If you’re reading this and have not seen Ari Aster’s debut film, Hereditary, I suggest you hightail it out of here, find it on a watchable device, and treat yourself to a real good scare. Aster’s unnerving, terrifying melodrama immediately gained him the notoriety some filmmakers spend years chasing. Though the weather has just begun to chill our bones, Aster will return to screen to get our blood pumping, our hearts stopping, and our bodies sweating this upcoming summer.
Shortly following Hereditary’s success, Aster will once again team up with art house horror titan, A24 Films, to terrify audiences with a “Scandinavian folk horror”. The initial concept of Hereditary had no intentions of being released as a horror film, but rather an intense emotional drama rewritten to include horror elements desired by the studio. As we all know, Hereditary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and emitted a boisterous amount of hype within not only the horror community, but the film industry as a whole, branding it one of the scariest films since The Exorcist before its theatrical release back in June. This time, Aster has written a story with purpose as a piece of pure horror bound to effectively traumatize audiences in August of 2019.
Though many believe horror has a specific shelf life when it comes to the season of release, Hereditary proved that if a film lives up to its hype, it can make a killer profit regardless of timing. While summer is not typically a hot slate for horror, Hereditary’s opening weekend summoned over $13 million which seems to be a good indicator for the next highly anticipated, yet unnamed, film from a storyteller like Aster. If his first hit shouldn’t be used to predict a terrifying summer blockbuster, this upcoming film’s premise and theme should do the trick. This story, starring Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), and Will Poulter (The Maze Runner), centers on “a couple that travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult”.
There is nothing hotter on the genre circuit than cult activity right now, and while Aster has already attracted one of his own, he has commented that his sophomore film will also be the last we’ll see from him “for a very long time”. Exclusivity does go hand-in-hand with cult allure, I guess.
Do you think Ari Aster will be able to top Hereditary’s success? One can only hope… or pray to the pagan gods. Let us know your thoughts on his return over on Twitter, Reddit, or in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!