Hereditary scared me. So it was good. 4.5/5. See you next time
Ok, all joking aside, Hereditary is a damn scary film that is scary in ways that are pretty against the grain for most modern horror, or at least American horror traditions. If The Conjuring is the thesis for exemplary use of modern horror tropes and traditions, Hereditary is its antithesis or rather a synthesis of them + writer-director Ari Aster's hatred of family and knack for complete subversions of general taboos and story expectations (see his short The Strange Thing About the Johnsons if you need proof of this).
If you're vaguely intuned with movie circles on social media, you might have seen that the film premiered at Sundance to acclaim, and the common theme within was you have to go into this film almost completely blind. Usually, that's a hyperbolic marketing ploy, but here it's kind of a necessity since Hereditary isn't a film that's just hiding some singular twist, but rather a film that operates on pure subversion of what you've been conditioned to expect out of horror. In the most boiled down summary, and the summary the trailer will have you believe, is that the film is about the strangest things that happen to a family following the death of the abusive, estranged, and mysterious grandmother. The family is made up of the mother, Annie, played by Toni Collette who is an artist of miniature sculptures and serves as the protagonist (more or less). The rest of her family is her husband Steve, son Peter, and daughter Charlie, played by Gabriel Bryne, Alex Wolf, and Milly Shapiro respectively. Charlie, who seems to have some vague mental disability, was the only one the grandma liked.
And that's all you're getting.
To say any more would fall into spoiler territory, but what I can say is that the movie constantly tops itself in subverting what you think is going on. The film touches on some subjects and has some hardcore violent imagery that might turn some people away. After watching it, I thought some of these themes and events wouldn't be surprising in a Lars Von Trier or Michael Haneke movie.
This is a movie that gets horror. Deeply unsettling, well acted, beautifully shot and accompanied by a haunting score by experimental jazz musician Colin Stetson, Hereditary positions itself as a horror movie that will and should be talked about as classic in the genre.