The summer's biggest horror movie, Midsommar, landed in theaters earlier this month and many fans of Hereditary writer/director Ari Aster have already seen the film. If you're one of those who already rushed to the theater to see it and wants more chilling stories like it, I've picked out 10 folk horror novels to read after watching Midsommar, so you can keep the pastoral chills rolling down your spine.
An American-Swedish thriller, Midsommar centers on Dani, a young woman who has just lost her sister and parents in a murder-suicide, and who is currently caught up in a dwindling relationship with her boyfriend, Christian. When Christian and his friends from grad school are invited to take part in a midsommar celebration at a pagan commune, Dani tags along. The graduate students are quickly disturbed by what they witness throughout the course of the festival, but they won't be able to escape the horrors that the once-in-a-lifetime event has in store for them.
As a new work in the folk horror film tradition, which includes both classic films — Witchfinder General, The Wicker Man — and modern movies — The Witch, The Ritual — Midsommar will undoubtedly inspire its fans to seek out similar stories. Folk horror typically focuses on the Very Bad Things that may be dredged up by pagan and heathenistic cults, or simply by more traditional religious practices. Although folk horror is typically a U.K. phenomenon, prominent U.S.-made examples do exist, and include The Blair Witch Project, Pet Sematary, and Rosemary's Baby.
Check out the 10 folk horror novels I've picked out for you below: