Hereditary (2018) Poster


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Seen it twice and I now got it - a brilliant movie
roylegato13 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
When I saw the movie for the first time, my reaction at the end was the same as the whole audiences. WTF??? I was mainly disappointed and felt like I was wasting time and money. The movie left scars behind and I couldn't stay alone at home being that scarred for many days - which was kind of a good sign as I hardly get scarred watching horror movies nowadays (I am nearly 47 and grew up with all horror classics... I've "seen them all..."). As said, I was super angry having watched this movie. Yesterday, I went to the cinema with my 20 year old son as he wanted to see the movie with me. As loving father I agreed. This time I figured out what is truly going on in the movie!

Caution - Spoiler !!: The dear grandmom was a satanist. I knew that from the first time. Joanne, her "girlfriend" as well. I also got that one. But what was the electric impulse which you could see? This i figured out the second time. It was Paimon, the demon haunting the son of Annie. But Paimon needed the son to be dead first to be able to enter his body for good - which happenes just at the end of the movie when Peter jumpes out of the window. You can see Peter lying on the ground in front of the house when the electric impulse comes and enters Peters body. That was Paimon. Now Paimon has entered Peters body finally. The summoning was successful. And finally - Peter (now Paimon) makes that strange sound with his tongue, just like Charlie did before. Why? Charlie was the host of Paimon before. But her body was not healthy and it was a girls body, not the body of a man, which Paimon needed. Thats why Charlies grandmother wanted to her to be a boy instead of being a girl. Makes sense now? And btw: Paimon is a real figure as well as the sign used in this film. It is one of the 72 demons from the Grimoire - some magic book also used by people like Aleister Crowley. Knowing that, the film has now become a real masterpiece. The tension increases constantly till the showdown at the end, when the movie suddenly becomes one of the most fearing horror movies I have ever seen. Well done A24 and Ari Aster! Great acting from the cast as well!
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I never want to see this film again
sportsmonkey10209 June 2018
And I mean this in the best way possible. The spectrum of emotions you go through range from sheer terror to complete hopelessness and sorrow. The movie picks at the human psyche in all the right ways. It's both hard to watch and impossible to look away. Hands down the best horror films I've ever seen, perhaps one of the best films in general.
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Showcases what horror is capable of when taken seriously
ccamp899 June 2018
In many ways, Hereditary is the horror movie I've been restlessly waiting to see for so many years. Despite my avid fandom for the genre, I really feel that modern horror has lost its grasp on how to make a film that's truly unsettling in the way the great classic horror films are. A modern wide-release horror film is often nothing more than a conveyor belt of jump scares strung together with a derivative story which exists purely as a vehicle to deliver those jump scares. They're more carnival rides than they are films, and audiences have been conditioned to view and judge them through that lens. The modern horror fan goes to their local theater and parts with their money on the expectation that their selected horror film will "deliver the goods", so to speak: startle them a sufficient number of times (scaling appropriately with the film's runtime, of course) and give them the money shots (blood, gore, graphic murders, well-lit and up-close views of the applicable CGI monster etc.) If a horror movie fails to deliver those goods, it's scoffed at and falls into the "worst film I've ever seen" category. I put that in quotes because a disgruntled filmgoer behind me broadcasted those exact words across the theater as the credits for this film rolled. He really wanted us to know his thoughts.

Like similarly fantastic and crowd-displeasing horror films of the past few years, The Witch and It Comes At Night, Hereditary is a film that largely deals in atmosphere and emotional horror. The Shining, which happens to be my favorite horror film, is a clear touchstone and I would go as far as saying that this is the first modern horror film I've seen that genuinely captures a similar tone and ethos. Much like that film, it delivers its horror through an intensifying sense of unease and dread that becomes nearly suffocating by its conclusion. Rather than startling you with cheap scares, it offers haunting and upsetting images which are often delivered without any of those overused sonic jolts. Perhaps most importantly, it anchors everything in an emotional core with nuanced characters who experience relatable family struggles and grief. And that is absolutely critical to what makes the movie effective and resonant: it works on a metaphorical level, using the supernatural story as a vehicle to explore the very real way in which a family can be absolutely ravaged by tragedy, and furthermore how trauma and mental illness are passed through the generations. I'd be remiss not to mention that Toni Collette gives a mesmerizing performance in this film that is absolutely unhinged and truly difficult to stomach at times.

