Hereditary is an absolute gut-wrenching piece of film that masterfully utilizes its moments of terror and lets you sit with them instead of trying to hit you with a barrage of shock after shock. That’s not to say it’s an easy watch though, because when Hereditary punches, it punches hard and forces you to marinate in the terror it’s putting you through. It’s a grueling experience but one that brilliantly showcases a branch of slow burn horror that has been thriving in recent years. And even though it is tough to watch, as I write this, I can honestly say I’m itching to sit through it again.
While Hereditary does hinge itself to supernatural elements it does incredible work in its first half to center its horror around very real nightmares. It’s a movie that deals with grief and mental illness and the quiet chaos it can cause inside of a home. Even in its quiet moments, incredible performances by the entire cast make it easy to feel the tension the characters feel without a word of dialogue being exchanged.
And when there is dialogue, it feels as if it has been carefully thought out and every other line is like bait trying to lure the viewer into making assumption of where the film is going to go. This leads to feelings of paranoia as you start to wonder and guess how everything is going to crash and burn in the household.
It’s not like, perfect or whatever.
What’s the Beef?
Here’s my piece. If you like jump scares, don’t watch this. If what you like in a movie is a scary monster, then I don’t think you’re going to like this. Also, this movie starts off straddling the line between horror and something like a very grim drama. It’s not going to be for everybody, and some of the subject matter might be too intense for some. This isn’t your momma’s formula-based horror movie and that might turn some people off so just you know, keep that in mind. And also, for something that starts off very based in reality it kind of veers off of that track in its final act.
You know what the biggest problem is?
It made me so anxious! It shocked me and left me thinking about death and the idea that one day I might fall off a tree and splatter all over the ground. The worst part about it is that once you finish Hereditary you don’t really finish Hereditary because it kind of just follows you for the rest of the day.
But, is it sad?
I think you know pretty early on that terrible things are going to happen because like stated before, there’s an always present feeling of dream and impending doom. It’s still shocking though.
But no pain chart this week?
No, but if I could sum it up, I would put this on the chart for the sake of this movie alone.
And that’s my two cents.
Hereditary is unlike other horror movies you’re likely to see and it really should’ve gotten more attention that it did (looking at you Academy Awards). It’s visceral and while the third act shift might turn some viewers off, it also does good work to turn the movie on its head in a way that makes it unpredictable but not overly bonkers (now looking at you M. Night Shyamalan). In my book it is a must watch for horror fans or any big movie buffs. This glass is a lot more than half-full.