Even before we got our first look at Midsommar, we were expecting something dark, terrifying, and just weird as hell from writer/director Ari Aster. From all accounts, Aster has not disappointed, as the new film is, based on reviews, everything fans of Hereditary have been hoping for, and potentially, dreading.
However, if the end result of Midsommar's production is weird as hell, it seems that this may because everything about making the movie was equally bizarre. Actor Vilhelm Blomgren recounts to EW the way he was informed about the movie, and the quite strange thing he was asked to do as part of his audition. According to Blomgren...
I was actually just finishing up a Swedish HBO series [Gösta], and the same casting agent was a part of Midsommar, so she called me. She was very specific about the self-tape, like, ‘Can you start by walking thirty meters’ — or something — ‘in the woods, and then you do the scene.’ I was like, ‘Okay. Yeah, sure.’ But that eventually got me the part. Maybe.
Taping yourself for auditions is a pretty standard practice. Sometimes actors will be given specific lines to read on tape. Sometimes they have a bit more freedom to do whatever they want to try in order to show that they can handle the role, but either way, it's usually just an actor and a camera reading lines. However, for Midsommar, there were apparently specific instructions to actually walk in the woods before the scene, getting it all on tape.
It seems Vilhelm Blomgren isn't even quite clear what the walking was supposed to accomplish in the audition, but he apparently did it, and credits that with helping him land the role.
Midsommar is set in Sweden and Vilhelm Blomgren plays the role of Pelle, a friend of Jack Reynor's male lead Christian, who invites his friends to come to Sweden with him and visit his home town, where a midsommar festival is taking place. The village is a bit more culty than most people were expecting, and what's supposed to be a vacation becomes a lot less fun.
Hereditary was a movie that received a lot of praise, but it wasn't a movie for everybody. Even beyond the fact that horror movies in general have a particular status in cinema, many normal moviegoers would say they don't like horror, Hereditary wasn't simply a movie that could make you jump, it did it while also making you feel uncomfortable from start to finish.
From all accounts Midsommar is more of the same, and possibly takes it all to another level. Based on the description of the movie from the MPAA, the movie is going to be a visceral experience. It's also almost two and a half hours long, so not only is the movie full of awful, it's going to give it to you for a long time.