Horror fans are heading to the movies once again this year. On July 3, 2019, A24 premiered Midsommar, a horror film taking place during the broad daylight. Even Jordan Peele, the director behind the horror films Us and Get Out, raved about Midsommar. Are Midsommar and Hereditary connected? What is the symbolism shared by the two movies? Here’s what we know about the latest film from A24.
Midsommar‘ and ‘Hereditary’ are both produced by A24
Who knew summer could be so scary? Midsommar follows a couple and a few graduate students who travel to Sweden to observe a commune and their customs. The film only gets weirder and more disturbing from there. Additionally, Midsommar is made by the same studio that produced the blockbuster 2018 horror film Hereditary.
Online, fans are noticing the symbolism and differences shared by the two films. While Hereditary enjoyed the admiration of horror fans, some say that Midsommar takes the horror genre too far. Other fans say that Midsommar is groundbreaking — something that’s never been done in a horror movie, including Jordan Peele.
Some say ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Hereditary’ are opposites of each other
Both Midsommar and Hereditary, created by Ari Aster, look at folklore and legends. However, the storytelling and imagery for these two movies are different. Midsommar looks at Swedish folklore and traditions, in addition to those of Germany and England. Hereditary also looks at folklore and legends, but with fewer characters.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Where Hereditary, by way of Peter’s (Alex Wolff) perspective, explored paganism as something sinister, Midsommar approaches it as a benevolent power, at least when seen through Pelle’s explanations.”
These differences are illustrated in part by the setting and the juxtaposition between the light and the dark. While the “scary” scenes of Hereditary primarily take place during the night, this new movie flips the narrative, including most of the story in broad daylight. This symbolism is similar to other horror movies from the 1970s, including The Wicker Man.
“In a lot of ways, Midsommar and Hereditary are both existential horror movies,” director Ari Aster said in an interview. “They’re dealing with fears that have no real remedy; questions about death and whether you can really know the people closest to you. We open the film by having this woman be thrown into a very serious existential dilemma where she is rendered — in one fell swoop — an orphan, and inherent to the film’s trajectory, the story is very much a fairy tale.”
The fan reviews for ‘Midsommar’ are split
Although there are a few dark themes intertwined with Midsommar, some fans commend the movie for being unique. While a few viewers on Twitter are disturbed by the movie’s contents, others recommend it to horror movie lovers.
“Ari Aster is operating on a completely different level, Midsommar is a genius piece of art, a mesmerizing mind trip with an amazing performance by Florence Pugh, equally horrifying & funny,” said one fan on Twitter. “It’s a treat to watch, the framing, colors, editing, symbolism makes it something special.”
“Midsommar is going to end so many relationships including the couple that was sitting beside me. ‘I don’t know that he deserved that,’ he said as the credits rolled, followed up by a very heated ‘that’s rich coming from you of all people,’” said one Twitter user.
Midsommar is now playing in theaters.