His wickedly hilarious films are the stuff of nightmares but the man behind the gory Hereditary has his own terrors to conquer
Midsommar is an agonisingly lovely horror film about four American students bungling an invite to a pagan celebration in Sweden. It is highly likely to give you nightmares. The films writer/director, Ari Aster, is currently having one of his own: battling reporters determined to discover his own demons. Im cripplingly neurotic when it comes to these interviews, he says. For me, these are just total minefields.
Hereditary, his breakout debut from last year about a miserable family, featured two beheadings and a sobbing Toni Collette literally climbing the walls. People sensed that this soft-spoken, charmingly awkward young film-maker might have been inspired by a past he didnt want to share. After much grilling, Aster has learned to reveal small intimacies (a stutter when he was young, a solitary childhood) while palming the truly personal.
Hereditary was the first horror script he wrote. Midsommar inspired by a breakup is the second. It is wickedly hilarious, yet clarifies the impression that Aster approaches movies like a skilful butcher, flaying his own neurosis to present audiences with quivering raw meat that could be his heart or maybe, one fears, their own.
The film opens with a college girl, Dani (Florence Pugh), losing her parents and sister to an incomprehensible tragedy. Even before this, her relationship with her longterm boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), was shaky. Christians mates Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter) pester him to break up with her; instead, he invites Dani to tag along on a boys holiday to their friends home in Hlsingland, a flower-strewn paradise with a few fatal customs.
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