3. Midsommar (2019)
Ari Aster’s most recent endeavour is the disturbingly haunting acid trip that is Midsommar. Offering what would become lead actress Florence Pugh’s most prolific role to date, the 2019 horror flick is the student holiday from Hell – seeing Dani (Pugh) and boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor) travel to Sweden at the height of the mid-summer festival, ultimately facing previously unforeseen devastating consequences. Pugh’s continuously vivid performance is something of a marvel, as her character experiences a varying cycle of loss and deceit throughout this beautifully presented feature. With elements that are typical of A24’s gruesome independent horrors, Midsommar does not fear the challenge of approaching the barbaric nature of culture, difference and those perceived as ‘the Other’ or ‘the foreign’.
2. Hereditary (2018)
Prior to Midsommar, Ari Aster’s first feature film – the insatiably grotesque Hereditary – has been dubbed equally as profound as it is horrific.
Centring around the familial dysfunction of the Leighs, the film’s exquisite narrative, direction and performances align this is as perhaps one of the greatest horror films of the 21st century; it is certainly a memorable one at least.
The cinematic parallels within the film are especially poignant, with its cinematography matching that of Midsommar. Toni Collette and Alex Wolff give gut-wrenching, emotional portrayals of Annie and son Peter, along with Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne adding equivalent unease to this distressed household.
1. The Lighthouse (2019)
Finally, in at number one is Robert Eggers’ most recent masterpiece, The Lighthouse.
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, the film achieved nominations for Best Cinematography at both the Oscars and BAFTAs, and has continuously been praised for its technical elements, direction and astounding performances from both leads.
This manic exploration of isolation set in a dreary, desolate lighthouse is a striking example of pure psychological torment and descends, along with its audience, into a circling pit of madness and murderous venomosity. But this is also a painfully beautiful film, excavating the relationship between the two lighthouse keepers and their individual experiences in this secluded Purgatory.
Recommended for you: A24 Horror – Success, Religion and Difference in Modern American Cinema
Would these be in your Top 5? Prefer The Lobster to The Lighthouse? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us on Twitter to get more updates on articles like this one.