For all that praise and as excellent as I think it is, Hereditary isn't quite a masterpiece. Despite the fact that I was very much invested and riveted throughout the length of the film, there were some detectable pacing issues. I feel conflicted in saying that because I'm very much a fan of the slow-burn horror style which benefits from a deliberate pace, but I did get the occasional nagging sense that things could've been tightened up just a tad without losing the effect. Some of the scares in the film, often the more "traditional" horror moments, also struck slightly the wrong note with me on a first viewing and were just a hair too campy or on-the-nose given how visionary and restrained the majority of the film is. And in its ending few minutes, the film really shows its full hand when a bit more ambiguity may have served it better.

The positives far, far outweigh the negatives here though and Hereditary is ultimately a remarkable debut horror film which showcases what the genre is capable of when it's taken seriously by a talented director. Here's hoping we'll continue to see more like it.

Light 4.5/5
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Acting was amazing, ending left me feeling robbed.
momontherandom8 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The acting in this movie was by far its redeeming trait. There was so much creepiness to go around and Toni Collette owned her role. I felt extremely uncomfortable at a couple points and almost regretted going to the theater alone.

That all changed with the last 10 minutes. The movie is a little over two hours, so that's a long emotional investment. But then you get to the "twist" and it starts to get hokey and lame. The spookiness up until that point had now turned into what felt like a last ditch effort for an end to the movie. At one point in the movie, my mouth was hanging open in shock and horror, when the end credits started rolling, my mouth was hanging open in disappointment. If you want to love the movie, leave 15 minutes before it's over and just make up an ending in your mind. You'll feel much more satisfied.
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A genuine nightmare
spencergrande630 April 2018
This is a bit of an old fashioned horror movie. Something that plays as a dramatic movie first and then slowly becomes something else. Like "Rosemary" or "Exorcist" but without the high profile clout of those directors. This is two hours of an exploration of family tragedy and grief through characters struggling to cope.

To say much of this film is to ruin it, so lashing praise onto certain aspects of it is the best one can do. Not to say this is a film with a big twist, it isn't. Toni Collette is fantastic as is no surprise at this point in her career. All the performances carry their own, including one I was unsure of at first but grew on me throughout -- Alex Wolff. The cinematography, rhythms and pacing, sense of place and space, and sound design are all superb and work in conjunction to create atmosphere and dread -- like a pit in your stomach that continues to grow and grow throughout.

It turns into a genuine nightmare that absolutely worked for me. See it blind, see it as a movie first and foremost (not as a horror show with jump scares), but just see it.
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An Unconventional Horror Thrill Ride
littlemankazoo13 June 2018
In this age of horror being very much reliant on the gimmicks and unique right hooks to the audience to get them into the seats, it's not entirely common that one sees a good old fashioned spook-house horror film.

No gimmicks. No twists. Just a film that does its absolute best to get your skin crawling, nerves tightened, and heart pounding.

'Hereditary', as you may imagine, is one of those films.

'Hereditary' is about as simple as a horror movie nowadays can come; terrible circumstances befall a seemingly ordinary family, these circumstances lead to discoveries of something terrible in their family tree, and soon enough things come apart rather quickly.

What this film excels at is all in the technicals. The performances are all beyond convincing and do the job selling the understated terror this film has to offer. Specifically, Toni Collette delivers in a manner that had even my skin crawling.

What is also noticeable when it comes to this film's strengths is the excellent cinematography. While it is perhaps not as flashy and noticeable as 'Upgrade' and its revolutionary camera-work that I raved about, this film accomplishes a more suitable sense of suspense and nerve-wracking tension through it. Whether in-motion or standing completely still, the camera makes itself apparent in this film and works beyond effectively.

The only thing of it is, this film is not for you if you prefer a straightforward and conventional horror film. The first act is very much a slow burn, while the rest of the film builds its horror and tension in ways that I do not believe a general audience would appreciate quite as much. It's not abstract, but considering it lacks the conventions of jumpscares and instead relies on atmosphere, mood, and its performances to scare...that perhaps explains a bit why the film is striking the general audience as so polarizing.

But, if you can appreciate a slow, creepy, atmospheric film that aims directly to make your skin crawl and make you shuffle in your seat, I think you'll truly enjoy the ride this film takes you on.

