Ari Aster

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Ari Aster
Aster standing onstage
Aster, 2018
Born (1986-07-15) July 15, 1986 (age 33)[1]
Alma materCollege of Santa Fe
AFI Conservatory
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active2011–present

Ari Aster (born July 15, 1986) is an American director and screenwriter, best known for writing and directing the horror films Hereditary (2018) and Midsommar (2019), as well as the short film The Strange Thing About the Johnsons (2011).

Life and career[edit]

Aster was born on July 15, 1986 in New York City. His father was a musician and his mother was a poet. He has a younger brother.[2] His family is Jewish.[3] He recalled going to see his first movie when he was four years old, Dick Tracy. The film featured a scene where a character fired a tommy gun while a wall of fire was behind him. Aster reportedly jumped from his seat and "ran six New York city blocks" where his mother had to chase him.[1] In his early childhood, Aster’s family briefly lived in Chester, England.[4] They returned to the United States when Aster was 10 years old, settling in New Mexico.[4][5][6]

As a child, Aster became obsessed with horror films, frequently renting them from local video stores: "I just exhausted the horror section of every video store I could find [...] I didn't know how to assemble people who would cooperate on something like that [...] I found myself just writing screenplays".[1] In 2010, Aster graduated from the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico,[7][8] before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he met many of his future collaborators.[9]

Aster's debut film was the controversial short TDF Really Works in 2011, which was then followed by his breakout short The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. Between 2011 and 2018, Aster wrote and directed five more short films, often teaming with his AFI Conservatory friends Alejandro de Leon and Pawel Pogorzelski to produce and shoot.

Aster made his feature length directorial debut with the horror-drama film Hereditary, which was released by A24 in 2018 and garnered high praise from critics. Aster’s next production, also with A24, was the folk horror film Midsommar.[10][11] It was released on July 3, 2019 to positive reviews, starring Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor.


In an interview with IndieWire, Aster listed some of his favorite films as Rosemary's Baby, Fanny and Alexander, Persona, A Matter Of Life And Death, The Thing, 45 Years, A Brighter Summer Day, The Age of Innocence, In the Mouth of Madness, The Piano Teacher, 8 1/2, and Repulsion, among others. [12]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Editor Rotten Tomatoes[13] Metacritic[14]
2018 Hereditary Yes Yes No 89% (8.26/10 average rating) (349 reviews) 87 (49 reviews)
2019 Midsommar Yes Yes No 83% (7.54/10 average rating) (311 reviews) 73 (53 reviews)

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Editor Notes
2011 TDF Really Works Yes Yes No Also actor
2011 The Strange Thing About the Johnsons Yes Yes No
2011 Beau Yes Yes No Also actor
2013 Munchausen Yes Yes No
2014 Basically Yes Yes Yes
2014 The Turtle's Head Yes Yes Yes
2016 C'est la vie Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^ a b c Bishop, Bryan (June 7, 2018). "How Hereditary Director Ari Aster Became an Unlikely Horror Hero". The Verge. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  2. ^ Khon, Eric (June 8, 2018). "Why 'Hereditary' Took Years to Make and What It's Really About". Indiewire. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Singer, Jenny (14 June 2018). "How Did A 'Neurotic Jewish Guy' Make The Horror Hit 'Hereditary'?". The Forward. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Nicholson, Amy (June 28, 2019). "Midsommar director Ari Aster: 'I often cling to dead things'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Khon, Eric (June 8, 2018). "Why 'Hereditary' Took Years to Make and What It's Really About". Indiewire. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Hoffman, Jordan (June 12, 2018). "Director Ari Aster's debut film is scarily good. And that might be a problem". Times of Israel. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  7. ^ O'Leary, Devin (June 7, 2018). "Film Interview: From Here to Hereditary". Alibi. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018.
  8. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 7, 2018). "Writer/Director Ari Aster on his Terrifying Debut Hereditary". Motion Picture Association of America. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Akitobi, Emmanuel (November 28, 2011). ""The Strange Thing About The Johnsons" Director Ari Aster Talks To Shadow & Act About His Provocative & Controversial Short Film". IndieWire. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  10. ^ IMDB, Editor. "Midsommar". IMDB., Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  11. ^ Editor, AFI. "AFI Alum Ari Aster on His Terrifying, Personal New Film MIDSOMMAR". American Film. American Film Institute. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Ari Aster's Favorite Movies". IndieWire.
  13. ^ "Ari Aster". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Ari Aster". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 August 2019.

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External links[edit]

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