Midsommar Movie Poster

Trivia for Midsommar

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  • Ari Aster's visual references for his Scandinavian folk horror are Black Narcissus (1947), Hard to Be a God (2013), Macbeth (1971), and Tess (1979).
  • It's a remake of the danish horror flick QV Movie:_Midsummer (2003)_
  • William Jackson Harper is the only American actor in the film. Jack Reynor, although born in Colorado, is Irish, Florence Pugh is English, and Will Poulter is English. All other supporting actors are either Swedish, British, or Hungarian.
  • Production for the film was announced immediately after Hereditary (2018) was released.
  • Described as "The Wizard of Oz for perverts".
  • Will Poulter has said the film is better than Hereditary
  • Second (and supposedly last, at least for a long time), horror movie for Ari Aster.
  • Is not related or connected in any way to Hereditary
  • According to Ari Aster, this was meant to be his first horror movie since Hereditary (2018) was intended to just be a family drama.
  • This is very likely to be Ari Aster's last horror movie, as the director has described himself as a genre filmmaker rather than a horror guy.
  • Jordan Peele (Director of Us and Get Out) has openly praised the film.
  • The fifth A24 movie to be released nationwide without a platform release prior after The Witch, Free Fire, It Comes At Night, and Hereditary.
  • Despite sharing the same title and both being horror movies set in Sweden, this film is not related to the Danish cult classic Midsummer (2003).
  • This film was greenlit on May 18, 2018, and premiered on June 18, 2019, marking an unusually short production period for a wide released theatrical film.
  • Jack Reynor and Will Poulter also starred together in Glassland (2014) and Detroit (2017).
  • Mark displays an extreme phobia of ticks, which is based on Ari Aster's real-life fear of bugs and illness. Like Mark, Aster wore two pairs of socks over his jeans to ensure he would not receive bug bites.
  • Besides one from the film's trailer, and despite the film taking place entirely in sunlight, there isn't one shot of the sun. The shot has been reinserted in the director's cut.
  • When the group arrives at the festival, Pelle is greeted by an older member of his community who welcomes Dani, Christian, Josh and Mark into the community by saying "Pelle has excellent taste in people." At first, this seems to refer to Pelle's choice of friends, but what the man is actually referring to is Pelle's selection of sacrificial victims, implying that Pelle has lured people to the festival more than once.
  • The film was originally given an NC-17 by the MPAA. According to Ari Aster, around 30 minutes was cut from the final film mainly due to content. The director's cut released shortly after its theatrical run restores this footage.
  • Despite the Swedish setting, the film was mostly shot in Hungary.
  • The blanket over Dani's bedroom at the village has the same pattern than the carpet from The Shining.
  • In the script, Dani and her friends all live in New York and her parents live in Minnesota. All of the US scenes are filmed in Utah.
  • This is the fifth A24 film to be released nationwide without a platform release prior. The others were The Witch (2016), Free Fire (2017), It Comes At Night (2017), and Hereditary (2018).
  • Most of the Swedish dialogue spoken by the Hårga natives is deliberately not subtitled in order to create the sense of isolation for the audience and especially the foreign visitors.
  • Early in the film, the college men are seated in the bar under a massive reproduction of the infamous Sophia Loren-Jayne Mansfield 'wardrobe malfunction' photo.
  • Pelle mention that Maja have just become "byxmyndig", which is Swedish slang for the age of consent, which is 15 in Sweden. Isabelle Grill, who plays Maja, was 20 years old when the movie was filmed.
  • Shortly before the group arrives at Harga they drive under a yellow banner saying HÄLSINGLAND (the province of Sweden where Harga is located). It looks like an ordinary greeting sign. However, in fine print, the banner also says: "Stop mass-migration to HÄLSINGLAND. Vote for a Free North this fall."
  • Florence Pugh appeared in two different 2019 movies in which her character wears a flower crown in significant scenes. She played Amy March in Little Women (2019), in which she and other characters wore them during Meg's wedding, and she played Dani Ardor in Midsommar, in which multiple characters wore them in ritual contexts. The main movie poster and emblematic image for Midsommar depicts Pugh in extreme close-up, wearing a flower crown, and crying.
  • Though the extended version was billed the "Director's Cut" for marketing and promotional purposes, Ari Aster himself prefers the theatrical cut, as he feels it "flows better."

Spoilers

  • Josh's death scene is very reminiscent of the first murder scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The killer is even wearing a mask of human skin, much like Leatherface did.
  • Director's Trademark: Both of Ari Aster's films so far have included gruesome shots of bashed-in faces, cults, old people in the nude and explorations of grief and relationships.
  • During the meal where meat pies are served, Christian has a glass of reddish juice, while everyone else has yellow juice. An image earlier in the film suggests that this may be because his drink has been spiked with menstrual blood.
