I Watched A24's Horror Movie Marathon And I Have Thoughts

Florence Pugh in Midsommar
(Image credit: A24)

In October, A24 kept up its tradition of fun exclusive screening room features with the A24 horror movie marathon. For only $6, A24 fans got access to six of its movies: The Witch, Lamb, Hereditary, Saint Maud, Midsommar, and Green Room

Many consider The Witch, Hereditary, and Midsommar the best modern horror movies. Some may even argue that these films are some of the best horror movies of all time. Paying $6 once to see these horror films felt like a deal. All of them are available to stream on various apps, including on Paramount+.

Despite being able to see them on multiple streaming platforms already, it felt like a fun way to celebrate the 2022 Halloween season. 

The A24 horror movie marathon allowed me to rewatch some of my favorite horror films and was an introduction to some new favorites. The marathon spurred a few thoughts about these movies and A24.

Warning: The Witch, Lamb, Hereditary, Saint Maud, Midsommar, and Green Room spoilers ahead.  

Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Guonason in Lamb

(Image credit: A24)

Villain Is In The Eye Of The Beholder 

We all know that the only difference between a hero and a villain is who tells the story. The A24 horror movie marathon makes this even more clear. For example in Midsommar, and in real life, cults are bad. However, Ari Aster allows us to understand the cult's motives and traditions in a way that makes us see that, from their perspective, they aren’t the villains. He also shows the villain-esque deeds of some of the cult’s victims. 

The American characters are completely disrespectful to this culture and its sacred traditions. They just see these events as a fun vacation and a way to exploit the cult, either for a project or for a hookup. Christian (Jack Reynor) may be one of the worst boyfriends ever. You feel sympathy for him and the other characters who die, but you can also see why the cult may consider them the villains of this story.  

Lamb also takes a similar path of asking the question of who is the hero and who is the villain in this story. Are either of them the bad or good guy? Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) are grieving the loss of a child. That kind of pain is unimaginable, but their actions throughout Lamb are basically criminal and morally questionable. They force another set of parents to grieve the loss of a child.

They kidnap a child from her mother, Maria kills the mother, and tries to deny the child its true nature. If Ada wasn’t a hybrid lamb-child, and simply a child, the film would have a different tone. However, because Ada is a hybrid, and you see how much Maria and Ingvar love her, you see this as a sort-of adoption story instead of an abduction story.

However, the ending kind of snaps you into reality and leaves you wondering: was Ada’s biological father justified in his actions? If Ada’s biological father was Liam Neeson looking for his daughter, you might be rooting for him.

Alex Wolff in Hereditary

(Image credit: A24)

The Movies That Scare Me The Most Are The Ones Where The Villain Wins

People may debate whether Hereditary or Midsommar is the best Ari Aster film, but I think they’re both great. However, Hereditary scares me a lot more. One reason that Hereditary is so scary, to me, is because the cult and demon win.

Yes, the cult wins in Midsommar but the results are a little more complicated. Hereditary also starts the film by proposing the question does having no control over your life or destiny make a story more tragic? And my answer is absolutely.  Peter (Alex Wolff) and his family are cursed and doomed from the start. They can’t avoid their fate. 

Knowing they’re fighting a losing battle makes the watch and Hereditary ending all the more frightening and devastating. I love horror films, so I’ve seen a lot. The only ones that actually scare and haunt me are the ones where the villains win. Mainly, because it just sucks to see a character fight so hard and still end up losing to the bad guy.

Most horror films end with at least one final girl surviving, or the death of the villain (until he or she magically returns in a horror franchise). Even in a horror movie, one survivor or the destruction of a villain gives some sense of hope. When the monster or villains win, it leaves a hopeless feeling. Even if you’re watching a fictional world, you kind of don’t want to end it with the feeling that the bad guys will win in the end. That’s terrifying. 

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Witch

(Image credit: A24)

Horror Movies Shouldn't Be Ignored When Award Season Arrives 

Horror films have been nominated for Oscars, but it’s rare. This is a flaw in the award nomination system because so many horror films deserve award-season recognition. They have great performances and brilliant writing, and sometimes they have gorgeous cinematography. 

Most of the A24 horror movie marathon films should have been taken more seriously by major award shows, such as the Oscars. There is so much to admire, appreciate, and praise in these films. Being a horror film shouldn’t discredit their filmmaking achievements. 

The Witch is such a lush film that the costume and set design should have been nominated for more awards. Toni Collette kills all of her performances. Once again, Hereditary proves that she should have more Oscar nominations and wins. Florence Pugh makes you completely depressed in Midsommar. Give her an award for her performance. The list of great horror performances that the Academy has snubbed is endless.  

Florence Pugh in Midsommar

(Image credit: A24)

Ari Aster Is Good At Leaving Clues To The Characters’ Fates 

Hereditary and Midsommar are two of the movies I had seen before starting the marathon. While rewatching them, I noticed the clues a lot more. Aster basically tells you what's going to happen in both films. With the art tapestry in Midsommar, he gives a lot of details about the rituals before they happen. You’re also given a lot of clues about the Midsommar ending, including a clear image of a burning bear in one of the art pieces. 

Hereditary could have had a red flashing light sign appear every time he gives a clue about the eventual fate of the Graham family. If he did this, you'd see a red flashing light every few minutes. For the next Ari Aster film, I’ll be looking out for every clue about the fate of the main characters. Based on the past films, he'll tell us if we look close enough.  

Morfydd Clark in Saint Maud

(Image credit: A24)

Is This Marathon Organized By A Theme? 

While watching the six films, I tried to see if the order of the movies has any sort of pattern. I could easily see thematically how The Witch and Lamb work together. However, Hereditary and Saint Maud were a little harder to figure out their connection, except maybe obsession and worshipping of an unknown entity. By the time we got to Midsommar and Green Room, I couldn’t see any thematic connections. 

The only maybe connection is young people suddenly dying after thinking something would be fun. Lamb and The Witch making sense together makes me believe there was definitely a theme to the order and pairings of the movies, but I think that some are more obvious than others. 

Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots in Green Room

(Image credit: A24)

Other Thoughts 

These six movies had my mind racing and my heart pacing. Therefore, the thoughts continue...

  • All these films end with a final image of the protagonists. That’s just a little cool thing I noticed. 
  • Despite the tragedy of both Midsommar and Hereditary, I found myself wanting to know what happens next. 
  • I did not expect to love Lamb as a film as much as I did. Now I have a slight obsession with baby Ada -- aka the new baby Annette (for me). 
  • Midsommar is a movie I loved the moment I watched it. Hereditary I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. Rewatching it, I may now like it more than Midsommar
  • However, I still really like both films and now need the next Ari Aster film to come out tomorrow. 
  • I had seen Green Room prior to the A24 horror movie marathon and didn’t consider it a horror movie. It felt like more of a suspense film. Rewatching it, I definitely can see now why it could be considered a horror film. 
  • In fact, the concept is the most realistic of these six films, so that almost makes it scarier than them. 
  • I hope this becomes an A24 annual tradition but with six different horror films each year. 
  • I also want other A24 holiday marathons, why not the thinking man’s Christmas with a bunch of films on religion or family? Just an idea.

The A24 horror movie marathon was a great way for current, new, and future fans to see some of the best A24 movies. I would gladly do it again and share more thoughts. However, I will probably only watch Hereditary again in a daytime setting. You just never know if you've been cursed. 

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.