Ari Aster Movies Ranked from Worst to Best, from Hereditary to Beau is Afraid

A comprehensive list of Ari Aster movies ranked, including Hereditary, Midsommar, and Beau is Afraid

ari aster beau is afraid
Ari Aster, director of Beau is Afraid (2023)

From his very first film, it was clear that Ari Aster was going to be a director to look out for moving forward. Hereditary is one of my favorite movies released in the 2010s, and quite clearly one of the best horror films ever made. For Aster to make such a remarkable, striking, and fearless terror-piece that would eventually usher in a series of copycats hiding under the subgenre of “elevated horror” (some for his studio-home A24, some for other indie production companies) is incredible given how early it happened in his career.

And he would continue to follow up this demented feature with two movies that completely subvert expectations and crawl under your skin. Your mileage may vary with all of his Ari Aster’s movies, but the signs of a successfully distinct filmmaker are all there; Ari’s movies are overseen statistically when given his films’ subject matter and visual instincts. Beau is Afraid is one of the most audacious and ludicrous movies ever released in theaters. I saw it in a packed second-run theater. Ari Aster is one of a small number of directors capable of this.

I’ll be interested to see where the director chooses to pivot with his next few movies. It sounds like Ari Aster is working on another project with Joaquin Phoenix, which I’m sure will be nothing short of weird – again. He’s another director in this new era where I feel obligated to see just about everything; he makes movies that only he can conceive, and only he can translate to the screen.

I like all of his movies. At this point, it’s just a matter of personal taste and your ability to stomach some freaky, gross visual ideas and interests. Ari Aster’s movies teeter on being quite gross and repulsive. At least Hereditary and Midsommar still fit neatly into the horror genre to get away with some of these motifs, but Beau is Afraid pivoted out of the genre while keeping some truly obscene moments.

Needless to say, Ari Aster is one of my favorite directors working today, and he feels like one of those old school filmmakers that is carrying the torch forward from the generation that preceded him. He wears his influences proudly, and he seems excited with the idea of ushering in a new generation.

But for now, he’s only got three movies – and it’s time to rank them. Here’s how I’d list the Ari Aster movies ranked:

3. Beau is Afraid (2023)

beau is afraid movie 2023

Ari Aster puts his career and positive public perception on the line to create his most singular and divisive piece of filmmaking yet. Although easily his least accessible and structured movie, Beau is Afraid still manages to work due to Aster’s distinct eye for jaw-dropping images and scenes. Beau is Afraid review

2. Midsommar (2019)

midsommar movie 2019

Midsommar is one of the more daring movies of the last 20 years. Ari Aster’s sophomore film is a follow up to his audacious breakout horror hit Hereditary, which features similar, gory visual motifs to MidsommarFlorence Pugh stars in a movie that’s equal parts sadistic and hectic, upsetting and unnerving. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it grows in my estimation upon each rewatch (for which there have been many). Midsommar review

1. Hereditary (2018)

hereditary movie 2018

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More Directors like Ari Aster Ranked by Cinephile Corner