"It would be a shame if we were forced to kill you violently. The blood would mix with the meat, and we'd have to soak you in vinegar all night."

MIDSOMMAR

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. MIDWINTAR

A sunny, colorful, energetic painting appears! It opens like a curtain! ...To reveal a depressing empty landscape with nothing of substance. Step up, step up, come and see the AUTEUR.

SOUNDTRACK LADY

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

(pause)

(looks around)

(pause)

Eeeeeeeeeeeee...

FLORENCE PUGH has a bipolar sister. She also has parents who are alive. Let's go meet them!

FLORENCE PUGH

Good thing a symptom of bipolar disorder isn't the sudden need to over-elaborately murder your family!

(laughs nervously)

I mean, something like that would probably be central to the story, right? We'd be exploring mental health and guilt and coping after tragedy, right?

(checks script)

Ha ha, oh good, we're not dealing with ANY of those things. I don't know why I was so worried this sophisticated folk horror would open with some crappy shock porn-

THEY'RE DEAD! THE FAMILY IS DEAD! BIPOLAR PEOPLE ARE COMING TO KILL YOU IN YOUR SLEEP shit where'd I put my Wellbutrin? Shit shit shit can we check under our seats please

A distressed FLORENCE calls her boyfriend, JACK REYNOR, who is hanging with his group of complex and likable friends.

WILL POULTER

Ugh Jack, that cray wet blanket girlfriend calls you for emotional support over a dead family? That betch is too clingy man, you need to get yourself a hotass single chick whose tragedy coping involves anal play.

JACK REYNOR

Thhhhhhat was Will Poulter's cameo, let's give him a hand! Glad you took time out of your busy schedule for a single day of shooting.

WILL POULTER

Oh no, I'm in the whole movie. All my lines are like that.

JACK REYNOR

(steely blink)

At least I get to see your violent death.

WILL POULTER

You'd think you would.

FLORENCE PUGH

(cries a bit)

(stops)

INT. EARLYSOMMAR

It's the four-year anniversary of JACK and FLORENCE'S relationship, but JACK forgot to care. Let's do some caring for him, maybe he'll come around.

FLORENCE PUGH

Jack, why didn't you tell me you're leaving for Sweden in two weeks? Which is also on my birthday, which you're also going to forget? You know, if this is about the decline of our relationship, we're not leaving very far to go.

JACK REYNOR

Yeesh Flor, I shouldn't have to tell you every little thing I'm planning to do like abruptly leave for a month and a half. I was TOTALLY going to text you from the airport gate! What's wrong with that?

WILL POULTER

That chick be so controlling, man, you need to fuck a-

JACK REYNOR

Don't even finish that. I'm sick of you already, please shut up. Florence, you can come with us, but only if you promise to not come with us. Do you want to come with us?

(shaking head, sliding hand across neck)

FLORENCE PUGH

Why of course I'd love to come! You're so sweet! Well, sweet-ish.

(pause)

To be clear, our intentionally boring lack of chemistry isn't going to overshadow my sister's murder-suicide, right?

JACK REYNOR

(checking out stewardess)

Huh? Oh yeah, you do some grief stuff, that's great.

FLORENCE PUGH

On it.

(cries a bit)

(stops)

EXT. SWEDEN! THE ISOLATED, RURAL PART!

Come on everyone, let's follow FLORENCE, JACK, WILL (ugh), and WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER with their friend VILHELM BLOMGREN to his native village cult.

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Cult? It's a peaceful commune! Full of many working testicles! Seriously, you're gonna see some testicles.

NIGHT FALLS (although it's midnight sun so it looks like daytime) and the cult IMMEDIATELY leads the friends away from any civilization while feeding them mysterious drugs.

FLORENCE PUGH

Well this isn't so bad! It's like a music festival where everyone is restricted to flutes and kazoos. And all these smiling strangers shoving drugs in our faces!

