Ari Aster made his directing debut with the Toni Collette starrer Hereditary. He has been one of the most unique voices in horror in current times. His emphasis on character-driven drama that somehow evokes dread and eeriness has been his trademark. In every film of his including Midsommar, Beau is Afraid, it is evident that Aster is interested in the complexities of human existence and trauma to evoke fear and terror.
The latter proved to be director Ari Aster’s breakthrough film where he showcased his unique mastery over the horror genre. Aster was determined to prove himself as a director and he even tapped in a reputed editor by convincing him that he was trying to make a twisted character-driven film and not necessarily a horror film.
Ari Aster’s Unique Take on Horror Convinced Editor To Join Hereditary
Director Ari Aster made his directorial debut with 2018’s Hereditary The film starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro told the twisted story of a family and their terrifying ancestral history. Aster was ready to prove his mettle as a director and he sought out reputed film editor Jennifer Lame for the project.
Lame was already an established name in the industry with editing credits for all of Noah Baumbach’s films till then and with 2012’s Price Check. She talked to Slashfilm about how Ari Aster convinced her to join the film by saying that the film was a narrative about a twisted and weird family and not necessarily a horror flick. She said,
“I tried to get out of Hereditary, because I was like, ‘I don’t know genre. I don’t like modern-day horror movies. I like old horror movies. I love Hitchcock and old suspenseful dramas, but I don’t want to do this.’ Then he called me and he talked about Mike Leigh and his love of Mike Leigh and Bergman, and he loved ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and he loves Kenny.
And I was like, ‘Oh.’ He’s like, ‘I’m not trying to make a horror movie. I’m trying to make a great f***ing movie that happens to deal with horror, about a family that’s f***ed up.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I can do that.'”
The film became one of A24’s biggest hits and Aster’s undeniable talent as a director was noticed instantly. He became one of the go-to names for the horror genre and would go on to make Midsommar, a folk horror film, and 2023’s Beau is Afraid, a surrealist tragicomedy about the impermanence of life.
Martin Scorsese Praises Ari Aster As One of the Most Fearless Filmmakers
Martin Scorsese and Ari Aster recently sat down for a Q&A session after the screening of Aster’s Beau is Afraid. Scorsese sang praises of Aster and his fearless ability to experiment with stories and bring out bold innovative narratives. He also praised Aster’s directorial skills and called him one of the best new voices in the industry. Scorsese said,
“This film was remarkable for me on different levels. The second time I saw it I noticed the technical artistry behind it. The first time I didn’t know what it was about, nobody had told me anything about it. I was impressed by the language of it which was so unique and so original. The risk-taking is so unique and so powerful and there aren’t many filmmakers who can’t do that on that level today.”
The film however was more divisive with audiences and it became a commercial disappointment at the box office. Fans can stream all three of Aster’s films on Apple TV+.