Unconventional, scary as hell, but perhaps not perfect in what it aspires to do, 'Hereditary' is still a scary time for all the right reasons.
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Great slow burn uncomfortable horror
mills7131 August 2018
Loved this movie, it wasn't hard to figure out once it peaked .. but getting there was great. I see people don't like this film and I can understand that. But it reminded me of Rosemary's Baby and that's saying a lot. As the story unfolds you see how truly horrifying this persons (Toni Collette) life has been.. the performances are spot on. This movie really ramps up in the last twenty minutes.. it's not fir everyone but it creeped me out and I watch a lot of horror. Give it a shot .. it's well worth it.
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If you want to sleep tonight don't watch this movie
Lunaselena201830 August 2018
So I probably should not have watched this movie cause I'm 14 but I mean gotta love horror movies right .... It was definitely a good horror movie maybe the best I've seen but if you're scared fast I wouldn't recommend it . The movie has a lot of blood and dead boddies . If you do love horror movies this is a must see . 8/10
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A modern classic that will terrify generations
jag_avgudar_barca30 July 2018
I rank this as the best horror movie I've seen. It's such a delicately made movie, where psychological terror is used in a smart manner. It's not jump scares, but rather a heavy uneasy feeling, that terrifies you for two straight hours. Everyone in the cinema sat on the edge of their seats every second - you rarely felt safe, as you can during daytime in other, sloppy horror flicks.

The acting is superb, especially Toni Collette, who performs her lifetime role as a mother coping with tragic loss. If you want to be scared out of your wits, while watching an elegant movie with beautiful cinematography, this one's for you.
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Overhyped, Overlong, Underachieving, Underhanded Nonsense
bnitcamela10 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This film is not credible, not scary, and not recommended unless you're bored and streaming it at home. Do not waste your money or risk an accident where you or a family member might be decapitated while traveling to or from a theater.

Seriously though, this is a clear case of the hype machine being cynically manipulated to drive box office performance but an utterly forgettable movie.

Stay with me here - I know I haven't even made a single specific complaint about the film, and I will - but Ari Aster can't seem to resist these endings that even MNS might be ashamed of. It kind of worked with "The VVitch" in 2015, but this time it's just too-much-nonsense-icing on top of an already unbelievable cake that failed to rise.

OK enough of the metaphors. The positives: This film is very nicely shot. The lighting is perfect and for about 15 minutes the director does a good job of ratcheting up a somewhat believable tension. The cinematography is great. The acting is just OK in the aggregate - Collette is very good, but I don't even see why Gabriel Byrne signed up for this. The kids have the difficult job of making otherwise ridiculous and totally unbelievable scenarios and behaviors seem as though they might be possible.

Now to the negatives (SPOILERS AHEAD): People simply do not behave in the ways that are depicted in this movie.

You don't send a 10 year old (I know she was 13 or 14 during filming, but she doesn't look it at all) to a high school party with a senior. A high school senior who plans on smoking some dube doesn't take his 10 year old sister along at his mom's bizarre request without an argument. Further, you don't do that - even if you're grieving-but-not-grieving over your recently departed mother - when the girl suffers from a severe nut allergy and you don't do it without sending an Epi Pen along with your son.

People who just decapitated their sibling in an auto accident don't simply drive home, go to bed, and leave a human head on the ground (much less your own sister's) then wait for their parents to discover the headless body in one of the family's two Volvos the next morning - presumably after bleeding out in the back seat. Additionally, when this kind of thing happens, the cops tend to get involved, amirite? In this movie, however, that's exactly what happens and no police, no cleanup and they're driving the car in the very next scene. Hmmm...

When your son, who has weeks or days earlier killed your daughter, resumes going to school almost immediately, without therapy or counseling, has a seizure and bashes his own face in on the desk, you don't load his lifeless body into the same Volvo, drive him home, and deposit him into his bed - still unconscious - without any kind of medical consultation or observation at all. Laughably ridiculous.

The reaction of the family to the mother's dalliances into the world of seances and such is just not believable. I don't know how else to say it.

And the problem with all of the above is that what little plot there is absolutely requires the audience to suspend disbelief in the very essence of human nature and behavior and accept without any question that these kinds of things are likely or possible.

