A24 is officially releasing Ari Aster's extended director's cut of Midsommar in theaters this weekend. The followup to Aster's acclaimed feature debut, Hereditary, Midsommar revolves around Dani (Florence Pugh), a troubled young woman stuck in a toxic relationship with Christian (Jack Reynor), her boyfriend of four years. However, after a horrifying personal tragedy keeps them together, Christian begrudgingly invites Dani - or, rather, she invites herself - on a trip with his friends to check out a rare midsummer festival held by the small Swedish village where their pal, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), grew up.
Written and directed by Aster, Midsommar opened near the start of July to positive reviews and earned praise for Pugh's powerful performance, as well as Aster's slow-burn fusion of dramatic storytelling, dark humor, and often bizarre (not to mention, gory) moments of horror. Not long after the movie hit theaters, however, Aster revealed he's working on a director's cut that runs about a half hour longer than the theatrical version. Now, it's officially headed to the big screen.
The Midsommar director's cut will release in U.S. theaters this weekend (the Labor Day holiday frame) and feature "new scenes and extended footage", according to its synopsis. You can check out A24's announcement video in the space below.
Aster, as it were, has already shown the Midsommar director's cut to select audiences and members of the press ahead of its release. And although the new cut is substantially longer than its predecessor (171 minutes versus 147 minutes), early reviews agree it actually flows more smoothly and has better pacing overall. Indiewire and Bloody Disgusting's Midsommar reviews further claim the director's cut does a superior job of fleshing out the main characters and adds some key scenes (including, an emotionally-charged confrontation between Dani and Christian) that come off feeling like necessary setup for the movie's ending. Christian, in particular, is apparently all the more deserving of his final destination in this expanded version of the film.
Midsommar, like Hereditary before it, failed to have crossover appeal and has only grossed $34.7 million worldwide to date. Fortunately, it's already turned a profit thanks to its low cost, and will only pad out its earnings with the release of its director's cut. It sounds like the extended version ought to be especially rewarding for those who loved the previous cut, and may even win over those who had mixed to negative feelings about Midsommar in its previous iteration. And with no big movies arriving this weekend (and only a few new films going into semi-wide release), there's a chance the director's cut could even make its way into the top ten at the domestic box office.