In Hereditary director Ari Aster’s latest film Midsommar, a vacationing couple find themselves transported to a dreamlike Swedish village where the locals are unnervingly friendly, the land is lush, and a distinct kind of horror lurks just out of the camera’s sight. Though you know it’s just waiting to reveal itself.
Paradisiacal settings like Midsommar’s have an inherent unnerving nature to them because you understand that things that are as they should be, are imperfect. But as Dani (Florence Pugh) becomes acquainted with the small town in the midst of its famed midsummer festival, idyllic perfection is all that she’s confronted by, and the town’s trappings begin to take on a more sinister, and almost cult-like edge to them. Everyone in the town is happy and pleasant, too pleasant, too homogenous in their demeanour, and dress, and adherence to something—though Dani’s not sure what—that’s nothing like what she expects.