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER

Why does this tapestry depict a woman using her pubic hair and menstrual blood to create a love potion?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

It's romantic! Those are the mythic figures of Tom and Merope.

WILL POULTER

Who are those two non-Swedes over there and can I bang the female one?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Those must be Archie Madekwe and Ellora Torchia. My brother invited them to witness our mysterious festival. See if they brought some character traits, our village is kind of scarce on them so we all have to share.

JACK REYNOR

Does the festival involve that live... bear? Why is a bear here.

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Ooh, yes, the bear is part of our big dance ceremony at the end. We call it "Bear Down for Midsommar."

FLORENCE PUGH

And who are the flower-wearing girls in these pictures?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Those are the May Queen contest winners! You get crowned May Queen if you can be the most useless and passive protagonist of the year.

FLORENCE PUGH

(cries a bit)

(stops)

Sorry what?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Dancing. You win by dancing.

Let's watch some culture ceremonies. Smiling people, flowers, pretty shots that last long enough for us to acknowledge that they are pretty shots. Look, a mentally disabled guy. Let's put his face all over the marketing because it's so ugly. Don't worry, he doesn't do anything. But he is disabled, so. Ewwwwww.

PROBABLY UNDERAGE SEDUCTRESS

My, what hunky shoulders you have, Jack!

(stands above mixing bowl)

(shaves crotch)

EXT. A BIG FEAST

Here's an important ceremony, everyone eats in perfect silence with respect and ritual poise. Except our American heroes, who loudly talk and mock everything and behave like general dipshits.

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER

Hmm, those two old people in special seats must be "the ones." Wait, do I know what's about to happen? How? Why am I shocked in a bit, then?

JACK REYNOR

Dude, did they even give you a personality?

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER

Much like you, I've been instructed to turn off all my natural charisma in order to not upstage any bright colors. But I mention ethics at one point!

JACK REYNOR

Thank God, I bet that's your most exciting moment.

Here's a procession line, where's it going? Oh look, it goes to the base of this cliff. And hey, those two old people are up there! Let's wave! Hmm, what could they be doing? They won't be jumping, because that would scare away all the sacrificial victims oops I mean American guests, so the Swedes probably have something else up their sleeve. Hmm this is taking a while, maybe we can look at the pretty cinematography. That shot's a bird's eye, ooh. Very pretty. Hey, the music stopped. You know what else is pretty?

OLD LADY

Wheeee!

(faceplants into rock)

OLD MAN

Wheeeeeee!

(snaps legs like bloody carrots)

SOUNDTRACK LADY

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee.

(sees backup band has arrived, checks out)

Split open heads and gore. That's really pretty.

Let's look at the goopy head.

Ooh, look some more. Head goop. Mmm.

OLD MAN

OW OW, I'M STILL BREATHING HERE

FLORENCE PUGH

Eh.

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER

Ari Aster really hates heads, huh.

The Swedes approach the old man with a large wooden telephone pole and bash his head in. Let's look closer at that. Oh they're bashing it some more, we should get closer. Look at it. Another bash. You should really take another good look at the pulpy mush where a man's head was.

FLORENCE PUGH

Oh... oh wait, I should probably be reacting! Shit, forgot. Um... Does anyone mind if I cry a bit and then stop?

JACK REYNOR

I don't think so. We should respect the Swedes and their culture by remaining neutral.

ELLORA TORCHIA

Heck no! Archie and I are leaving right now, as soon as we split up and wander off alone of course! That's a good idea oh hey Archie's gone. Where could he be?

FLORENCE PUGH

(checking script)

It says here, after the seemingly innocent cult shows their guests someone dying and talks about how beautiful it is, a frightened invitee tries to leave and suspiciously vanishes during an issue with a cult member's car.

JACK REYNOR

Car? What script are you reading?

FLORENCE PUGH

Oh, whoops! That was "The Invitation," silly me.

(pause)

We change the car to a truck.

JACK REYNOR

Cool, when are we doing the part of that movie where the main character's personal tragedy becomes relevant in any way?