  • When Pelle is comforting Dani, trying to stop her from leaving the festival, he mentions that he understands the pain of the loss of her parents because his own parents "burned up" in a fire when he was a child, implying that Pelle's parents were sacrificial victims who were burned to death like the victims seen at the end of the film.
  • When the group first arrives at the festival, Pelle introduces his friends to an older member of his community who welcomes them to the Mid-summer festival by saying "Pelle has excellent taste in people". At first, this seems to refer to Pelle's choice of friends, but in actuality, it refers to Pelle's choice of sacrificial victims, implying that Pelle has lured people to Sweden to be sacrificed more than once before.(WRONG. THE CEREMONY TAKES PLACE EVERY 90 YEARS. THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE)
  • When Pelle is explaining to Dani the life cycle of a person from his community, he compares the stages of life to the seasons in a year, with Winter ending at the age of 72. Dani asks what happens to a person at 72, and Pelle mimes "death". Dani laughs, mistaking this for a joke but later it is revealed that the community does participate in a ritual of assisted suicide for its members who have come to the end of the cycle; Pelle was not joking.
  • In Dani's nightmare, she opens her mouth to scream and a cloud of black smoke pours out, mirroring the death of her parents and specifically her sister, who inhaled the exhaust from a car directly into her mouth.
  • Dani's surname is Ardor, which is a noun meaning a zealous or excited transitory state. Dani resignedly becomes part of the clan towards the film's climax.
  • Early in the film, Simon sees a group of kids playing and asks Pelle what they are doing. Pelle explains that they are playing "Skin the fool". During the sacrifice scene at the end of the film, Mark's skinned and mutilated body is carried into the temple with a jester's hat atop his head. The kids game may have been derived from the actual practice of "skinning the fool" for the Mid-summer sacrifice.
  • When Josh broaches the idea of doing his thesis on the Hårgas with Pelle, Pelle says that the elders would never allow that because staying isolated is a vital part of their survival as a community. Later, Pelle tells Josh that the elders have allowed him to do his thesis provided he change the names and locations. This is because they don't intend to let Josh (or Christian) leave the festival. They are merely trying to appease them until they can sacrifice them at the end of the festival.
  • When Josh sneaks away to photograph pictures of the 'Rubi Radr' holy book and sees Mark standing in the doorway, it is in fact Ulf (the man who screamed at Mark for urinating on the ancestral tree) wearing Mark's skin. (This is confirmed by the screenplay). Earlier Mark had asked Josh if Ulf was going to kill him for urinating on the tree. This is exactly what happens.
  • Simon's fate is based on a Viking ritualised execution method called blood eagle, in which victims were placed in a prone position, their ribs severed from the spine with a sharp tool, and their lungs pulled through the opening to create a pair of "wings". The victim would supposedly be alive and concious through the process and not die until sometime after (likely from blood loss). As such, when Christian finds him, Simon is still breathing, though barely, if at all, concious. As he was a part of the sacrifice, he does die sometime between Christian finding him and the final ritual, and it can even be argued he died while Christian was there since he only breathes once or twice during the scene. Simon being alive and breathing when Christian finds him, however, is highly improbable due to the fact that lungs require the diaphragm to expand and breathe in air.
  • When Christian is waiting to speak with Siv in her house, he studies a piece of wallpaper with the image of a burning bear on it, forshadowing his eventual demise during the ritual at the end where he is placed inside a disembowled bear and burned alive in the yellow building in the middle of the eight other sacrifices.
  • In Dani's apartment, there is a painting of a bear and a woman wearing a crown hanging over her bed. This is the painting "Stackars Basse" by Swedish painter John Bauer, famous for his art based on Swedish folklore and mythological creatures.
  • Throughout the film, Dani hallucinates the plant life interacting with her and growing into her. This foreshadows her eventual decision to join the community at the end of the film. Additionally, her interaction/growth with plants gets more pronounced as the film progresses. Notable examples include the tuft of grass growing through her hand, the grass consuming her feet, the vines on her throne reacting to the movement of her arms, the flowers in her crown "breathing" in sync with her, and the dress and crown made entirely of flowers in the final scene (signaling her complete engulfment by the community).
  • When Christian is being prepared to be sacrificed, the villagers put him a bear suit similar to the one worn by Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man (2006). Oddly enough, Cage's movie is a remake of The Wicker Man (1973), that is considered the basis for many movies about pagan cults with human sacrifices, including this movie.
