WATCH: Before ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Midsommar,’ Ari Aster Directed a Short Horror Film About Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy

Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, or induces physical, behavioral, or mental health problems in those who are in their care

In case you were wondering if Ari Aster was always the insatiably weird and controversial director that he is now, having made 2018’s ‘Herreditary’ and 2019’s ‘Midsommar,’ wonder no more. Yes, he has.

Aster’s 2013 silent short film, ‘Munchausen,’ is described by VICE as “a Pixar-inspired silent short about a clingy mother (played by Bonnie Bedelia, John McClaine’s wife in Die Hard) who goes to a bunch of extreme lengths to keep her son from going off to college.”

‘Munchausen’ was an official selection at Fantastic Fest in 2013 and was released two years later through VICE Film in 2015. The film was crowdfunded in 2012, raising $16,175. The Kickstarter page describes the film as:

MUNCHAUSEN is a vibrant, wordless, Pixar-inspired montage (think the marriage sequence in UP, but live action) in which a devoted mother, unable to confront the heartbreak of her son leaving for college, delays his departure by making him sick. She accidentally goes too far, is helpless to reverse that which she set in motion, and is forced to face the unfathomable consequences of her decision. Again, think Pixar!

You can read the entire script for the short film here. You can watch the entire short film on Youtube as part of VICE’s series called VICE Shorts:

Watch more VICE Shorts here.

Barry Falls Jr
Barry was the managing editor of his university newspaper before contributing as a freelance content creator for Yahoo News and Esquire. He founded Horror Theory in 2014 to analyze horror films through a sociological lens.

Latest articles

Don’t Breathe (2016): The Urban Decay of Deindustrialized Detroit and United State’s Neglect of Veterans

2016 was a big year for horror films featuring home invasions. Hush showcased Oculus director Mike Flanagan’s exhilarating twist with a hearing-impaired...

Green Room (2015): The Festering Ultra-Violent Rage of ‘Angry White Males’ in Pre-Tr*mp America

It probably is not a coincidence that, in 2016, A24 released their horror-thriller masterpiece Green Room the same month that Republican presidential...

The Invitation (2015): The Spiritual Philosophy of Bereavement and the Cult of Social Civility

Tonight is the night our faith becomes real, reads the tagline for The Invitation, the psychological horror thriller that chronicles the dinner...

We Are Still Here (2015): The Supernatural Dread of Denial, Grief, and Rural Isolationism

There’s a reason why haunted-house films are such a welcomed mainstay in the horror genre. The house as a safe space and...

The Witch (2015): The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Puritan Moral Panic and Patriarchal Family Dynamics

The 2010s marked a notable resurgence of religious themes and imagery in horror film. Perhaps most faithful to theological folklore was 2015’s...

It Follows (2014): Sex, Nostalgia, and The Existential Dread of Emerging Adulthood

Sex and horror have been tethered together in film since the genre's beginnings. Horror cinema remains one of the sharpest means for...



Related articles