In addition, the whole convoluted idea is just ridiculous and unnecessary. So the evil, manipulative matriarch wanted to get a suitable male host for her demon lover, but in the process screws up several attempts over a generation, and puts him into a little girl's body instead - meaning that she has to be killed and then he can possess the boy. OMG..SMH...WOW

Finally there's the underlying conceit to the way the whole picture was made. When you have to rely on an unnerving soundtrack to create a mood in a movie like this, you're not doing it right. In any case, it didn't work. At no point was anyone in the audience frightened or unnerved and I heard several laughs and scoffs during moments that apparently were supposed to be scary or meaningful.

I suppose I should have seen this sophistry coming when, prior to the movie, the theater showed an interview with the director who made the ridiculous claim that he views "The Shining" as a comedy movie - and that's it's more effective as such than it is a horror movie. The guy is clearly delusional and making movies only for himself and his industry/film school buddies.

Avoid. I'm not kidding - wait for it to hit Netflix. There are better ways to spend 2 hours.
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Almost works better as a drama than a horror
jtindahouse7 June 2018
'Hereditary' is sort of like two films in one. Half of the time it is being what I expected it to be, which is a horror movie. The other half though it plays out much like a drama. I would even suggest it's a better film when it's in drama mode than it is when it's in horror mode. The film is over 2 hours in length which is extremely long by modern horror movie standards. The reason I believe for this is that it's trying to fit so much in and achieve so much in such a little time. It's a very ambitious film it would have to be said.

The entire cast were terrific, but Toni Collette absolutely blew me away. The emotional depth she is able to achieve never ceases to amaze me and she is captivating to watch in any scene she's in. I feel like she is one of the most under-appreciated actresses working today. As mentioned though, everyone is terrific and this is one of the best acted horror movies you are likely to find.

I sat in the cinema for a couple of minutes are the credits rolled just trying to work out how I actually felt about the film. I know I liked it, but I also know I didn't love it as much as I had hoped to going in. It certainly surprised me that I was more invested in the real-life drama side of things, and that the horror was almost like an unwanted distraction at times. The horror is almost always about atmosphere and visuals rather than any kind of jump-scare which I always like. What I didn't like though was how casually it jumped from seeming normality to outright suspension of belief. I feel like this could have been bridged a little better. Early on there's a lot of subtlety, then in one scene all of that is thrown out the window at once. I suppose at least the audience knows where they stand from that point onwards.

'Hereditary' is a film made with impeccable quality, of that there is no questioning. In fact it's made so well that I would suggest what story you picked to tell almost wouldn't matter because writer/director Ari Aster clearly has the skills to make it work. I can see opinions being very divided on the film (I even had a couple walk out of the cinema at one point in my showing), but I think the majority will like it on some level and for that reason I would recommend giving it a look.
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A new horror classic, tense and terrifying
akwsixers1010 June 2018
I rarely write reviews for films on here with the exception of two cases: when a movie is really bad or when a movie needs defending from a vocal minority that trash it. First, I'll review the film like I would any other and then I'm going to try and reason why audiences are reacting negatively to the film. I'm not sure if Hereditary is the greatest horror film ever but I certainly felt like I was watching my generation's Exorcist or Rosemary's Baby. The movie borrows heavily from those two films right down to the final scene. Despite this, it feels new and dangerous. I had no idea how the movie was going to play out which is a criticism I have with a lot modern horror/thriller movies. This in large part has to do with the marketing campaign but more on that later. I feel the term slow burn has a negative connotation associated with it and prefer to call this movie tense. It doesn't really on jump scares that plague a lot of modern horror and chooses tension and imagery to scare the audience with slow camera panning and fantastic cinematography, a nervous score, and great performances. Toni Collette gives and incredible performance as a manic mother who is mourning the loss of a parent. The supporting cast is fantastic as well and they all have a time to shine at some point in the movie. The movie is also challenging in its themes with relationships between parents and their children always in the forefront. The human drama of this movie far exceeded my expectations and is worthy viewing in its own right.

To try and explain why audiences are trashing the film through some mediums (not as much on IMDb, see CinemaScore, Rotten Tomatoes for example) I think it is important to understand that we live in an impatient culture. Many horror classics of the past like the two I mention earlier weren't fast paced and instead lingered on images and favored slow paced horror. I think the modern horror audience can get restless when presented with a movie like this. I don't think Rosemary's Baby or the Exorcist would review very well with broad audiences if they were released today. Secondly, I think the film has succeeded in making people uncomfortable by questioning parent's feelings for their children and how they are displayed. This movie is complex and has a lot to say. Comparing this film to another fantastic horror movie from this year, A Quiet Place, offers a great juxtaposition of this idea. One is very simple in it's premise that quickly gets to the scares while the other takes it's time to build to a climax that may or may not be worth the wait depending on the viewer. Overall, Hereditary offers plenty of horrific imagery and supernatural scares that work as a deeper examination of familial relationships rather than being a string a horror movie cliches.

