Hereditary writer-director Ari Aster’s sophomore effort Midsommar is less than a month away, but you’re damn right we’re still scooping up any information we can find on the much-anticipated forthcoming horror film.. Wednesday, A24 released a disturbing new poster for the feature, as well as a new synopsis that sheds more light on Midsommar’s still-mysterious plot. The obvious caveat here: If you prefer to go in fresh, maybe steer clear, but if you, like us, simply can’t help yourself, then read on.
Before today, essentially all we knew about Midsommar’s story came from this brief and vague synopsis: “A couple travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.”
Today’s new synopsis fills in many of that description’s gaps, clarifying the dynamic between its dual leads and identifying the source of the film’s terrors, which may be real or simply hallucinations:
Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor) are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.
If you’ve been watching closely, of course, you may not find these details all that surprising. They certainly line up with Aster’s previous comments on the film, which he has described as “a break-up movie that devolves into something much more sinister,” noting that it “has no ties to the supernatural,” but does include “a generous amount of psychedelia,” as well as “some thematic ties” to his previous work, including “the family element” of Hereditary.
All indications are that Midsommar will be more of an uncanny mind-bender, as opposed to Hereditary’s relatively straightforward supernatural horrors. Aster has also said that his new film is “the only other horror movie I have,” so this may be the last time we get to savor his distinctly relentless kind of nightmare.
opens July 3. See the film’s new poster below and revisit its first teaser here.