After steering modern horror into some unnerving new corners with last year’s Hereditary, filmmaker Ari Aster is back with his breakout’s follow-up, a slice of “Scandinavian folk horror” called Midsommar. Don’t let the bright colors of the film’s marketing comfort you, though, because, judging by the first trailer, this thing looks every bit as terrifying.
It begins with Fighting With My Family’s Florence Pugh stumbling into a vibrant Nordic hamlet, where a nine-day festival unfolds once every 90 years. From there, we’re brought into a tight POV shot, in which a white-clad young woman tells us we can no longer speak or move, but that our defenses have been lowered so we are opened up to “the influence.” Meanwhile, the town’s smiling denizens dance around a maypole when they’re not smearing blood on stone symbols or gutting a giant-ass bear.
As we’ve previously reported, the film follows “a couple that travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid-summer festival,” where “what begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.”
Sing Street’s Jack Reynor, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’s Will Poulter, and Professor Chidi Anagonye himself, William Jackson Harper, round out the cast. Aster says Midsommar will be his last horror movie “for a long time,” so let us savor this lead up to the film’s August 9 release date.
Check out the film’s colorful poster below.