If you thought flower crowns and overpriced beer was the worst part of festival season, think again. Director Ari Aster's follow-up to Hereditary, 2018's scariest movie, is all about a nine-day festival that only happens every 90 years, and no surprise, also happens to be a real horror show. It's so creepy that the Midsommar trailer might make you think twice before heading to this year's Coachella. Sorry Ariana Grande.
The teaser for Midsommar starts out rather tame, with a woman named Dani, played by Florence Pugh, heading out into a forest in Sweden with some friends for a summer folk fest. But don't let the sunshine fool you. It becomes clear real quick that there's something a little off about this festival. Like, you know, maybe that it's being run by a creepy cult, one that wears all-white and, yes, flower crowns.
"You can't speak, you can't move," a woman says of this experience Dani and her friends are about to embark on in this secluded village. "But this opens you up to the influence. And it breaks down your defenses." Yes, all of this should confuse you and definitely scare you since it's unlikely you're leaving this festival (or the movie theater) with your sanity after what you've seen. This includes folk drawings of women holding torches and all that maypole dancing. Or what you've heard, since all that moaning and sobbing at the end of the trailer is downright bone chilling.
The studio behind the movie, A24, has called Midsommar a "dread-soaked and viscerally disquieting psychological thriller" about a couple (Pugh and On The Basis Of Sex's Jack Reynor) who go to visit their friends' hometown and embark on an "idyllic retreat [which] quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult," according to A24's press release. No word yet if Hereditary's King Paimon will make another appearance here.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year, Aster called his latest film, out this summer, a "Scandinavian folk horror" that some have already compared to the cult classic The Wicker Man, which is filled with its own strange pagan rituals.
While Aster might have another horror hit on his hands, it might be his last for a while. Last year, in the previously mentioned THR interview Aster said that Midsommar is "the only other horror movie I have. And I'm pretty sure that's going to be it for a long time."
While he said he loves the genre, "I consider myself a genre filmmaker in that I want to play in every genre," he said. And the genres he wants to explore might surprise those who think Hereditary was the scariest movie of 2018. "I would love to make a musical. I have ten other scripts that I've written that I want to make and there are other things I have," he said.
So, will this movie make your summer a little more frightening? Well, yes, definitely. If you're a fan of horror movies, but not of the jump scares, just know that, just like Hereditary, there's no shame in reading the Wikipedia page before seeing this one.