REVIEW: Hereditary

Expert craftsmanship.

What else can I say but “expert craftsmanship”?

Every second of this movie is a masterpiece with 16 layers.

I could not sleep after.

I could barely think after.

It’s a metaphor for inescapable family trauma. It’s a commentary on grief. It’s a spooky supernatural thriller with more creativity in the first scene than most people have in a lifetime.

It’s pretty much perfect.


Hereditary is the debut film of Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette, Ann Dowd, and the kid from Naked Brothers Band.

I guess I’ll give you a synopsis although you’d probably have a better time without one.

The Grahams are going through an emotionally rough season of life. Recently the mentally ill matriarch of the family has passed away and nobody knows how to move forward from the tragedy. Especially not Annie, the daughter of the deceased. As Annie processes complex feelings about her mother, she simultaneously starts to uncover increasingly terrifying secrets about her ancestry…and then things really kick off.

The pacing of this movie is wonderfully classic despite the subject matter and aesthetics being totally modern.

It starts at a high point, it gets consistently tense and more surprising as time goes on, and it closes with one of the most buckWILD conclusions I have ever experienced from any piece of media. The characters are instantly given personality and grow between their entrances and exits. The action sequences are naturally integrated into the fabric of the world rather than jammed into every lull. We learn what we need to know as an audience, when we need to know it. Never earlier. Never later.

And I was scared the whole time.

It’s A+++ writing, editing, and performance all smashed together to make something I will always remember.


We are in a horror renaissance.

People are doing more with this genre than with any other.

Producers are taking more risks, actors are taking more interesting roles, and honestly, the storytelling has gotten more unique. If you’ve been paying attention to the entertainment landscape over the past few years you probably recognize this. I mean, Us, A Quiet Place, It Follows, The Babadook, The Conjuring, The VVich, Get Out, The Cabin in the Woods, Green Room, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Wailing, even if you hate all of these flicks it’s clear that they aim to subvert the standard fair in a way we are not seeing in other genres.

So, know that when I say Hereditary is one of the most interesting horror films of the past decade, I am making a grand statement…but a true one.


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