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The Lodge review – dread-filled chiller with a devastating twist

The makers of Goodnight Mommy have crafted a deviously plotted English-language follow-up about an uncomfortable family dynamic put to the testThere’s so, so much in writer-director pair Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s oppressive chiller The Lodge that recalls Ari Aster’s breakout hit Hereditary that one would be forgiven for initially thinking it was crafted in […]

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‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Star Alex Wolff on What He Learned From ‘Hereditary’ and Making His Directorial Debut [Interview]

Alex Wolff can be seen in theaters now as Spencer in Jumanji: The Next Level, but the son of actress Polly Draper has a lot more going on equally worth talking about. He recently wrote and directed his debut film, The Cat and the Moon, an unflinchingly honest portrayal of rowdy teenagers with Wolff himself […]

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‘Midsommar’ Production Designer Henrik Svensson Discusses the Influence, Symbolism and Lore Behind One Particularly Ominous Festival [Interview]

Ari Aster’s directorial film debut, Hereditary, invited audiences into the home of the Graham family as its members spiraled deep into the dark corners of grief, loss, and depravity. His sophomore film, Midsommar, lures similar themes out of the shadows into the bright, sunny landscape of Sweden where a lovelorn couple attend a symbolically sinister […]

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‘Midsommar’: Destined to Be Controversial, Because the Real Horror Is Off-Screen (Column)

With just two movies, the 31-year-old writer-director Ari Aster has carved out a special place for himself. He’s making luxuriously dread-infused art horror films for the megaplex. It’s not necessarily a unique place: Jordan Peele got there first — and it’s telling that in the work of both filmmakers, you can feel the thread of […]

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‘Midsommar’ Traumatizes Early Audiences (But in a Good Way)

Ari Aster can likely cross off “sophomore slump” from his list of many nightmares.Distributor A24 let loose the follow-up to the director’s widely praised, commercial hit debut “Hereditary” with two buzz screenings, which ran simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Response was almost unanimously positive, if not significantly rattled.“Holy s—,” wrote […]

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‘Midsommar’ Review: ‘Hereditary’ Director’s Latest Horror Epic Is Actually a Perverse Breakup Movie

“Midsommar” begins with a traumatic event and ends on a perverse sex scene, capped off by devious, vengeful circumstances at once cathartic and macabre. To that end, it’s a natural extension of the grim cinematic universe that spawned “Hereditary,” writer-director Ari Aster’s disturbing 2018 debut, but this sprawling follow-up has more audacious intentions. This is […]

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Film Review: ‘Head Count’

While most horror movies settle for the usual slasher thrills, recent indie breakouts like “It Follows” and “Hereditary” have reminded that there are few things more pleasurably creepy than outré psychological horror in a credibly ordinary setting. Elle Callahan’s directorial debut feature “Head Count” is another intriguing mindbender in which 10 collegiate types find themselves […]

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‘Pet Sematary’ Trailer Delivers Stephen King’s Classic and Twisted Scenes — Watch

As with all beloved Hollywood properties, Stephen King’s horror classic “Pet Sematary” is getting an update for 2019. With a cast led by a near-holy trifecta of John Lithgow, Jason Clarke, and Amy Seimetz, the terrors are sure to come from inside the house. As Toni Collette showed in last year’s indie horror hit “Hereditary,” […]

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‘Eighth Grade’ Might Head the Class of First Features

From the stripped-down authenticity of Jonah Hill’s “Mid90s,” to the fed-up outcry of Carlos López Estrada’s “Blindspotting,” to the prestige Oscar-bait trappings of Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born,” 2018’s class of debut filmmaking talent built impressively on the promise of cinema’s future. Directors such as Ari Aster (“Hereditary”), Aneesh Chaganty (“Searching”), Josie Rourke (“Mary […]

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‘The Favourite,’ ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Among Screenplays Not Eligible for WGA Awards (Exclusive)

Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite,” Annapurna’s “Sorry to Bother You” and “The Sisters Brothers” and A24’s “Hereditary” are among the films that will not be competing for the upcoming Writers Guild Awards nominations, Variety has learned. They and a slew of other titles are not eligible due to the guild’s strictures stipulating conformity to the its […]

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