Spoil Hereditary and Midsommar for me

Both films by director Ari Aster. Both get reviews that consistently use the same words: “disturbing” and “unsettling”. All the online forum discussions say things like “can’t unsee it” and “haven’t slept for weeks”.

It’s unlikely I’ll ever see these movies myself, based on all that – I don’t think I want a movie to mess up my head that badly.

But my curiosity is definitely piqued. So tell me: what exactly is so messed-up about these movies?

I’ve not seen Midsommar yet, though I definitely plan to.

*Hereditary *absolutely is disturbing but not necessarily"on paper". That is, the premise is not particularly original and if you read the script, you might even roll your eyes. BUT, the mood, the performances. especially by Toni Collette and Milly Shapiro (the daughter character)are not only creepy, but also sympathetic at just the right time.
There are some truly horrifying images but the most disturbing to me was an incredibly sad one

the older brother has just witnessed the decapitation of his younger sister after she struck her head on a telephone pole while sticking it out the car window. He lays in bed, awake all night in a state of grief and shock, waiting for his parents to find her body in the car. We get to feel that same dread as he does, the next morning listening to his parents rise and go about their day, finally going outside to make the grisly discovery.It is as intense as any cinema moment I can recall.

There’s not too much gore, and the most graphic scene could have been really cheesy, yet it was totally effective. I personally am never impressed / freaked out by over the top blood and guts - in fact it annoys me because it’s usually ridicualous- but
during the film’s last act we see Toni Collette cut her own head off with a piano wire. That should not seem in the slightest bit plausible but it freaked me the hell out.

Imagine a 2 hour and 20 minute Wicker Man, but set in beautifully shot Sweden, slow moving and with a bear carcass, and that is sort of Midsommer.

I would describe Midsommar as a cross between Two Thousand Maniacs! and The Wicker Man.

There used to be websites that existed basically to provide spoilers and plot descriptions for movies. I think most of those sites are now gone but have been replaced by Wikipedia, which often has good plot summaries for movies, TV shows and books.

Wookinpanub: thanks…curiosity satisfied.

btw, I love Wicker Man but would never describe it as “disturbing”.

themoviespoiler.com and moviepooper.com

The original, where they are all happily dancing and singing around the Wicker Man as Howie is immolated? One of the most disturbing scenes in a movie of that era I think.

I’m with you, Helmut Doork.I didn’t know a thing about this film before watching on a lonely, gloomy evening. When the Wicker Man and its purpose is revealed, it was a real gut punch to me. I remember feeling really . . . *oogie *all the rest of the evening and I remember having to turn the dvd cover around so I wouldn’t have to its likeness.

Yeah, that one. Disturbing is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. I would describe Wicker Man as “horrifying”, but within the norms of every other horror movie ever made. Hereditary and Midsommar are getting descriptions akin to having one’s brain surgically altered.

These two definitely go to places The Wicker Man does not, agree 100%!:slight_smile:

For non-horror, but just plain disturbing, Hereditary and Midsommer’s director’s first film was a short entitled The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, which features a taboo subject so bizarre that it may not even really exist- I don’t understand the spoiler box so cant use it, but here’s a link to the film, and maybe someone else can spoiler it.


This article does a decent job of describing why the ending of Midsommer is disturbing.

Is It OK to Laugh at Midsommar’s Brutal, Unhinged Ending?

Just hit reply to my post here and you can see how it’s written. :slight_smile:




Dani’s sister commits suicide and kills her parents along with herself. Dani is somewhat codependent on her boyfriend Christian. Christian and his buddies are going to Sweden with another of their friends, Pelle back to the commune village where he grew up. Christian invites Dani to go with them.

After they get there, they do some mushrooms, things get trippy. It is the beginning of a nine day summer solstice festival. Another of Pelle’s friends from the village also brought home a couple of friends.

Everyone in the village lives together in various barns and buildings. They support themselves with agriculture and art sales.

On the first day of the festival, the two oldest people in the village, as a part of the ritual throw themselves off a cliff. One dies from impact, the second only breaks his legs, so three of the villagers bash his head in with a large wooden hammer. This part is very graphic and disturbing. It also freaks out all of the guests. Over the next several days many of the guests begin disappearing, with the explanation that the decided to leave.

Finally the only two guests left are Dani and Christian. Dani wins the dance off contest among all the young women in the village and is crowned the May Queen.

Christian is given more hallucinogenic drugs and coerced into have sex with one of the village virgins while surrounded by about 10 of the older women in the village, all naked.

Dani sees Christian fucking the virgin and is overcome with betrayal. Once Christian gets down deflowering the virgin he runs around the village naked and finally discovers several of the bodies of his friends and other guests.

He’s caught and drugged with something that paralyzes him.

There is a big final meeting of all of the villagers whereby it is declared that there needs to be 9 human sacrifices to ensure strong crops and fortune for the coming year. 4 of the guests that have been killed already count towards the total. The 2 elderly villagers that threw themselves over the cliff also count. And there are 2 other living villagers that have volunteered that will count. There will be a drawing with a bingo or lottery ball thing for the name of one villager and the May Queen (Dani) gets to choose between that person and Christian as to who is the 9th human sacrifice.

You guessed it, she chooses Christian. Christian’s paralyzed body is sewn up inside a large bear carcass. He along with the other 8 bodies for a total of 9 are placed inside this sacred building on the edge of the village. So if you’ve kept track, 3 of these people are alive. The building is set on fire and it is all consumed.

The villagers begin dancing around as the screams of the living are burned.

Final closeup shot on Dani’s face as she is smiling.

Fade to black…begin credits.

Oh. So it’s a re-make of The Dark Secret of Harvest Home, but rated R instead of PG?

I loved that! Wish it was streaming somewhere.

Part 1: The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) Part 1 of 2 - YouTube
Part 2: The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) Part 2 of 2 - YouTube

Is this from an article?