Signed up the 29/03/2017
Hereditary is a 2018 horror film directed by Ari Aster. The film stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd and Milly Shapiro.
Hereditary follows a family who go through some disturbing events after the grandmother dies, the disturbing events increase and become more terrifying and as the film progresses dark secrets are revealed that traumatizes the entire family.
Like A24’s other brilliant horror film The Witch, Hereditary manages to take you on an emotional ride that leaves you traumatized even after the credits roll. The editing and score take you through the unsettling nature of the film and its best quality is how the true horror lies within the atmosphere created and the emotional horror that comes with it.
I say emotional horror because the emotions the characters go through specifically Toni Collette’s Annie and Alex Wolff’s Peter are truly horrifying. Toni play’s Annie so brilliantly, all her dread and eventual breakdown is spectacular. And with these type of films you need an actress that can make you believe that the character doesn’t know anything even though the signs are all there, you need an actress that can make you believe that the character doesn’t believe in the supernatural until they begin to breakdown and the only thing for them to do is believe and Toni is genuinely believable and you can’t help but be terrified and Annie’s disintegration becomes your disintegration.
Alex is great too especially when the film required him to carry the fright and pain. Watching Peter (and Annie) was like going through a rollercoaster, the higher it got, the more traumatic the nightmare became. Despite it being horror, the film is also a hectic family drama that looks at grief, pain, resentment, loss and the things the dead leave behind, the things we take with us and most of the time those are the things that break us as people because we refuse to let them go, be it blame, pain or anything carrying those things casts a dark shadow that’s unhealthy and you’ll see that here.
Almost every scare in Hereditary had a purpose, they revealed an aspect of the film itself or the character, it was brilliant in its use of scares to give a deeper look into family relationships and how family dynamics work within tragedy. The cinematography is designed to unnerve us, the images and lighting blend to create an unsettling atmosphere, where along with the score the horror is allowed to truly thrive.
Those last 15/10 minutes are some of these best minutes you’ll see in cinema this year and they are a perfect example of how drama and horror can blend together to scare the shit out of you. By the end of Hereditary like I’ve said before tragedy is left to thrive within us the audience.
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