"Hereditary" is a truly evil film. The entire time it feels as though you are witnessing something that shouldn't be witnessed, that should've never seen the light of day. It's true that perfect films don't exist (even though one of my film professors argues that 2001: A Space Odyssey is an immaculate film), but that doesn't mean the film can't come close to perfect. After screening this movie multiple times, I'm confident in stating that this is one of the best horror films ever made despite its flaws.
This film deals with grief, death, mental illness, disturbed family members, and keeping secrets to yourself. If you have any experience with those, this is going to hit you over the head with emotion. Usually, familiarity with things brings comfort and eases anxiety or tension. Not with "Hereditary". For Ari Aster's directorial debut, this is incredibly impressive. He really knows how to get in your head and stick with you.
I do not want to go into the plot at all, as I feel that is best experienced as blind as possible. The performances, however, are something I cannot go with mentioning. Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro are going to be names to look out for in the future. This is their huge breakout film. You really get the sense that this is an actual family going through a tragic time because of how well the acting is. It all feels almost too natural, especially Toni Collette. I swear, it is insane to me that she did not win any awards for this performance. It feels stressful even watching her perform on screen because of the heavy emotion and electricity she carries with her. Seriously, the cast is what makes this film so effective.
The cinematography and editing are also brilliantly done. It's a wonderfully beautiful film full with visual spectacle and shocking imagery. It's difficult to appreciate at the moment because of the horror though. Upon re-watching this recently, my mouth was agape at three specific scenes but I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The audio mixing in this film is superb as well, working in the flow of the editing in a very subtle yet graceful way. Most of this stuff you don't notice or think about until after you've seen the film, but trust me. There will be some imagery that will forever be burned into your memories.
"Hereditary" is not a film you should watch if you are emotionally unstable or looking for a 'fun' movie - this feels like a burden to watch and I love it. It's just tragedy upon tragedy upon tragedy - it only gets worse. The light at the end of the tunnel never even begins in this movie, you just keep descending deeper and deeper into darkness and despair. This film captures the sense of dread and ambiguity perfectly. There are no victories to be had here - give up.
A24 really has a classic on its hands here. I honestly think that with time, this film could be looked at as this generations "The Exorcist" or "Rosemary's Baby" as many others have stated. Please, you owe it to yourself to watch this film. It's readily available on Amazon Prime right now if you've got it. If not, that's okay. Split the cost of the rental with friends, go out and buy the Blu-Ray, I don't care how you do it. "Hereditary." Do it.
Hereditary Official Trailer #1 (2018) Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne Horror Movie HD www.youtube.com