I LOVE HORROR. Ever since I was a kid, I acquired a taste for the macabre, the gore, and the dark side of reality. In my free time, I read many r/nosleep stories and watch a lot of horror movies. Anything disturbing- you name it, I’ve seen it. All the franchises of Saw, Human Centipede, I Spit On Your Grave, Blair Witch Project, Exorcist films, and more. I’ve even watched Salo, which honestly led me to question my humanity. All in all, I’m just someone who likes to view where the boundaries of human violence, sadism, and madness would end and start. So, naturally, I would be drawn to Ari Aster.
Ari Aster and his films; why are they a must-watch?
Ari Aster is a filmmaker known for his works, Hereditary (2018) and Midsommar (2019).
Usually, I wouldn’t recommend some of the films I watch to most people. However, many themes present in his movies would give everyone an enthralling and enriching watching experience.
1. Ari Aster’s films handle grief in such a beautifully morbid way.
In both Midsommar and Hereditary, the main characters experience grief. The actresses portray suffering magnificently. The wails and cries of the characters are realistic. We see the despair in a new method, disturbingly- as it should be. Grief is messy, and the path towards moving on from a loss is not easy. Often, it’s a road paved with burning your husband and going for an abroad trip with your jerk boyfriend’s friends (if you know, you know).
Aster’s movies border on the fact of how losing the people we loved the most can make us go insane. As someone who has experienced significant loss in her life, his movies always hit home for me. It feels as if someone ripped a piece of your soul, taking it away forever together with the one you lost.
Grief is a dark place to be in, and his movies show precisely that.
2. Ari Aster takes you on a dark journey of the human psyche through his films.
His movies feature a lot of suicide, murder, and violence. Again, not for the faint-hearted! But if you trudge it out, you’ll be exposed to various experiences and sensations that you usually wouldn’t. His filming style, techniques, and direction give the viewers a sense of immersion into the characters.
For example, in Midsommar, he used many match cuts, image warping, and sound tuning. He wanted to let the audience experience the same disorientation and distortion of reality that the characters did.
Throughout both of his films, you will feel dread and eeriness. The imagery, albeit not scary, disturbs the mind and eyes. We come face to face with the true ugliness of mental disorders. More often than not, the most terrifying monsters lie not in the paranormal but in our thoughts and actions.
3. If you love overthinking, you’d love Ari Aster’s attention to detail.
If you’re a lover of easter eggs and details of consistency in movies (i.e., Avengers Endgame and practically the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe), you’d love Ari too! His films feature A LOT of foreshadowing. Both Midsommar and Hereditary require a rewatch because you probably missed out on a lot of details!
He also includes foreshadowing of the characters’ fates in the backgrounds of the scenery. Honestly, if you have a keen eye, you would come to appreciate the genius of his works in the small things.
“Huh? Then, why would I watch the whole movie if he shows that’s going to happen?” It’s not about the plot twist per se. We know how the movie will end, but we want to see how he plays it out!
We all know we’re going to die someday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the journey towards our life’s winter.
4. Did I mention that Ari Aster’s cinematography is gorgeous?
Despite the gruesome corpses and blood, there is an aesthetic look to all of his films. You’ve probably seen the Midsommar May Queen meme on social media. It’s a breathtaking ending scene, and it’s such a climatic one! He’s the only guy to ever make a horror movie in broad daylight creepy.
His color palettes are gorgeous, and even the grayish palette in Hereditary has its own aesthetic. He also features a lot of cult symbolisms with rich meanings. The visuals, coupled with the striking performances of actors, enthrall the audience. His shots also provide contexts between characters’ interactions and motives. It’s really cool to see, and he doesn’t shy away on close-up shots of flayed skin and disintegrated heads.
Overall, if you’d like to be distracted and experience something different, go watch Midsommar and Hereditary. Watch with an open mind, and if you can’t stomach the gore, it’s okay!
Horror is not meant for everyone. But if you do decide to watch it, välkommen till familjen!
An aspiring adventurist who aims to travel the world someday. Weird and poetic, a great friend for problematic rants and deep talks about life in general. Hit me up on my socials!