FLORENCE PUGH

We're replacing that with more close-ups of smashed heads. Look, here's some more. Here's some more. Here's a goofy dream sequence where I exhale smoke but the CGI makes my mouth look oversized.

JACK REYNOR

It's a sign; you should shut your mouth around me more. Thanks sweetie, you're the best.

(picks teeth)

Hey, someone put pubes in my chili!

We all see the PUBES, right? We see PROBABLY UNDERAGE SEDUCTRESS GIRL leaving love voodoo under Jack's bed? And ELLORA mysteriously vanishing along with her boyfriend, too? Alright, we can-

Wait, stop, the Americans saw all that but they don't give a shit. Guess we weren't supposed to care. Never mind.

WILL POULTER

DID YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, BROS? Yep, I've been pissing on ceremonial landmarks and checking out TITTIES! Maybe I should follow this sexy lady far away from the

Yes. Please go.

EXT. MIDOFTERNOON

VILHELM BLOMGREN

I'm so happy you're here, Florence. It's wonderful to have a real actress playing your part instead of a blow-up doll with tear ducts. How are you doing?

FLORENCE PUGH

I'm worried, Vilhelm. I thought this trip would be ambitious and refreshing, but what if it's just a standard kill-the-college-kids flick with enough gore to distract from its dull formula?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

That's ridiculous! Have you ever seen a slasher movie set entirely in the daytime? What an incredible subversion! What daring originality!

(pause)

Naturally, the next big kill is at night.

FLORENCE PUGH

Yeah, I shouldn't worry. It's not like every victim is going to be either a minority or someone who dies pursuing sex.

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Or followed and murdered by a silent masked killer.

That night, the Swedes use their APPARENT ESP to learn WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER will sneak into the library to photograph their holy Swedish fingerpaintings! So one of them hides in a corner for several hours with a club and the other wears Will Poulter's face like a mask and shows us his penis. We didn't see Hannibal Lecter's penis so therefore we have never seen this dramatic reveal before.

SWEDISH LECTER

Christ, we're not doing it very well either. It's so dark, you can't tell I'm supposed to look like Will Poulter until long after it's obvious I'm not him. We're probably resorting to jump scares soon, I mean come on.

The club Swede pops out, BLAH-DAH!

WILLIAM JACKSON HARPER

Hang on, I think this might actually be a bad place!

(head thwocked)

WILLIAM falls down and immediately starts imitating a death from "The Invitation." Hey, is that movie still on Netflix? We'll check later.

EXT. FINAL CEREMONY DAY

FLORENCE PUGH

Jack, all the other outsiders have disappeared except us. I think we should act now while we can, take the surprise initiative on these guys and... MENTION it to them. Whew, suggesting that used up half my energy.

(sweats)

JACK REYNOR

I completely disagree. If I get asked by the Elders about having sex with the girl who menstruated in my lemonade, I'm not going to have any reaction. Gave it a slight tang. Now have you seen my Jeffrey Epstein t-shirt?

SWEDISH GIRL

Here Florence! Have this tea. I put drugs in it for you, while you compete in the dance-off for May Queen.

FLORENCE PUGH

Yeah, okay.

(drinks tea)

SWEDISH GIRL

(stares)

(stares)

(throws tea pitcher)

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! Did you not see how the figureheads of our last ceremony ended up FUCKING DEAD? Why could you possibly want to win our dance-off? Why are you still taking all our drugs? You're acting like this is a marshmallow toss at a toddler's birthday where the prize is a slightly bigger gift bag!

FLORENCE PUGH

But Swedish Girl, who could probably be one of several Swedish Girls for all I can tell, it's UNSETTLING! It's BUILDUP! We show a gruesome death or some genitals, wait half an hour, show another gruesome death or some genitals, wait half an hour...

