After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Stars: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne
Hereditary marks yet another great film in the repertoire of A24. This production company just seems to keep releasing well-crafted deep films year after year! Examples include: Enemy, A Most Violent Year, Swiss Army Man, The Disaster Artist, Lady Bird, Ex Machina, Moonlight, Room …the list goes on! What’s equally impressive is that this list doesn’t include A24’s horror films (e.g., The Witch and It Comes at Night), which are just as stellar and will now be accompanied by the equal Hereditary. Any film A24 releases is one that I now pay attention to. I can’t say that about any other movie company.
Hereditary is a masterly-directed film with superb acting that leaves you haunted with its unsettling themes and imagery.
Right from the start, the movie’s camerawork and editing successfully create this creepy tone to be sustained for the grand majority of the running time. One of the things that I love most about this movie is that even the most mundane sequences in the film had me anxiously awaiting something dreadful. This is a director that knows how to create suspense and tension…and it’s his directorial debut! Ari Aster I’m going to be keeping my eye on you. Gosh the way Aster filmed ghostly threats in dark corner backgrounds is amazing!
The actors that play the four family members all give performances that are just top notch. Special recognition has to go to Toni Collette, who conveys such extreme emotions in a believable and captivating way. I hope she’s recognized by many award programs.
The film explores the theme of demons being passed on between generations through the concepts of mental illness, family dynamics, the supernatural, and spiritualism. Those are all hard concepts to balance in one movie, but it’s done so well here.
I think the one minor complaint I have is that the third act has some heavy expositional moments that I think clash with the rest of smoothly symbolic and atmospheric scenes of the movie.
The pacing is slow and the scares are not those of typical mainstream horror films. Therefore, this movie isn’t for everyone. However, I think the slow-burn is fitting for this disturbing and creepy story. Since the movie is about cursed generations, the best analogy I can give is that if The Shinning and Rosemary's Baby had a child in the 21st century, it would be this film.
A- from me. What did you guys think?! I struggled to turn off the lights when I went to sleep last night haha especially since some of the creepiest scenes involved dark forces in the background of a bedroom at night!