TV & Movies

16 Movies Like Midsommar To Watch When You Need A Scare

For when you don’t care about having nightmares.

by Bustle Editors
Originally Published: 
Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen in Apostle, one of many movies like Midsommar to rent or stream. Photo...
Warren Orchard/Netflix

With so many movies streaming, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what to watch. Even if you narrow it down to just horror films, you can waste so much time scrolling through a streaming service’s expansive library to try and find the perfect fright flick to fit your mood. There’s often just too much wading through options for slashers, psychological thrillers, paranormal investigations, and the like. That’s why it’s best to be specific in your inquiry, and if you’re reading this right now, then you already know what you want: an unsettling folk horror film that will nest in the marrow of your bones. In short, you want more movies like Midsommar that are guaranteed to scare.

Midsommar stars Florence Pugh as a young woman who accompanies her boyfriend and his friends to a remote Swedish commune. Once there, her relationship falls apart and, oh, yeah, she also realizes the people she’s staying with commit human sacrifices. The film is decidedly part of the folk horror subgenre, which often deals with paganism, folklore, and the occult. But there are also some films outside that specific horror subset that will scratch that Midsommar itch, whether that’s because of their eerie tone, stirring themes, or depiction of humans as every bit as monstrous as any supernatural force. Here are 16 movies like Midsommar to rent or stream now.

1. The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man is often the first movie Midsommar is compared to, in large part because it’s the most well-known and influential folk horror film. The movie is about a Christian police sergeant (Edward Woodward) who is sent to a remote area to look for a missing girl. And when he's there, he witnesses pagan rituals with a very sinister endgame. Director Robin Hardy and screenwriter Anthony Shaffer expanded the film into a namesake novel a few years later in 1978, and then decades later, Nicolas Cage starred in a cringey 2006 remake. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

2. Rosemary’s Baby

In this 1968 film, Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary, a young, pregnant woman who becomes convinced that a Satanic cult wants to use her baby for one of their rituals. As Rosemary struggles to navigate this terrifying and suffocating circumstance, in which she suspects her neighbors and husband of conspiring against her, it’s very reminiscent of what Dani went through in Midsommar. Farrow was nominated for multiple awards for her role, but it was co-star Ruth Gordon who ultimately garnered a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. — Sadie Gennis

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

3. Hereditary

2018's Hereditary is the first feature film from Midsommar director Ari Aster. The film, hailed as this generation’s The Exorcist, chronicles a family haunted by a menacing presence after the death of their enigmatic grandmother. While Hereditary doesn’t have the folk horror elements (its scares are of the supernatural variety), the film is similarly haunting in how it portrays grief and mental health. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Showtime or Hulu Premium.

4. The Village

Like Midsommar, The Village (2004), starring Joaquin Phoenix, is about a community that lives isolated from the rest of society and has peculiar beliefs, to say the least. And like any other M. Night Shyamalan movie, it hinges on a big twist. Saying anything more would risk ruining the experience, so we’ll just have to leave it at that. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Disney+ or rent it on Amazon Prime Video.

5. The Ritual

This Netflix original movie is similar to Midsommar in that it's about friends on a trip to Sweden who encounter a cult complete with eerie sigils and rituals. However, while Midsommar was the world’s most bloodcurdling breakup movie, The Ritual (2017) is interested in the disintegrations of friendships. It centers on a foursome grieving their murdered friend and follows them on a terrifying hiking excursion. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Netflix.

6. Apostle

Apostle (2018) is another Netflix original, this time about a man (Dan Stevens) attempting to rescue his sister from a religious cult on a remote island with, you guessed it, another blood sacrifice. Set in the early 1900s, Apostle is a slow-burn period piece that doesn’t shy away from gory violence. Scares abound, stemming from both supernatural elements and the darkest parts of human nature. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Netflix.

7. The Witch

The Witch (2015) is about a 1600s Puritan family that comes into contact with a witch after she steals their infant son. If you loved what Florence Pugh did in Midsommar, you won’t want to miss Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance in The Witch, her feature role that started it all. Speaking about her debut film to Variety in 2021, she said, “My first heartbreak was finishing my first job [on The Witch], and experiencing that loss.” — Lia Beck

Stream it on Showtime or Hulu Premium.

