Ari Aster and the Horror of the Toxic Relationship

Even during its bloodiest, goriest scenes, Ari Aster’s films ‘Midsommar’ (2019) seems to focus on the unstoppable horror of an unravelling relationship. The protagonist, Dani Ardor, is thrown into a situation where she is forced to confront the ugliest parts of a relationship to her boyfriend which she desperately wants to keep alive. How does Aster manage to convey that the true horror of this film is in staying within a toxic relationship? Is this film ultimately about the liberation from relationships such as these?

  • Whilst the superficial surface layer of 'Midsommar' focuses on Ardor's deteriorating relationship with her boyfriend, for anyone interested in taking this topic, there is a darker underbelly to be found. Take some time to research why Aster gave his characters certain names. What do these names mean? Why are certain names pitched against each other? Why do others appear to complement or even compliment one another? Aster is telling another story within the one that most viewers see. Pay particular attention to the use of runes. Look at which runes appear in relation to which characters and when they appear in the narrative. Aster is well aware of their meanings - and that's why he used them. – Amyus 3 years ago

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