Hereditary director returns with Swedish folk horror Midsommar

Ari Aster gave us the scariest film of 2018 with Hereditary. Could Midsommar, his new folk horror set at a Swedish festival, take the same title in 2019?

Video by Jamie Dunn | 06 Mar 2019

This year has already seen films on the horrors of festivals with Netflix’s FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud. Ari Aster, the director of last year’s horror breakout Hereditary, has something even more horrific up his sleeves in Midsommar, which sees Dani (Florence Pugh) travel with her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) to rural Sweden to take part in an ancient Midsummer folk festival that’s much more intense than the lovely dancing hippies that hang out at Glastonbury’s stone circle.

“It’s like a crazy nine-day festival,” a organiser tells Pugh’s character in the trailer. “It only happens every 90 years.” The “crazy” festivities seem to involve everyone dressing in white, wearing flowers in their hair and dancing around a maypole, although the disquieting murals in the barn at the centre of the festival suggests the activities might get less wholesome.

Aster's brilliant debut Hereditary featured many folk horror elements, but here the director seems to have fully embraced this sub-genre. With the secluded rural setting and the strange locals, we’re getting a distinct The Wicker Man vibe from the film, although Aster has also described Midsommar as an “apocalyptic breakup movie”. Will Poulter and William Jackson Harper feature in the film alongside Pugh and Reynor.

Disappointingly, Midsommar isn’t released in the UK during Midsummer, but a bit later on 16 August.

Take a look at the creepy trailer in the player above or on YouTube.