9/10 - excellent
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A Hellish Nightmare
MichaelG-189-2126051 June 2018
Hereditary is a refreshing example of a studio subverting expectations, as the trailer is purposely misleading (in a good way). Even as the film ventures into territory familiar to its genre, writer/director Ari Aster skillfully ratchets the tension into something that feels like a nightmare straight from hell.

Hereditary conjures multiple indelibly brutal moments of pure horror - the likes of which made many in my audience giggle in anxiety. Aster truly seems to get as much tension as possible from each scene. The film's direction, writing, cinematography, production design, and score are all some of the best the horror genre has seen. It's a beautiful thing to see a film crafted so keenly.

As for the cast, the highlights are an excellent performance by Toni Collette and a strong Alex Wolff. What begins as a drama about a family tearing apart with grief, descends into madness and the supernatural.

Hereditary doesn't redefine horror. It puts a wicked stamp of its own on the tropes of the genre. The film is a tremendous success, and a truly impressive feature-debut from Ari Aster. Horror doesn't get any better than this.
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A slow burning yet incredibly gripping horror drama for the ages
ethanchatfild16 June 2018
Ari Aster. remember that name. I've always had a fondness of horror with that fondness slowly disappearing over recent years due to some awful horror flicks, but Aster manages to create a vert nuanced yet progressive family drama that turns into a nightmarish horror with one of the best ensemble casts in recent years
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Hereditary: Peculiar little film
Platypuschow14 September 2018
I wasn't expecting much from Hereditary, Hollywood has lost their way when it comes to horror to such an extent I'm not sure I've enjoyed one since Orphan (2009).

Starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne it's an odd little tale and very hard to explain without spoiling anything.

It's certainly interesting, has some genuine shocks and is in no way predictible like these things usually are but alas it does still fall into many of the usual Hollywood pitfalls.

A highly over convoluted plot that does leave you scratching your head, I'm happy to say it does for the most part explain everything it just goes around the houses in doing so.

Performances are on point, visually it looks solid and again it's not the cliched mess you expect to come out of Hollywood, but it's still not all that good.

I cannot get my head around how it has such an incredibly high rating. 7.4 at time of writing, a movie only needs 8.0 to get into the top 250 movies! I assume that will drop in time, but don't understand the appeal.

As always I believe if you want horror, go independent. Hollywood may have surprised me with this, but barely entertained.

The Good:


Has some genuinely shocking moments

The Bad:

Still cliched to hell

Plot is a bit of a mess

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

Too many characters got ahead of themselves
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Disappointment has a new name.
BandSAboutMovies9 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a kid, my parents often discussed a movie that they had seen when they first started dating: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. People had been talking about how amazing the film was and when they went, they sat there confused and upset in the theater. For years, any time they rated a movie as boring, too strange or overly hyped, they would reference Argento's film. I always wondered if it upsets them that I grew up loving horror and giallo films so much.

One day, I explained what I thought that movie was about to my parents. There's gender reversal, as well as being a foreigner and the isolation of modern life, filtered through the lens of an auteur. Maybe it didn't all make sense to him, but I think my explanation made them get a little more of why I liked it so much.

My wife and I are planning on having kids some day. If one of them ever sits me down and explains why this movie is good to me, I'm going to disown them.

If you thought movies like The Witch moved slowly, the glacial pace of this film makes that film seem like a slam-bang Honk Kong action pic. It takes forever to decide on what the movie is even about, smashing our expectations and killing off a major character - again, let me reinforce that spoiler warning - when Charlie goes to a party, has an allergic reaction and is beheaded while her brother races to get her to the hospital.

That was the one true surprise of the film, one that made me think that it was getting ready to gear up and deliver on its promise to be the scariest movie of our generation.

Look - I'm not going to deny the talent of the people involved in the film. Toni Collette is an amazing actress and she imbues the mother of this film with true emotion. It's as if her parts of this film seem to be a drama about dealing with loss and never truly understanding our parents and the gnarled roots of our family tree.

