Jordan Peele and Ari Aster are two horror filmmakers at the forefront of the industry’s new wave, each making flicks that subvert the tropes and jump scares typical in the genre. Another thing they have in common? 2019 will see the release of both of their sophomore films—Us and Midsommar, respectively. In a new interview for Fangoria magazine, released exclusively through Entertainment Weekly, the two horror geniuses discuss just what makes Midsommar so different, terrifying, and great.
For the fourth issue, Peele interviewed Aster as he prepares for the release of his newest A24 horror feature, which follows the scariest film of 2018, Hereditary. And, if this interview is to be believed, Midsommar sounds like it’s breaking just as much ground. “I think you’ve made the most idyllic horror film of all time,” Peele said he texted Aster after seeing a screening of the Florence Pugh-lead film. “You’ve taken Stepford Wives and shattered the attractiveness of that movie with this one. That alone is a feat.”
Peele goes on to say that Midsommar “usurps The Wicker Man as the most iconic pagan movie to be referenced,” another insanely high compliment. Reading the conversation between these two filmmakers—though it’s only a snippet—shows just how smart they are on the topic of horror, screams, and everything uncomfortable. Their movies don’t rely on the stereotypical surroundings that adorn Halloween haunted houses; instead, they weave their horrors into the realms of comedy and tragedy, and opt for surprising surroundings, like the sunny, floral festival of Midsommar.
Aster calls it “a breakup movie dressed in the clothes of a folk horror film,” and Peele dubs it “an ascension of horror.” He adds, “I didn’t feel victimized; I felt like I was being put up on this pedestal and honored through the eyes of the protagonist,” Peele says of the film before lauding it as having “some of the most atrociously disturbing imagery I’ve ever seen on film.”
July 3 feels so, so far away.