson Harper - Mark
Jack Reynor - Christian
Julia Ragnarsson - (unknown)
Anna Åström - Karin
Björn Andrésen - Dan
Liv Mjönes - Ulla
Henrik Norlén - Ulf
Louise Peterhoff - Hanna
Archie Madekwe - Ingemar
Ellora Torchia - (unknown)
Isabelle Grill - Maja
Rebecka Johnston - Ulrika
Gunnel Fred - Siv
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Patrik Andersson - Producer
Scott E. Chester - Line Producer: SLC Unit
Beau Ferris - Co-Producer
Fredrik Heinig - Executive Producer
Lars Knudsen - Producer
Pelle Nilsson - Executive Producer
Jeffrey Penman - Associate Producer
Ben Rimmer - Executive Producer
Tintin Scheynius - Associate Producer
Philip Westgren - Executive Producer
Cinematography: Pawel Pogorzelski
Editing: Lucian Johnston
Where to watch: Theatrical Release
When to Watch: August 9, 2019
Synopsis: "The story follows a young couple visiting an isolated Swedish village; over the course of their vacation, they discover that its residents participate in an eccentric set of seasonal traditions. The recent death of the main character's parents casts a sense of dread over the proceedings."
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