While I was watching this film, a man snored loudly to my left and I wondered what magical dreams that he was having and how I could experience them instead of what was on the screen. I was jealous of the fact that his girlfriend allowed him the pleasures of dreamland while my wife continually poked me in the ribs to keep me awake during the slow opening of this film that then ground its gears to move even slower.

Let's be perfectly frank. I hated this movie. It doesn't matter to me how many people love it or proclaim it as high art or say that it's the scariest movie they've seen and how much it haunts them. That's great - I'm happy that they had such a reaction to it. My reaction differs and I'm willing to sit down and ponder for nearly three times the length of this film exactly what I have to say about it. And that, I guess, is something of a success for this movie. Films should make you think and consider and examine. And this movie certainly did that. It also made me wonder exactly what I'd chose to watch when I got home to exorcise its stink from consciousness.

This movie is style over substance, an effort that tries to tell a story that has no character to root for or care about. We have no idea what they are battling against so we have no way to figure out how they can avoid the outcome. I feel like I wasted money on this film, which is rough yet I can get it back, but I also wasted so much time caring about it and watching it, which is something that I can never get back. It needs an editor that could have trimmed its various narratives into a better collective whole. It's like steak on steak on steak, covered with 19 kinds of steak sauce, all eaten slowly through a straw after someone else has methodically chewed it for you. And after all that, it tastes like offal.
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Avenues of thought
nathandiaz22 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A visually striking film. I love how the tree house was depicted against the birch wood trees, and how the mothers heater made it light up red. It was also stricking how the rooms of the home were in such likeness of the models she was constantly creating. The movie left me with two possible avenues of thought. Was there paronormal activity influenced by a cult in order to bring some lord of Hell into our worldly plain, or was everyone within the family, apart from the father, stricken with mental illness? It would be a tasteful twist if they were all just experiencing a form of schizophrenia and that it really was Hereditary.
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Worth it.
malehandmodel29 August 2018
Brilliant use of imagery and foreshadowing. The cast is phenomenal. The movie is a ritual, not a series of events. Tense and disturbing, you won't see the end coming.
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Rewards concentration
Bertaut23 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
When her secretive mother dies, miniatures artist Annie Graham (Toni Collette), is almost relieved, as the two had a deeply fraught relationship. With two children, 16-year-old Peter (Alex Wolff) and 13-year-old Charlie (Milly Shapiro), and a loving husband, Steve (Gabriel Byrne), Annie is determined to do a better job of raising a family than she felt her mother did. However, when she suffers another, far more devastating loss, Annie's mental state becomes increasingly precarious, as a series of terrifying revelations about her ancestry are slowly revealed.

Hereditary is writer/director Ari Aster's debut feature. However, what's worth noting is that the film is produced by Lars Knudsen, who also produced The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015). This is significant insofar as Hereditary bears more than a passing resemblance to Robert Eggers's film. Mood, tone, theme, pacing, narrative structure, shot composition; all recall The VVitch at times. Even the plot shares some important beats, most evident in the last shot, which is both narratively and compositionally identical to the shot in The VVitch when Black Phillip speaks for the first time - a BCU on a possessed character as a disciple speaks off camera. And like The VVitch, you either go with the plot and let it burrow under your skin, or you remain detached and most likely find the whole enterprise unintentionally hilarious.

In a more generalised sense, there is quite a bit to praise here. For a start, to say the film is a horror is to basically give away the last 20 minutes, as up until that point it's a superbly realised semi-realist study of the crippling psychological disintegration that can accompany bereavement. Speaking of giving things away, very unusually for a Hollywood film, Hereditary's trailer brilliantly misdirects the audience, making it seem as if the film revolves around the death of Annie's mother, when in actual fact, this plot strand is abandoned at the end of the first act, after which the death of Charlie becomes the central focus.

One thing the film does especially well is reward viewers who are paying attention. There are multiple hints and signs throughout of what is going to happen in the last act, and one especially well structured reward involves by far the creepiest moment in the film; the blond man standing in the shadows of the doorway, barely visible, smiling manically at Peter. This is actually the second time we see the character; he is also at the wake early in the movie, watching Charlie approaching the coffin, and, again, smiling unnaturally. This can be easily missed if you're not paying attention, and it's an extremely well realised pseudo-Easter egg. Also worthy of praise is Toni Collette, who gives a superb performance that partly recalls Shelley Duvall's hysterics in The Shining (1980). Collette's ability to communicate everything in her psyche by simply changing her facial expression is outstanding, and somewhat reminiscent of that extraordinary piece of wordless acting by Halle Berry in the last scene of Monster's Ball (2001). This is especially noticeably especially towards the end of the film, when Annie is alternating between being herself and being controlled by King Paimon; Collette's mastery of her own facial expression tells the audience everything it needs to know about what is happening.

