Folk Horror pt. 2: MidSommar
In 2019 a film was released called “MidSommar” and it caused quite a sensation. Ari Aster drew inspiration from the 1973 film, The Wicker Man. This film is part of the folk horror tradition. Here is a bit that Troy put together about MidSommar (with key spoilers and plot points removed): MIDSOMMAR (history) Midsommar was written and directed by Ari Aster. It was released in 2019, and was the follow up to his highly-acclaimed debut feature film, Hereditary. Aster, who was hugely influenced by Swedish film legend Ingmar Bergman, was approached by Swedish producers to create a slasher film involving Swedish folk traditions. The director had recently dealt with the trauma of a breakup and found he could work through his pain by dealing with it in his screenplay for Midsommar. Shot in Hungary outside of Budapest, not Sweden. The Horgan village was constructed from scratch for the film. The Film stars Florence Pugh as Dani Ardor, Jack Reynor as her boyfriend Christian. Dani finds that Christian and his three friends Jack (played by Will Poulter), Josh, and Pelle (all of them anthropology students) are planning on visiting the Swedish community, the Horga, that Pelle belongs to. The five Americans make the trip to the rustic village and are welcomed into the community by the Horgans. They soon discover that the community is not as idyllic as it seems. Time Out‘s Joshua Rothkopf wrote, “A savage yet evolved slice of Swedish folk-horror, Ari Aster’s hallucinatory follow-up to Hereditary proves him a horror director with no peer.” “Ambitious, impressively crafted, and above all unsettling, Midsommar further proves writer-director Ari Aster is a horror auteur to be reckoned with.” – Rotten Tomatoes Troy Harkin and David Clink will look at the film, with special guest Sandra Kasturi. She was also the guest for folk horror part 1, our season 3 episode 2 installment, which looked at The Wicker Man (1973).
Sandra Kasturi is an award-winning poet, writer, and editor, with work appearing in many places including ON SPEC, several Tesseracts anthologies, and 80! Memories & Reflections on Ursula K. Le Guin. Her two poetry collections are: The Animal Bridegroom (with an introduction by Neil Gaiman) and Come Late to the Love of Birds (both from Tightrope Books). Sandra recently won second prize in The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. She is also the winner of the Sunburst Award for her story “The Beautiful Gears of Dying” and ARC Magazine‘s Poem of the Year Award for “Old Men, Smoking.”