Unraveling the Enigma: The Strange Thing About The Johnsons

In the realm of cinema, certain films stand out not for their commercial success or critical acclaim but for their ability to provoke discussion, challenge societal norms, and leave audiences in a state of perplexity. One such film that has sparked controversy and intrigue is “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons.” Directed by Ari Aster, this short film has become a talking point in film circles for its unconventional and unsettling subject matter.

The Unconventional Narrative:

Released in 2011, “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons” takes viewers on a disconcerting journey through the unconventional dynamics of the Johnson family. At first glance, the film appears to be a domestic drama, but as the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that it is anything but ordinary.

The film centers around a taboo subject rarely explored in mainstream cinema—incest. The narrative skillfully weaves a complex story, revealing the uncomfortable and disturbing secrets that lurk beneath the surface of a seemingly normal family. As the layers are peeled back, viewers are forced to confront uncomfortable truths about human relationships and the consequences of hidden secrets.

The Strange Thing About The Johnsons

Ari Aster’s Bold Vision:

Director Ari Aster, who would later gain widespread recognition for his feature films “Hereditary” and “Midsommar,” showcases his penchant for tackling taboo subjects and pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling in “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons.” The film is a testament to Aster’s fearless approach to filmmaking, as he delves into the dark corners of human psychology and family dynamics.

The Impact and Controversy:

Despite its relatively short runtime, “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons” has left an indelible mark on audiences and critics alike. Its provocative subject matter has ignited debates on the role of cinema in addressing uncomfortable truths, pushing boundaries, and challenging societal norms.

The film’s controversial nature has led to polarized opinions, with some commending Aster for his audacity in tackling such a taboo topic, while others criticize the film for its unsettling content. Regardless of one’s stance, it is undeniable that “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons” has succeeded in sparking dialogue about the boundaries of art and the responsibilities of filmmakers in addressing uncomfortable subjects.

Beyond Taboos: Exploring Family Dynamics:

Beneath the shocking surface, the film also serves as a commentary on the complexities of family relationships. It forces audiences to confront the uncomfortable truth that families, no matter how seemingly perfect, can harbor deep and disturbing secrets. “The Strange Thing About The Johnsons” invites viewers to question the facade of normalcy and delve into the darker, less-explored aspects of familial bonds.


“The Strange Thing About The Johnsons” stands as a testament to the power of cinema to challenge, disturb, and provoke thought. While the film’s subject matter may be uncomfortable for many, its ability to generate discourse on taboo topics and family dynamics is undeniable. Ari Aster’s daring vision forces audiences to confront uncomfortable truths, illustrating that, at times, the strangest things about families are the secrets they keep hidden.

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