Whatever Ari Aster’s next movie is going to be, you should expect it to be quite different from what you’ve seen before. That’s not necessarily a surprise since the rising auteur is responsible for two of the best horror movies of the last decade, Hereditary and Midsommar. While those movies have a certain mid-20th century influence—Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Wicker Man (1973) stans were undoubtedly geeking out during their first viewings—they recontextualized those elements in a shocking way that truly startled millennial audiences.
We imagine that Aster’s next film will be of similar nightmare fuel, even if there are a few more chuckles along the way. Indeed, this is exactly what the filmmaker teased while speaking with the University of California, Santa Barbara’s A.S. Program Board (via The Daily Nexus and Slashfilm).
“All I know is that it’s gonna be four hours long, over 17 [years of age],” Aster told aspiring filmmakers about his new screenplay he just finished a draft on. Additionally, he said it would be a “nightmare comedy.”
The notion of it being a straight out comedy or four hours long might be a bit of hyperbole (that or Aster really wants to challenge the assertion “brevity is the soul of wit”). However, a longer film that defies genre norms is very much in keeping with the filmmaker of Midsommar. Unlike many other 90-minute horror films released by A24, that sun-drenched psychedelic horror was two minutes shy of two and a half hours in its theatrical cut. The director’s cut was even longer with a running time of two hours and 51 minutes. Also Midsommar, like Hereditary before it, had a subtle sense of macabre humor about its characters’ actions and quirks—at least before they did inexpressibly terrible things to one another.
Aster remains one of most interesting directorial voices to so far emerge out of his generation, often defying expectations of what a horror film should be—whether in tone or purely aesthetic. After all, sun-kissed landscapes so saturated that the lack of shadows is menacing was quite novel to many viewers last year when Midsommar dropped. That said, seeing him further indulge in his humorous side to make something as genuinely comedic in its way as, say, An American Werewolf in London would be an interesting challenge for the indie director.