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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Midsommar

When it hit theaters at the height of 2019's Summer movie season, Ari Aster's "Midsommar" proved to not only be the demented daylight horror flick the genre-loving masses craved, but an unexpected crossover hit that scared up almost $50 million at the world-wide box office. The film also proved a legit cinematic shocker every bit as twisted, and artistically ambitious as Aster's previous offering, 2018's, ahem, head-spinning Satanic cult flick "Hereditary." As it happens, a cult of sorts features prominently in "Midsommar" too, this one coming in the guise of the Swedish villagers at the center of the nightmarish narrative.

We meet said villagers early in "Midsommar," and it quickly becomes clear they've got some nasty things planned for the tragedy-stricken heroine of the story, Dani (Florence Pugh) and her traveling buddies, all of whom have come to town to experience the village's fabled, once-a-century midsummer festival. Once in town, things begin to go wrong for the group in shocking, unexpected ways that almost can't be conveyed in words. It seems, however, we should've known supremely bad tidings were ahead for Dani and her traveling partners before "Midsommar" even really started, because Aster tells us as much in the film's opening frame.  

The tapestry in Midsommar's opening shot told of grim tidings indeed

Actually, Ari Aster shows us things wouldn't go well for Dani and the gang in the opening shot of "Midsommar." That shot depicts a tapestry done in the folky style we'd see plenty of once the group reached the village, and deftly illustrates the seasonal shift midsummer festivals typically celebrate. On the surface, that would seem enough for Aster to include it as the first image we see in "Midsommar." Upon closer inspection, however, that tapestry vividly details the madness that awaits the characters within.

If you missed Aster's ingenious narrative tease in the opening moments of "Midsommar," we wont spoil many of its secrets in hopes you'll explore the haunting images for yourself. But even a cursory reading of the tapestry shows that it highlights some of the film's major plot points, including the devastating demise of Dani's family, her escalating troubles with wayward beau Christian (Jack Reynor), Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren) leading the gang to the ruinous village in Pied Piper fashion, and a certain fall from a cliff that no "Midsommar" fan will soon forget. 

Yes, it also depicts Dani's fateful dance around the Maypole, and in a grim bit of foreshadowing, includes a drawing of a bear. There's more to discover in the "Midsommar" tapestry to be certain. But as far as cinematic Easter eggs go, this truly is one for the ages. The only question is: was the tapestry meant to depict past events, or those to come?