Midsommar Director Reveals The Inspiration For His Shocking New Film

As you’ve probably heard by now, Midsommar is one of the year’s most shocking films. In particular, the brutal finale—which we won’t spoil here—has left many viewers feeling shaken and disturbed. According to writer-director Ari Aster (Hereditary), this was always a big part of the plan. “That was why I wanted to write this,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “For me, the film was always a perverse wish fulfillment, a fantasy that was playing with a kind of catharsis that I hope people will have to wrestle with. I hope it will also have people cheering and then maybe hopefully later on contending with that a little bit more.”

Earlier this week, Aster was asked about the origins of Midsommar—which follows an American couple during their troubling interaction with the members of a Swedish commune—and he revealed the film’s personal roots. “About four years ago, I was brought a broad, folk-horror concept by a Swedish production company, named B-Reel,” he explained. “They pitched me an Americans-going-to-Sweden-and-then-getting-killed-off concept, and I, at first, didn’t really see a way into that, and it didn’t feel like me. But then, I was also, at the time, going through a break-up which was really fresh, and I saw a way of marrying the break-up movie with the folk-horror subgenre, and then kind of making like this big operatic break-up movie.”

Midsommar is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.