Ari Aster’s Hereditary and Midsommar Show us What it’s Like for Women to Grieve

"Hereditary" and "Midsommar", directed by Ari Aster, disguise a family drama and a relationship drama under the facade of horror. They demonstrate women’s grief during the most heinous of circumstances, as well as the agency that each protagonist has in facing that grief and finally achieving a sense of peace. Toni Collette and Florence Pugh give stellar performances as women absolving their grief through the most extreme means possible. In Hereditary, Annie (Toni Collette) faces the loss of her mother, Ellen (Kathleen Chalfant), and her thirteen-year-old daughter, Charlie (Molly Shapiro). Ellen dies of old age and Annie’s son, Peter (Alex Wolff), accidentally decapitates Charlie (Milly Shapiro) on their way to the hospital (Charlie has an allergic reaction to nuts).

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