Hereditary (2018)

After Annie’s (Toni Collette) Mother passes away, strange things start to happen to Annie’s family. The family starts to learn about dark secrets that are links to them.

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd

MPAA Rating: R for horror violence, disturbing images, language, drug use and brief graphic nudity

Fun Fact: Toni Collette had told her agent she didn’t want to do dark themed films anymore and wanted to do more comedies instead. After reading the Hereditary script she loved the material that she agreed to do the film.

My wife and I wanted to have a movie night the other night and since we both like the horror genre it was agreed to watch one of them. I couldn’t really find one that I wanted to watch out of my collection, so we went with Amazon Prime and stumbled on Hereditary. We looked it up on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes and saw that it got some really good reviews and decided to give it a shot after viewing the trailer. What a perfect idea since I’m starting the Halloween theme for the site and why not start a bit earlier.

Hereditary comes from the A24 distribution company, the ones that distributed 2016’s The Witch. I keep hearing how Blumhouse is bringing back horror films to the main stream, but A24 should bring more focus to the genre because just like The Witch, Hereditary is a great piece of film making and if you’re a horror fan it’s a must see.

First time director Ari Aster does a phenomenal job with the story and cast. He wrote the script and had the control of it and worked well with the studio. The studio seemed to give Aster the free reign on this and Hereditary doesn’t suffer from horror clichés you see all the time. It’s a smart film that slowly builds the tension throughout the film. While there are some jump scares they are used smartly and are not overdone. It’s used as an effective tool and Aster realizes this. Instead of using the same tired formulas we see every time we go o a horror movie, Aster brings us to true horror and that’s presenting us family trauma that can break people apart. This is where the film truly shines and the biggest reason why….

Toni Collette’s performance is outstanding! I don’t think I’ve ever been so sucked into a performance like hers. Academy you should be watching because if you were serious about Get Out getting nominations then look no further to Collette’s performance. I would consider giving her a nomination for Best Actress she’s that good. She plays the character Annie and Collette shows her at her best and very worst. When Annie has her breakdowns, Collette gives a full 100% performance and give it her all. She makes it look believable and everything horrible that’s happening to her is believable too as the film progresses. Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro also give outstanding performances as well. Wolff plays Peter the son, and him and Collette have that certain chemistry that really shines. The two characters are at odds with each other and Wolff and Collette play that material off well that makes it believable that they are a family with some dark issues. Shapiro on the other hand gives a creepy performance that gives the creepy kid character a place among the greats like Damon from Then Omen or Regan from The Exorcist. These three performances are essential to the film and I can’t keep saying how great they are, or I would be repeating myself.

Another thing that I love about this film is the cinematography. The different use of camera angles brings a unique effect to the film and it feels different for a horror film. The opening shot literally sucked me into the film and kept my interest in the whole film. The music used was also used effectively and well placed in scenes that needed. Even when there wasn’t any music it still brought white knuckle moments to me.

Overall, Hereditary is effective film making and the best horror film that I’ve seen in years. A24 should keep the momentum going with their horror films because they are knocking them out of the park as of late. It’s not just horror that they are good at, but other films as well. Toni Collette gives a performance of a life time and she’s one of the many reason’s you should check this film out. Want to watch a great horror film and one of the best films 2018 has to offer for Halloween? Well look no further because we have it in Hereditary.

Verdict: Hit

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