8. The Blair Witch Project

More witches! Everyone who was alive in 1999 when The Blair Witch Project came out has seen the shaky handheld camera footage. But if you forgot, the movie is about a group of students who go into the woods to make a documentary about a local legend but discover more than they bargained for. Critics seemed to like the movie, giving it an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its success has spawned two sequels so far. — Lia Beck

Stream it on HBO Max.

9. The Invitation

A man and his new girlfriend attend a dinner party at his ex-wife's house in 2015’s The Invitation. As if that wasn’t going to be uncomfortable enough, upon arrival it becomes quickly obvious that this dinner party isn’t quite what it seems. A cult movie taken to the extreme, the thriller starring Logan Marshall-Green explores questions of grief and the intricacies and entrapments of social interactions. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Tubi or The Roku Channel.

10. Children Of The Corn

This 1984 movie is based on a Stephen King short story in which all the children in a town are instructed by a sinister presence to murder the adults for the good of the harvest. With all the right eerie ingredients for a scary movie (especially the murderous kids), Children of the Corn will make sure you never look at cornfields or roving bands of children the same again. It’s a classic for a reason. — Lia Beck

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

11. The Cabin In The Woods

If you loved the humor of Midsommar, then you’ll want to check out The Cabin in the Woods (2011) by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The tongue-in-cheek horror movie finds a group of friends — a star-studded cast that includes Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, and Bradley Whitford — staying in a secluded cabin, only to learn that they’re actually part of a deadly ritual, resulting in this movie not being what you though it’d be. Sometimes you just need a little humor with your horror, especially when it comes with a critic approval rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. — Sadie Gennis

Stream it for free on Tubi or rent it on Amazon.

12. Mother!

In Mother! (2017), directed by Darren Aronofsky, Jennifer Lawrence plays the titular character who also dons white dresses (a cult favorite, perhaps?). The feel of the film is eerily similar to the airy, country look of Midsommar and also has ritualistic sacrifice. Where the film diverges, though, is in its horrific religious origin story symbolism. Mother is married to poet Him (Javier Bardem), and as his fans start arriving at their house — Man, Woman, sons, and kin — their lives are thrown into such a state of destruction and death that even Mother’s Son is in danger. The star-studded cast also includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, and Kristen Wiig. — Alyssa Lapid

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

13. Suspiria

Inspired by the 1977 film of the same name, the Luca Guadagnino-directed Suspiria remake is a bloody art-house horror starring Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. Set in the ’70s, Susie (Johnson) moves to Berlin to study dance, only to discover that her prestigious dance academy is run by a coven of witches who may or may not be responsible for the disappearance of one of the dancers (think: if Black Swan employed witchcraft). It’s definitely worth the watch just to see Johnson’s impressive dance skills, especially since she started training two years before filming. — Alyssa Lapid

Stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

14. A Cure For Wellness

In A Cure For Wellness (2016), Wall Street-local Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) finds himself at a luxurious wellness facility in the Swiss Alps for an injury he doesn’t remember sustaining. When he meets fellow spa guest Hannah (Mia Goth), who constantly ingests a liquid from tiny blue vials, he realizes strange things are brewing (literally) at the spa. Directed by Gore Verbinski, the man behind the infamous The Ring, this disturbing psychological thriller featuring eels, eugenics, and a creepy-brainwashed cast will haunt you far after the two-and-a-half-hour movie ends. — Alyssa Lapid

Stream it on Disney+ or rent it on Amazon Prime Video.

15. The Lighthouse

Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Defoe, this A24 film from 2019 — co-written and directed by the same Roger Eggers of The Witch — follows as two lighthouse keepers try to stay sane while living on a strange, isolated New England island in the 1890s. Completely in black and white, The Lighthouse is a slow-burn psychological horror drama full of eerie dark scenery, R. Patz’s weird Maine accent, sailor’s mythology, unsettling hallucinations, and (perhaps best of all) sea shanties. — Claire Fox

Stream it on Showtime or Hulu Premium.

16. Us

Naturally, there has to be a Jordan Peele horror film on this list. In 2019’s Us, a family’s beach holiday turns nightmarish when a cult-like group of doppelgängers shows up and begins to terrorize them. If you liked Midsommar’s central female character and theme of trauma from the past, you’ll likely also enjoy this suspenseful film, which stars Lupita Nyong’o as main character Adelaide. Touching on other themes such as oppression and social class systems in America, Us is poignant, smart, and sharply (yes, that’s a reference to the scissors) scary. — Claire Fox

Rent it on Amazon Prime Video.

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