SWEDISH GIRL

So we could've watched you grocery shopping for half an hour and it would still be suspenseful because we frontloaded your dead family. Then we could flash a bloody vagina, thus making your "sit in traffic by a stopped train" scene a marvel of slow-burn tension. I'm RIVETED.

FLORENCE PUGH

Ooh, you're catching on! Let's show the vagina for a good forty seconds, we'll call it "stylistically ambitious."

ANOTHER SWEDISH GIRL

Jack, I made you this water with roofies! I actually tell you this to your face before you drink it. Want some roofies?

JACK REYNOR

(chugs that shit)

Can I get a second round of menstrual blood as a chaser?

SWEDISH GIRL

Goddammit. Can we skip the preamble and just chuck you both in a fire.

No, we cannot! We're going to watch everyone dance in CIRCLES and MORE CIRCLES and shake things up with CIRCLE DANCING and then eat some DINNER after TAKING SOME GROUP PHOTOS and then eating more DINNER and sitting in a WAGON and planting some CROPS and collectively wonder if the wrong cult-in-the-woods movie got called THE ENDLESS. But look, there are some distortion effects on the film stock! So shut the fuck up and enjoy this goddamn amazing movie and tell everyone how unsettled you are, I mean, that basket of rolls is WOBBLY AND SHIT and zzzzzzz

ARI ASTER

Aaaah! Another half-hour went by! Quick, show some genitals!

Oh, naked women! And their boobs and vaginas, too! Cool, JACK and the underage seductress are having sex now! And JACK is taking even more drugs! We should be taking drugs too. Wait, not those drugs, hey how the hell did you get my Abilify? Give that back! I need it or I might flip out and smother your whole family with this bag of popcorn.

FLORENCE PUGH

AIEEEEE Jack is cheating on me, AIEEEE AIEEEEEE

JACK REYNOR

To be clear: I ABSOLUTELY KNEW this would happen if I drank the roofie water, and was okay with it when I was sober. Otherwise we might actually have some depth, shudder.

SWEDISH ELDER

'Tis time... Yes, BIG REVEAL TIME, what Ari Aster is clearly making his signature ending...

(drumroll)

(clash)

The Evil People did all the Scary Crap just because! You were all pawns in a bizarrely specific sacrifice ritual that conveniently fits into the structure of a contemporary horror movie.

FLORENCE PUGH

But I was invited at the last second, how do I fit into this?

SWEDISH ELDER

You really don't. You could've survived by just sitting there blandly, which...

(thinks)

Wow. Oh WOW. Have you ever seen a "the main character could have won by doing nothing at all" scenario ACTUALLY PLAY OUT?

VILHELM BLOMGREN

Wait, Florence does have one choice to make! The May Queen must choose our last victim: Cheatin' Jack, or a random villager. What'll it be?

FLORENCE PUGH

Let me think. Okay I'm done. Jack, have you given us any reason, at any point, to care if you live?

JACK REYNOR

None whatsoever. I've been a massive tool. What's big enough? A table saw? A forklift?

FLORENCE PUGH

You were a fucking jet engine!

JACK REYNOR

This is all about the girl, isn't it?! You do want to have actual sexual intercourse, right?!

They stuff JACK in the dead BEAR (remember that?) and shove him with the mangled bodies of the other victims in a church and burn it down.

JACK REYNOR

(in bear suit)

But... how'd it get burned?! How'd it get burned?! How'd it get burned, how'd it get-

(eaten by bees)

SWEDISH ELDER

And for you, Florence, it's time for the other half of an Ari Aster signature ending:

(drumroll)

(drumroll)

(clash)

None of your character drama mattered whatsoever! You're lucky you didn't spontaneously turn into a possessed boo-monster right before the climax for no reason.

FLORENCE PUGH

Now I can live deliciously with the forest nudists!

(cries a bit)

(stops)

Oh ew the disabled guy's getting near me, EWWWWWWWW

We're all very unsettled!

Oh, we're not? Well let's go bash our heads against the wall until we're dizzy, then stare at some roadkill and call it a masterpiece.

END

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