Ari Aster’s latest offering this summer about a group of friends, principal among them Dani Aster who has recently suffered a terrifying family loss, travelling to Sweden for a folk festival occurring once every 90 years on the summer solstice only to find themselves amidst cultists who seek them as sacrifices for their ritual is, safe to say, one of the most horrific films of the year. I mean that in all good senses, since contrary to ‘Hereditary’, his horror film breakout debut from last year, ‘Midsommar’ manages to turn the very notion of what actually horrifies you. There are no supernatural ghosts here, no serial killers or slashers (arguably), yet what the cult indulges in rattles you to the core. You can read my detailed take on the film and what its ending meant, here.
Coming to the prospects of a sequel though, which is why we are here, technically speaking, very technically, ‘Midsommar’ is not the kind of film you’d generally expect a sequel to. To add to that, neither is A24 the kind of studio that would do sequels, given that it’s an indie movie producer first, and a quick look at their overall filmography would reveal that not one film that they have done is a sequel. Given these circumstances and more, let’s actually examine if a ‘Midsommar’ sequel may happen or not, and If so, what it could be about. Read on.
Is a Midsommar Sequel Happening?
Dicey question, nonetheless, with no clear answers as of now. The makers are dreadfully silent about the possibility of a sequel to the 2019 folk horror film, which is probably further testament to the fact that the talk surrounding it may be futile, since it may never happen. However, there is a different direction in which all of this could proceed. For that, we will have to first explore this very interesting thread of thought between ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Hereditary’, coming straight from the director of these two films.
The internet and director Ari Aster have combined to give birth to a theory stating more than subtle linkages between the director’s previous work and his latest one, with many even claiming that ‘Midsommar’ can be termed like a spiritual sequel or successor to ‘Hereditary’. Of course, there are no common characters or intertwining story threads, but the thematic core of both the films, also including some stylistic choices, remains essentially the same. Both films masquerade as terrifying horror flicks, albeit under this guise, one is a family drama, and the other, a messed up relationship drama. “There’s no Paimon involved. But I would say that the film is something of a companion to ‘Hereditary,’ although the similarities didn’t really occur to me until we were on set. And thematic ties became apparent to me. But nothing so overt as Paimon worshipping”, said Aster.
From what I see here, Aster’s next film could be a follow up to both, thematically of course. Example, a coming of age film for teenagers, packaged in the guise of a, you guessed it, horror film. Aster does these so remarkably well! “The hope is take what would otherwise be your standard issue relationship-in-trouble drama where the couple go on a trip, which is always the weird thing to do if your relationship is on shaky legs,” Aster said. “It’s in the same ballpark as having a child to save your relationship. It sort of takes that germ and then kind of blows it up and allows it to grow into some operatic, extremely heightened surreal places.”
However, if on the completely off chance, considering the same odds as say the Hailey’s Comet, or ‘Midsommar’s Harga festival itself, there needs to be a sequel to this very film in its current shape and form, I hardly think that it could be a direct one, since there would be little left to explore at the Hargan commune, except maybe Dani’s fate, and its conclusion: discovering whether she stays back with the commune or flies back home.
However, in Sweden, winters are just as fascinating as the summers are. Like the summer solstice providing the citizens of Sweden barely minutes worth of twilight, the winter solstice is notorious for extremely low temperatures and minutes worth of daylight. Now, a cult horror film set in roughly the same locations as the film but with the winter solstice (even if most of Europe’s festivities are centred around the summer solstice and midsummers) featuring a new set of unassuming characters, and possibly a new pagan cult. Doesn’t seem like such a bad idea now, does it?
Read More: Ready or Not Sequel