Critic Reviews



Based on 49 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
A harrowing story of unthinkable family tragedy that veers into the realm of the supernatural, Hereditary takes its place as a new generation's The Exorcist—for some, it will spin heads even more savagely.
It’s a supremely effective gauntlet of supernatural horror that’s also, at blackened heart, a grueling domestic drama about how trauma, resentment, and guilt can seep into the roots of a family tree, rotting it from the inside out.
This is a remarkable, triumphant, and confident picture by Aster, who gives the film an almost meditative-like sensation, as you feel every space you’re in, every emotion, every moment of grief. Hereditary refuses to employ cheap thrills, creating its cinematic scares with atmosphere, and continuously reinventing itself at every turn.
Hereditary takes the core haunting element of a spirit with a malevolent agenda and runs with it in a seemingly endless series of unexpected directions over two breathless hours of escalating terror that never slackens for a minute.
Grief, guilt and family dysfunction prove to be overwhelming forces in Hereditary, a supremely elegant and tonally assured horror movie that trusts its audience will acquiesce to its measured, absorbing storytelling style.
Ari Aster directs slowly, meditatively, purging the film of any of the usual horror-video razzmatazz. Instead, he creates scary coherent spaces for the audience to sink into.
Hereditary is a hell of an intense ride, made for a crowd that enjoys heart-clutching adrenaline spikes. The cast is unerringly terrific.
Writer-director Ari Aster’s first feature culls from a tradition of slick, elegant genre filmmaking, making up what it lacks in originality with an impressive volume of atmospheric dread.
Writer-director Ari Aster, making a promising feature debut, has created plenty of forbidding atmosphere; there’s almost no shot in the film that isn’t filled with creeping dread. But Hereditary ultimately engages on a more emotional and intellectual register than it does on the visceral.
Aster displays proficient skill in eerie tone-setting, elaborate production design, and the type of scares that will leave a pervasive imprint on the mind, even if the underlying mythology gets over-complicated by the finale.

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