Being dubbed “The scariest movie in years” was always going to be a tough statement to stand by. The bar has already been set pretty high in the horror scene and if, like me, you live and breathe the genre, then you’re going to want them to stand by such bold convictions.
So, with the gauntlet thrust down, I stared down the barrel of torment, chest exposed, ready to receive the thrills that I had so been longing to receive in the class that I’ve come to love so dearly.
Whilst Hereditary didn’t tweak the amygdala to produce deep and charting scares, it did throw me into a river of disturbance and terror that was positively haunting.
One might find the pace of the film a little slow but the current is a steady one, offering enough pain and suffering to propel you on the perilous journey that the family face, which has a lot to do with the stellar performances on show.
Toni Collette is a huge standout and somehow oozes every ounce of crazed anarchy, agony, and deterioration as she struggles to come to face up to the impact that her mother’s death has had on her and her family.
Director Ari Aster in his directorial feature debut carves our an intricate and detailed portrait of grief and the extent one goes to in order to reconcile with those feelings that takes you places you may not ordinarily be willing to go to, and plays with the vulnerablity that you may encounter with each action you take leading to drastic consequences.
Supporting Toni in her delivery of Annie Graham is Gabriel Byrne as her husband Steve, who has the tough job of bringing a delighting with enough subtly, so that he can allow other key players to shine, namely the two children Charlie (Milly Shapiro who draws out an incredibly haunting character) and Steve (Alex Wolff who also deserves the accolades for his character arc).
Hereditary has been likened to the old school horror movies that were being produced in the 70’s such as The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby and whilst it does appear that we’re about to go through a reawakening of this era (especially if the new Suspiria trailer is anything to go by), I struggle to find this movie matching the chilling feeling that you got from watching those movies from that time.
Instead we’re faced with an incredibly detailed and evocative feature that takes the audience on a trouble and unsettling journey.
Hardcore horror fans will be left wanting, but those who like to have the brain stimulated by smart and disturbing terror can expect a movie to resonate and tingle the senses.
– Saul Muerte
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