Few things are as scary as being caught in the middle of a sinister cult, hive-minded individuals who don’t play by the rules, or even follow the same laws. These are people who do not even possess the same set of morals as the average person, as they have had it all wiped away through slow but effective brainwashing techniques. One movie that proves this point better than most is Midsommar, and that is why we’ve created a list of 20 movies like Midsommar for fans of the 2019 folk horror.
Midsommar, directed by Ari Aster, and featuring Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, is centered on the story of a couple who travel to Sweden with a group of friends to attend the Midsummer festival in the village of Harga, in Halsingland, Sweden. The festival is only to be thrown into the middle of a sinister pagan cult. The movie was a critical success, as well as a commercial one, making almost $50 million off of an $8 million budget. It’s a deeply unsettling horror movie, which uses the basis of an impending break-up as the foundation for all of its drama. If you’re looking for literal cult classics like this one, then here are 20 movies like Midsommar for you to watch.
List of Movies like Midsommar
1. The Endless (2017)
Most people are happy to escape a cult once, but in the movie The Endless, we have two brothers who revisit a UFO death cult which they had previously left to gain closure. Soon, they realize that the cult’s beliefs may not be that far-fetched, due to some unexplainable supernatural events which occur.
This movie has been praised for its grounded approach to exploring such a far-fetched subject. It has a great ensemble cast, smart writing and great direction which makes good use of its admittedly limited budget, especially for the sci-fi genre. It’s a great watch if you’re interested in movies similar to Midsommar.
2. Hereditary (2018)
Sometimes the creepy and terrifying aren’t miles away, in some other country, or continent, sometimes they are right under your nose, within your own home. In Hereditary, the plot centers on a woman and her children who begin to discover some downright horrifying secrets about their family, after the matriarch of the family dies.
Hereditary is a chilling story full of great performances that will leave you on edge long after the film has concluded. This movie is definitely not one for the whole family to sit back, kick back and enjoy but it’s for sure something that the adults can enjoy, if they’re looking for something in the same vein as films like Midsommar.
Also Read: Movies like Memento
3. Mandy (2018)
Nicolas Cage is no stranger to cults, and he shows up in another movie with this theme in Mandy. Mandy is set in 1983, near the Shadow Mountains, where Red Miller, played by Cage. Miller’s girlfriend gets abducted by a religious cult known as the Children of the New Dawn, due to their leader’s admiration of her during a chance encounter.
Mandy is more of a frantic action horror compared to movies like Midsommar, but is nonetheless a masterfully written story, powered by a great acting performance by Nicholas Cage, and good showing by Director Panos Cosmatos. Why don’t you give it a watch?
4. The Invitation (2015)
The Invitation is another horror thriller similar to movies like Midsommar and Hereditary which came up previously on this list. It follows a young woman named Evie who discovers a section of her family through a DNA trace, following her mother’s death. She soon discovers that things may not all be as they seem.
This movie is a mix between a romance and a horror, subtly balancing between the two genres from scene to scene. It was a mild commercial success compared to its budget, grossing $33.7 million worldwide, and was praised for some of the acting performances within the movie.
5. Apostle (2018)
Apostle, set in early 1900s London, Thomas Richardson, played by Dan Stevens, travels to a remote Welsh Island, to rescue his sister from a mysterious cult. He soon discovers a rot that has eaten so deep into the island’s society and the cult itself, which claims to be fighting to rid the island of that same rot.
Apostle makes use of a slow-building tension similar to films like Midsommar, elevated by a powerful and convincing performance from Dan Stevens. A good use of a sense of dread, chilling cinematography, and haunting soundtrack is more than reason enough for you to catch this on Netflix whenever you have the time.
6. Children of the Corn (1984)
Children of the Corn is a slasher horror, and is solidified as one of the classic horror films similar to Midsommar. The film tells the story of a town populated solely by children. These children have been brainwashed into murdering all the adults in their town by an entity known as “He Who Walks Behind The Rows”
Although not garnering rave reviews at the time of release, it has since grown into a cult classic over the years, ranking regularly among the ten greatest Stephen King movies of all time. If you’re a fan of the legendary author and his chilling brand of horror, the Children of the Corn has to make its way onto your watchlist.
7. Ready or Not (2019)
Sometimes love can lead you down a sinister path and into the midst of wolves. In Ready or Not, this is the case as Grace, played by Samara Weaving marries into a devil worshiping family, and is hunted by her in-laws as part of a wedding night ritual.
Ready or Not made big profits on its $6 million budget, and has been praised for its dark humor and creepy cinematography which has seen it compared to movies like Midsommar and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. If you’re a fan of both movies then this is the perfect combination of the two for you to watch.
8. The Ritual (2017)
You’d think people would stop venturing into creepy forgotten forests now, but this isn’t the case in The Ritual, a British horror film which follows a group of friends who embark on a hike into the wilderness in Sweden. They soon discover that they are being hunted by an evil force, and try their best to escape it.
The movie has been praised for its use of the Scandinavian setting to create a supremely creepy atmosphere as seen in films similar to Midsommar. It is a dreadful story which touches on themes of camaraderie, as the group fight against the odds to survive their nights spent in this wilderness.
9. The Wickerman (1973)
We throw it back to the 70s with the movie, The Wickerman. A cultish horror in the same vein as movies similar to Midsommar, the story follows Sergeant Howie, played by Edward Woodward, who arrives on a Scottish island to investigate a missing child’s case. He soon discovers an island full of pagan rituals and sexual depravities, slowly piecing together what happened to the child.
This movie was remade in 2006, and featured Nicholas Cage in the role of the investigating officer. Both movies make use of the same plot, and if you’re done watching this bonafide classic, maybe you can give its lesser celebrated Hollywood remake a watch, for an updated version of a timeless story.