  • Midsommar's feast turns around number 9: the complete ritual lasts for nine days, in which nine lives are sacrificed to purify all the town. In addition, Pelle explains to Dani and the rest of the newcomers that the cycle of life conceived by Hårga's people marks at 18 years the end of childhood (9x2), youth at 36 (9x4), maturity at 54 (9x6), and aged and the end of life at 72 (9x8). The sum of ciphers of each age of Hårga's cycle of life (18, 36, 54 and 72) is also 9. In addition, the feast itself is celebrated every 90 years (9x10), implying that each one of the sacrificed equal 10 years of purity for Hårga's people. Even the feast's name, Midsommar, has 9 letters. Also, at the beginning of the movie when Dani leaves a message for her parents, the answering machine number counts up to 9 before it leaves the frame. The importance of 9 derives from the old myth of Odin, father of all Norse gods, who was hung up upside down for nine days in Yggdrasil, Tree of World, in order to bring knowledge to the world, creating Futhark, Runes' language.
  • When Dani and her friends arrive at Hårga's, Christian jokes about "meet the Davidians Sect". It refers to the infamous sect lead by David Koresh that in February 1993, after a siege of 51 days between the Davidians and law enforcement in Waco, Texas, resulted in the Davidians compound caught on fire as law enforcement attempted to breach the building. 76 people died and very few of the davidians survived.
  • Jack Reynor's character, Christian, plans to write his thesis on Hårga's pagan cult. Ironically, he is killed during the final ritual, being the "christian" killed by the "pagan".
  • Dani and Christian show very little affection towards each other in the movie, due to their distant feelings. Through the whole runtime of the theatrical release, they don't even kiss each other. The director's cut, however, contains a scene in which they kiss.
  • After the coerced coitus scene, Christian was supposed to run away in the robe that he had entered in. Jack Reynor himself suggested that Christian run out completely nude in order to appear more vulnerable and thus appears fully nude here. Reynor was inspired by having recently watched The Last House on the Left (1972) in which, like many films in the horror genre, female characters are made nude, humiliated and/or assaulted before their demise. He felt it was due time that male characters be made to suffer similar indignation.
  • The opening mural from left to right foreshadows the events of the entire film, and provides clues pertaining to the contrasting fates of Dani and Christian. Looking closely, it reveals Pelle as the mastermind behind the invitation to visit Hårga. When the visitors reached the village, Connie and Simon examined a tapestry that shows a woman falling in love with a man, placing flowers under his pillow, and then hiding her pubic hair in his food - resulting in the man falling in love with and impregnating her. That's exactly what Maja did to Christian before and during the May Queen celebrations.
  • Toward the end of the film, when Dani is lifted onto the pedestal to be carried to the dinner table, you can make out her sister's face in the trees with the exhaust tube in her mouth
  • Despite being the main characters and with the exception of cries and screams, neither Dani or Christian speak in the last twenty-five minutes.
  • When all the main characters are talking in the apartment about the Sweden trip, beside Christian on the fridge is a framed picture of Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz (1939). Scarecrow was afraid of fire as he was made of straw and would burn quickly. This either foreshadows Christian's fate of burning alive surrounded by straw and bodies arranged like scarecrows, or Mark's fate of being skinned and turned into a straw doll.
  • The scarecrow picture foreshadows Mark's fate, not Christian's.
  • During the climax of the movie, one of the elders of Harga has Dani choose between Christian or a randomly-picked community member to be sacrificed at the final day of the Midsommar festival. The method they use to randomly pick the member is a lottery ball machine, much like a famous short story known as 'The Lottery' which revolves around sacrificing a community member so that a society can continue to flourish.
  • Connie's corpse, being wheeled into the shrine with all of the others, is shown to be wet and bloated. This insinuates that the villagers drowned her in a nearby lake after they had killed Simon. This is further confirmed in the Director's Cut, where a boy is almost sacrificed by drowning in a lake by the villagers while wearing a sacrificial robe, this same robe is what Connie's corpse was wearing.
  • According to Ari Aster, Pelle was the villager that bludgeoned Josh to death with the hammer after he was caught taking pictures of the book.
  • During the sacrifice at the end of the film, Ingmer and Ulf are given dew from the 'Yew' tree. As they are fed this dew, Ulf is told, "Feel no pain" and Ingmer told "Feel no fear" As the building Burns and the fire inches closer to them, Ingmer looks at Ulf with fear, and Ulf gazes back before the fire engulfs him and he starts to wail in pain. This could possibly indicate that at the last moment both Ingmer and Ulf realize that everything they've been told is a lie, but are unable to do anything about it, and unfortunately die without being able to warn others.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when the camera shows the Ardor Residence and Dani's parents dying in their sleep from Terri's suicide, you can clearly see a laurel-like arrangement of flowers laid on a picture of a young girl, presumably Dani as a child. This foreshadows Dani being crowned the May Queen of Harga during the Midsommar festivities.
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