Summer is the perfect time for an eerie, atmospheric horror movie. One of this summer’s critical and commercial hits is Midsommar, an American film about a group of young adults who venture to the town of Hårga, Sweden to attend a festival that only occurs once every 90 years, only to find themselves in the midst of a pagan cult ritual. Of course, things get creepy, and bodies begin to pile up. We’re happy to reveal one of the secrets to the film’s bucolic but menacing feel is that instead of shooting on location in Sweden, Midsommar was shot in and around Budapest.
Midsommar’s director, Ari Aster, turned to Hungary after discovering difficult restrictions that made long days of filming challenging in Sweden. He instead settled on Hungary, with its ‘can do’ work ethic. This isn’t unprecedented, and Midsommar certainly isn’t the first horror film to be shot in Budapest. Foremost, Underworld was shot here, along with feature films Season of the Witch, Howling V, The Rite, Dracula, and Hellboy II. Most surprisingly, the film Don’t Breathe, a horror film which takes place in a house in the urban wasteland Detroit, was actually shot on a sound stage in Hungary.
One thing that surprises visitors to Budapest is the proximity of nature and natural locations in regards to the urban downtown. Budapest is one of the few major capitals in the world where you can go scuba diving, caving, kayaking, and indeed hiking through seeming wilderness within the city’s boundaries. This versatility is indeed very attractive to film-makers who want the technical infrastructure an urban center has to offer along with natural settings. Moreover, the rolling hillside in and around Budapest, as showcased in Midsommar, could be anywhere. We can’t say for certain this is first time Hungary stood in as the Swedish countryside, but for sure we’ve seen the picturesque greenery around the city used before in such projects as the films Season of the Witch, Ergon, and TV series Pillars of the Earth.
Midsommar, while still on theatrical release around Europe, pulled in over thirty million dollars in the States earlier in the summer. A director’s cut of the film is also planned. Given all this, perhaps Midsommar II will be in the works. With Hungary’s long, hot summers and striking, though sometimes eerie locations, we can only hope to create another chilling summer — or ‘sommar’ — thrill.
Flatpack Films has many years of experience dedicated to offering expert servicing. It has brought the best of Hungary to countless brands, agencies, and production companies through its unique locations, exceptionally skilled crews, top of the line equipment and technical solutions. Backed by an impeccable track record, Flatpack Films has worked with world-class clients including Samsung, Samsonite, Toyota, Braun, Chivas Regal and many more - bringing their projects to life through a highly bespoke approach.