10. The Babysitter (2017)
The Babysitter, directed by McG,follows the story of a reclusive 12 year old boy who discovers that his babysitter, Bee, played by Samara Weaving is a member of a satanic cult made up of psychotic teenagers. He discovers that he has to put aside his crush for his babysitter if he wants to ensure his survival and escape the cult’s clutches, as seen in movies similar to Midsommer.
This movie has been praised for mixing a good dose of comedy with the occult horror genre, as well as a hilarious and more than capable ensemble cast. A sequel to The Babysitter in The Babysitter: Killer Queen, was released in 2019 and sees cast members from the original reprise their characters.
11. The House of the Devil (2009)
In this film, the babysitter is the victim this time around. The House of the Devil follows the story of college student Samantha Hughes, played by Jocelin Donahue, who takes a job as a babysitter to make a little extra money on the side. She finds out that there is no child to actually babysit, and needs to escape her employers.
The House of the Devil, similar to films like Midsommar, was a critical success upon release, and was especially praised for its throwback style to the horror flicks of the 60s and 70s, especially what is known as the Hitchcockian style of horror and suspense. This great use of nostalgia is a great pull for veteran watchers of the horror genre while still being accessible enough for newer fans.
12. The Other Lamb (2019)
The Other Lamb is one of the occult horror movies similar to Midsommar, and follows the story of Selah, a teenage girl, who is living among a polygamist cult made up of only women and led by their leader, a man, called Shepherd. She starts to get drawn to the leader, and this feeling is reciprocated by him.
This movie has been praised as a weirdly written coming-of-age story that shows just how much power cults hold over their members’ minds and actions. Released during the height of Covid-19, it made a mere $7,385 at the box office, before getting ported to Netflix.
13. The Nameless (1999)
A Spanish horror movie directed by Jaume Balaguero, The Nameless is based on a 1981 horror novel of the same name, and its plot is centered on a mother who gets a mysterious call 5 years after her daughter is murdered by a cult, who have since gone unpunished.
It has been praised for its ambitious storytelling which intersperses the metaphysical with a very human type of evil. The movie was a box office success more than tripling its $900,000 budget upon its theatrical release. It has been credited with popularizing the horror genre in Spain, and leading to other big budget movies to be made.
14. The Lords of Salem (2012)
The Lords of Salem follows the story of Heidi, a recovering drug addict, and a DJ working at a rock station. One day she receives a mysterious package which opens her up to a new reality filled with sinister cults and devil-worshiping individuals, in the same way to films similar to Midsommar.
It has been noted for its potent atmosphere, elevated by its creepy cinematography, and chilling soundtrack, even winning an award for Best Score at the 2013 Fright Meter Awards. It’s a film full of mystery that will have you second guessing until the very end.
15. The Devil’s Rain (1975)
In The Devil’s Rain, we follow the story of a Satanist cult leader who is burnt alive by a church, and vows to return and hunt down the descendants of all those who were involved in his killing. An occult horror similar to movies like Midsommar, it is chock full with a lot of downright spine-chilling scenes.
This movie has been labeled as “The Ultimate Cult Movie”, and in a nice bit of trivia, is actually John Travolta’s first appearance on the big screen, in a minor role, as one of those who were inducted into the cult.
16. Bless the Child (2000)
What happens when your child is being sought by a sinister satanic cult seeking to use his supernatural abilities to achieve their devious goals, well, Maggie O’Connor in the movie Bless the Child, is faced with this conundrum, as she tries to protect her adopted child and fight back against the cult, a story all too familiar to fans of movies similar to Midsommar.
The movie has been noted for its talented cast, although its story and writing has been derided, frequently landing on many Worst Movies lists. Still, it has been tagged as entertaining, although lacking in depth, so if you’re looking for a horror flick to switch your brain off and watch one of these days, why don’t you try Bless the Child.
17. We Summon the Darkness (2019)
The most innocent of adventures may lead to the darkest places, and this is what happens in We Summon the Darkness, a movie about three best friends who encounter a serial killer while on their way back home from a metal concert.
We Summon the Darkness is a movie with a good sense of humor, which makes great use of its talented ensemble cast. Its plot will leave eagerly awaiting what happens next, from scene to scene.
18. The Conspiracy (2012)
The Conspiracy is a horror film similar to films like Midsommar, and follows the story of two young filmmakers who decides to make a film about a conspiracy theorist named Terrance G. They soon get drawn into a world full of secret powerful agencies, showing that all may not actually be as it seems
It makes use of a found footage, faux documentary style similar to movies like The Blair Witch Project, and although it devolves into a silly climax towards the end, on the whole it is quite a thought-provoking watch, which remains fun and engaging for the viewer throughout its runtime.
19. Martyrs (2008)
Martyrs follows the story of two young women who once suffered from abuse as children and embark on a quest for revenge. They soon discover a secret society who are plotting to create ‘martyrs’ through a process of physical torture, and now have to escape from this sinister cult, similar to movies like Midsommar.
It has been noted for its extremely violent scenes and tagged an extreme horror due to this. It is probably an acquired taste for many movie watchers, and if you’re okay with very graphic scenes then I might be okay suggesting Martyrs to you for a watch.
20. Kill List (2011)
Kill List is a psychological horror in the same vein as movies similar to Midsommar. It follows the story of a British soldier who returns home from Kyiv, who joins a group of contract killers, with the jobs assigned to him growing in stakes and absurdity.
Kill List has been named among the greatest contemporary British horrors, which acts as a throwback to the horror movies of the 70s. If you’re looking for a tension-filled horror, then take the time to give this one a watch when you have the chance.
Here are a list of movies like Midsommar that didn’t make it, which you can also check out:
- The Void (2016)
- Get Out (2017)
- Children of the Corn V (1998)