Directed & Written by Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.
I always get very excited when there’s a lot of hype about a horror movie. Horror isn’t exactly my favorite genre but I love the rare occasion when one is actually good. And it is a very rare occasion, especially these days. But I LOVED The Babadook & It Follows and was hoping Hereditary would live up to those as it had the same sort of hype. Umm. No. Damn. I was very disappointed. However, there were some things that I liked about it & it’s still much better than the majority of modern horrors.
First of all: Yes, the acting is very good. Yes, I like it when horror films have decent acting like in this and in The Babadook. There’s no reason for horror movies to not have good acting & I wish that more of them tried to have actors of a decent standard. Collette is certainly the standout here in what will have been a very difficult & intense role. Byrne also did very well as her husband who tries to keep things together as did Wolff and the young Shapiro playing her messed-up children. I think the acting in horror doesn’t get enough credit sometimes – I’d hate to have played Collette’s role in this! I think it would psychologically damage me for life. However, I felt no connection to this family. I’m not sure why, as the acting was good. For whatever reason, the movie didn’t have me sympathizing with these characters (which will be a big reason why it’ll get a lower rating from me than I was hoping & expecting). Maybe if the son had been likable to begin with…
I did like the film’s overall vibe at the start. I really liked the creepy dollhouses/miniatures. I liked that the movie seemed to be going for a Rosemary’s Baby thing, which is a true classic. Hereditary was atmospheric and the sense of dread was palpable. I soooo wanted to like it more. But, as I said, I didn’t care about the family. And then the story went completely off the rails. Now, I don’t mind when a story goes completely fucking nuts. I love David Cronenberg’s films, for crying out loud. I love crazy! But the ending of this just didn’t work for me. It was messy. The whole story just seemed a little too convoluted. That’s horror for you, though – you either love or absolutely hate how they choose to end them. I almost always hate the endings to horror films. I wouldn’t say that I totally hated Hereditary’s ending, but… Meh. It just didn’t quite work for me. To be fair, however, I’m not sure how it should have ended. It did at least end up in the sort of way you’d expect based on things that happened & were said previously in the film (so pay close attention).
Hereditary is a very good horror film compared to the majority of rubbish modern horror films that are out there. I’ve seen modern horror that I’ve liked much much more than this one but I can see why Hereditary has its fans even if it didn’t quite work for me. The film that it most reminds me of is The Witch (2015), which also had great reviews but which I found well-made yet very disappointing. If you loved The Witch, I think you’ll probably like Hereditary too. I prefer Hereditary but that’s mainly because of ONE scene. If not for that one scene, I’d give this at least half a point less. You know the scene I mean if you’ve seen this! That scene was totally unexpected. Well, no… Not entirely unexpected as it was obvious something was going to happen where it did. But it was a ballsy scene and changed the way you thought things were gonna go based on the marketing. So, yeah – an extra half a point at least for a horror movie having a scene that actually managed to surprise people.
My Rating: 7/10
This movie definitely reminded me of the Witch too. I wasn’t a fan of the ending, because I anticipated it the entire movie…kind of wish it had been something different or more clever, you know?
Yeah, I was disappointed with the ending as well. I think it may have felt unique to a new generation of horror fans but it was really just something we’ve all seen before all the way back to some of the great 70’s horror films. I so wanted to like this movie more! But I did appreciate that it at least had a few good, memorable “moments”. It just wanted to be something like Rosemary’s Baby but it’s not.
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Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:
Here’s a reblog of my review for Hereditary. Still not sure how I feel about this one. It started out strong, had one great & very memorable scene, then pooped out at the end. Like most horror films…
Nice review! I thought this was definitely above average but also slightly slow in places, plus incoherent in others (though enough reflection and googling afterwards provides enough answer!)
Thanks, Emma! 🙂 Yes, this was far better than a lot of horror movies these days. I do think this will be considered a classic years from now. I just think my expectations were very high and I wanted to love it. It started out so good… And I love the scene with the pole. Yikes.
I know!! That scene was like ‘WOAH’….
What did you think of A Quite Place?
Hi Emma! Oops. Behind on comments again. I loved A Quiet Place! What did you think of it?
I hated it! Lol. I actually did 😦
Ha! Well, damn!!! 😉 I thought it might not be one you’d go for. I enjoyed it, though. 🙂
I’m a philistine 🙂
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