Ari Aster’s films Hereditary and Midsommar have many elements in common, and they could be a part of the same universe. Aster’s cinematic debut, Hereditary, released in 2018, and even though it was originally pitched as a family tragedy (which it still is), it ended up becoming an intense psychological horror drama that earned the praise of critics and viewers. The story followed a family haunted by a demon after the death of their grandmother and other tragedies that followed. Aster didn’t waste time and delivered his second film, Midsommar, the following year.
Midsommar is a break-up film under the disguise of folk horror, which also proved that horror movies don’t need to be set at night to cause fear. Midsommar focused on a group of friends who travel to Sweden for a special midsummer celebration that occurs once every 90 years, and quickly find themselves in the middle of a pagan cult. Both films have cults as the source of their characters’ problems, and it looks like there might be another link between them, with characters from one appearing in the other.
Twitter user Brad Hanson shared a frame from Hereditary from the scene where Annie is coming out from the supermarket, before she comes across with Joan at the parking lot. In this scene, a couple is seen walking past Annie. Nothing out of the ordinary at first sight, but after watching Midsommar, the couple resembles Dani and Christian a lot. To support this idea, Hanson added another tweet with a shot from Midsommar with Dani and Christian, and they do look very similar. Whether this was on purpose or not is something that hasn’t been confirmed by Aster, but given that he pays a lot of attention to even the smallest details (e.g. all the hidden faces in Midsommar), it wouldn’t be surprising that Dani and Christian made their debut a year before, unbeknownst to everyone.
Although connected film universes are a big thing in the film industry, in huge part thanks to projects like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe, that doesn’t mean all films from the same director or with similar themes are connected. However, prior to the release of Midsommar, Aster shared in an interview with Fandango that this film is “something of a companion to Hereditary”, which could mean many things, including deeper connections than a cameo from Dani and Christian and both stories dealing with cults.
There’s no more proof of Hereditary and Midsommar being part of the same universe, although it wouldn’t be totally wild or surprising if they were. If anything, it would make them even more interesting, and would prompt viewers to look for more hidden details or clues that link the two stories or even the characters and cults in them – who knows, they might be part of something bigger and more deadly.