The Hidden Faces That Plague Florence Pugh's Dani In Midsommar

Ari Aster is a modern master of horror and one of the things that he does best is include intricate details that are difficult to grasp on first watch. Often he hides this creepy minutia by playing with shadow and light. I'll never forget the first time I saw "Hereditary" and gasped when I finally noticed Toni Collette clinging to the ceiling; that chilling image still haunts me. "Midsommar," Ari Aster's folk horror follow up to "Hereditary," features another spine-tingling moment that you may not have seen. 

Florence Pugh stars as Dani, a young woman whose sister killed their parents before dying by suicide through carbon-monoxide asphyxiation by running a rubber tube from the car exhaust into her mouth. In an attempt to seek respite from her grief, she tags along on her boyfriend's trip with his friends to Sweden for the midsummer festival. The quaint and idyllic village where they stay soon reveals itself to be a violent pagan cult with bizarre rituals. 

"Midsommar" features psychedelic sequences where characters consume hallucinogens and their reality becomes warped. The film builds up to a stunning finale where Dani is deemed the May Queen. There is one unsettling blink-and-you'll-miss-it visual that occurs when the hårgas raise Dani onto a wooden pedestal during her crowning ceremony. 

Her sister's face in the trees

Inside the trees behind Dani when she is on top of the plank, there is the shape of her sister's dead face with one cloudy, bulging eye and the exhaust tube in her mouth from the haunting opening scene where she was found by the first responders. It's not the only time Dani's sister appears in "Midsommar." After arriving at the village and consuming hallucinogenic tea, Dani looks at herself in the mirror inside a dimly lit outhouse and sees her sister intensely staring behind her; she wears the tape that was over her mouth to keep the tube in place. Dani also has a nightmare where her dead sister and parents are sprawled against the rock where the cult holds suicide ceremonies. When Dani becomes May Queen, she imagines seeing her sister in the crowd eerily staring at her. All of these macabre visions occur very quickly and are not always easy to spot. 

The repeated apparition of her sister symbolizes Dani's acute trauma. Despite her attempts to unwind and enjoy her trip, and spend some time with her (unsupportive) boyfriend Christian, Dani drowns in grief and depression. The untimely deaths of her sister and parents have fractured her mental state, plaguing Dani's subconscious and manifesting when she is under the spell of psychedelic drugs. 

Several Reddit users believe they found more hidden faces throughout the film: in the snow outside Dani's window during the harrowing title sequence, the rocks at the site of the hårgas' suicide tradition, and others in the forest. However, there are not many screenshots to support the evidence of these claims. Have you seen any of these hidden faces? When you first saw "Midsommar," did you notice the face of Dani's sister in the trees?