Joshua Rothkophf, in his review of the film for Time Out New York calls it "a new generation's Exorcist." That's a bit over the top; it won't have half the same kind of societal impact as William Friedkin's film did, and it's nowhere near as good as the best horror film of the last few decades, The Blair Witch Project (1999). However, it's very well made, is creepy as hell, dares to put real grief on screen, and features excellent performances (and, thankfully, only a couple of jump scares). Well worth seeing.
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Hellish, Terrifying, Perfect
neener37078 June 2018
I don't even know where to begin with this one. When I heard that it was being made by some of the same people who worked on The Witch (which some people didn't like, but I liked it), I had high hope for this film, and boy was I not disappointed. Such a breath of fresh air for the genre in a time where Hollywood has prostituted it and released nothing but garbage. Not only was the film scary as hell, but it also had a lot to say about grief and trauma. The way the film is put together is its strongest part. The pacing, the editing, the cinematography, and the sound design all worked together to create a truly unique and hellish vision of horror. I'm a horror veteran, and rarely actually jump or feel tense, but this film made me feel like a horror virgin again, actually frightening me like no other Hollywood film can.

The acting was also superb all around and only adds to the horror being presented on screen. Each character was unique and added their own style to this modern horror masterpiece. I saw many people in the theater jumping and looking away, some being grown men. A couple people even left, and I can't imagine its because they felt it was a bad film, because it was not. I am seriously considering going and seeing it again which hasn't happened since the Evil Dead remake and The Raid. I would say this film is a must see for any horror fan or for anyone wanting to be scared out of their minds.
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Overrated, natch
sakrug12 June 2018
There was something around the hype of this movie that seemed fake, and you knew the critics would fall in line, scared to be wrong. There are so many useless film critics out there, it's predictable. This is not a terrible movie, it's just very flawed and shamefully undercooked.

The good: The special effects scares are great, the daughter is great but underused, the story has potential and is somewhat interesting.

The bad: The director threw in everything but the kitchen sink as far as plot, the film needs editing (not just cuts, but an entire re-edit), the son is totally miscast and his physical differences from the rest of the family take you further out of the movie, some mediocre acting by son and father that brings the film down. The whole film needed tightening up. Maybe make sure these young guys (who all look the same, you may notice) get a bit more experience in movie production before you hand them a multimillion dollar project, movie execs?
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Horrifyingly Awful
madzima10 June 2018
Reading all these reviews about what a "Masterpiece" this movie is makes me wonder if I missed something or if I'm just stupid. If you're someone who's raving about how creative and revolutionary this movie is, you're either just trying to fit in as a horror movie snob or saw a completely different movie.

Seriously, I sat there through the first hour of the movie and wondered if I somehow walked into the wrong theater and was seeing a different movie. The pacing is incredibly slow, and I understand that the first half of a slow burning horror film like this one is supposed to build suspense, but unlike other horror flicks this film keeps you waiting and waiting and waiting for absolutely nothing.

The only positive thing about this movie is the acting. The movie does have good performances from Gabriel Byrne and Toni Collette, although I don't feel her acting is "Oscar worthy" like people are saying. It just makes me wonder how desperate these two great actors must have been for a paycheck.

This movie was marketed as something that would make people rethink what horror movies are all about. In the end, there's nothing to spoil about this movie because nothing happens. The plot develops extremely slowly as a poorly written family drama. Then in the last 20-30 minutes the director must have remembered that he was supposed to be making a horror movie and just slapped together an ending full of countless scary movie cliches that left everyone in the theater scratching their heads. Someone at my showing actually said out loud when the credits began to roll "wtf was that movie" and everyone laughed.

I get that cinematography wise this movie is supposed to be brilliant, because it does look pretty good. But good visuals aren't enough to save a boring movie with a poorly put together plot in my opinion. I've seen a few other reviewers on here mention how people in the audience were laughing out loud during the "scary" parts of this movie, and I can say that most of the theater I was in, including myself, was filled with people laughing and loudly cracking jokes at how cliche and confusing the ending of this movie is.

