Hereditary (2018) is a horror indie film from A24. Directed by debut Ari Aster and starring Toni Collette and Alex Wolff, the film focuses on a family as they cope with the death of their grandmother. trouble ensues when family pasts come back to haunt them.
There has never been a film more divided than Hereditary. This is the mother! of 2018 (a film I admittedly haven’t seen yet). Some people absolutely love this film, what it is trying to say and how the film is structured and shot. However, some people find this to be terrible, incredibly slow-paced and with no pay-off at the end. It seems like you either have to love or hate this film.
The cast of this film is absolutely spectacular. Toni Collette gives the performance of a lifetime, and plays such a critical character with many layers. Whilst she may be flawed and twisted, you still feel sympathy for her given all of the circumstances. Alex Wolff also steps forward and actually takes a lead role in this film, giving a sophisticated performance which is beautiful to watch. Yes, he is very dramatic, but it never turned me off and actually felt real and gritty to me.
This is the cinematic debut for Milly Shapiro, and she gives an incredible first performance. Her role is haunting, and there are several moments from her that will leave you scarred. It is safe to say that she has a bright future ahead of her.
The pacing is unsuspected, but in a way it works. You think that due to the genre, it would be a complete slow burn. However, it builds up to a moment in the first part, causes the incident to happen, and then continues to a slow burn. This leads to tension which is incredibly unsettling, and leaves you hanging on when drama will fully blow.
I did have an issue with the ending, in which it just presented the definitive, actual ending. The whole film lets you interpret things as you wish, yet the ending takes all of that away from you. This can be seen as a good thing for some people, but part of me wishes that it could have been up to slight interpretation. I also had a problem with the whole supernatural presence, but that is once again down to personal preference.
This is going to be a film that will be studied in film classes to this day. With the brilliant examples of cinematography, screen writing and acting in Hereditary, this is a perfect example of a well-made horror film. I am rarely creeped out by films, but this one left me at the edge of my seat. With this and A Quiet Place (review of that here), 2018 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for horror.
Have you seen Hereditary yet? Do you love it like me, or do you hate it? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, that was some film for thought.