Ari Aster (born c. 1986/1987) is an American filmmaker and screenwriter, best known for directing and writing the 2018 horror film Hereditary and the 2011 short film The Strange Thing About the Johnsons.
Aster grew up in New York City. He recalled going to see his first movie when he was four years old, Dick Tracy. The film featured a scene where a character fired a tommy gun while a wall of fire was behind him. Aster reportedly jumped from his seat and "ran six New York city blocks" where his mother had to chase him. He became obsessed with horror films growing up. "I just exhausted the horror section of every video store I could find [...] I didn't know how to assemble people who would cooperate on something like that [...] I found myself just writing screenplays". He graduated from the AFI Conservatory and met many of his future collaborators there.
Aster's debut film was the controversial short The Strange Thing About the Johnsons in 2011. Between 2011 and 2018, Aster wrote and directed five more short films, often teaming with his AFI Conservatory friends Alejandro de Leon and Pawel Pogorzelski to produce and shoot. Aster made his feature length directorial debut with the horror film Hereditary, which was released by A24 in 2018, and is in pre-production for his next film with A24, Midsommer.