DO NOT waste your money on this movie. Stay home. Spend time with your family. Read a book. Spend 2 hours of your life doing literally anything except for watching Hereditary.
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A gut-wrenching nightmare that's not for everyone
famekingdom10 June 2018
I really didn't know what to expect going in to see this film. I had seen the trailer and all of the good press for it, I adore Toni Collete, and I generally enjoy horror films. I left the theater with a pit in my stomach and came back the next day to see it again; this is a film that rewards multiple viewings.

The film began rather predictably, in my opinion. However, the truly unexpected and disorienting end of the first act grabbed my attention and never let up from there. This film digs its hooks in deep and slowly drags you down into a pit of despair. There is a gleam of light at the end of the tunnel, but it isn't what you think. This is the first film in a while to keep me on my toes throughout its runtime, even if its plot isn't groundbreaking. The amazing performances, sublime cinematography, and outrageously outstanding sound design makes this film a real treat for anyone with a special affection for the medium.

I've seen many compare this to The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, and I agree mostly with those comparisons. However, I also see this film as a distant relation to the original 1976 Carrie. Both films put family drama at the forefront and milk every ounce of dread from the truly hideous realities of familial cohabitation for what it's worth. What makes these films so stirring isn't jump scares, special FX, or "payoffs" to every tense scene they present; it is instead forefronting the all-to-real human tension and making the audience sit with it as uncomfortably as possible. The scenes that stick with me from Carrie aren't just her supernatural revenge at the prom, but the abuse from her mother and the gut-punching shower scene that opens the film. It's those moments of having to experience the very real ugliness of humanity that stir me and stay on my skin for days after seeing a film.

My opinion is that this film is a masterpiece and will certainly be joining my list of all-time favorite horror films. However, it is definitely not for everyone. This is a film that's made to stand out to already-avid film fans with an appreciation for the format; those with short-attention spans and/or those accustomed to the mile-a-minute breakneck pace of most horror films won't enjoy this. I also think (and I'm going out on a limb here) that this is a film most readily accessible to those who have already experienced a major physical or existential loss or crisis in their life or are intimate with the feeling of being manipulated. There a lot of reports of people "giggling" during the film; I think some of this can be chalked up to the sheer discomfort this film causes, but I also think it may in some cases come from not being able to grasp the logic and affective phenomenon of grief that this film so accurately and exquisitely captures. This film is a meditation on themes of grief, family, manipulation, and ultimately a lack of control. This isn't a film like The Conjuring (which is also one of my favorites) that gives you more than enough "cues" to be scared during certain parts of the film; instead, this film relies on your attention to detail and your willingness to be devoured by its sinister textures.
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Fear and anxiety inducing
elimac-305988 June 2018
This has been one of the most well shot, shocking and yet masterful horror movies in a very long time. Wow is just about all I can say. The music, the shots, the horror amazing. The acting was brilliant and heartfelt. You actually get a sense of genuine fear and paranoia felt from the characters. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking it looked cheesy but when I heard someone online say it was good I had to check it out.
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A gripping, unconventional and an unsettling movie, Hereditary is ome of the best horror movies I've seen so far this decade.
umarsonic30 August 2018
I don't know why I decided to watch this gem at 3 in the morning. This is one of the best horror movies so far this decade, it doesn't rely on jumpscares or loud noises like most horror films its more of an unconventional masterpiece. I loved the tension created in this movie and the editing choices were phenomenal and actually unsettled me alot. The acting in this movie is superb especially by the females in particular Toni Collette who actually in my opinion gives the best female performance of the year. The film does not feel claustrophobic but it does feel contained in these particular locations which adds to the horror of this movie. This is Ari Aster's first feature lenght movie as a director and now he's on my radar I can't wait to see what he does next because he has crafted this movie to almost perfection. The ending has to be the best but also the most unnerving endings I've seen. The only flaw I can think of is the exposition which I get it that in such movies characters have to speak out the exposition but I felt this movie would've been better with less vocal exposition like The Shining. In the end, Hereditary is a very gripping, unnerving and unconventional horror film the best infact since The Babadook, it combines the elements of art house and horror very well and its a must watch for all horror fans but viewer discretion is advised because of it's disturbing nature. I give it an "A+" and "9.5/10".
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