Running Time: 2hr 7min
Release Date: June 8, 2018
Written/Directed by: Ari Aster
Review by: Stacey
HOLY SHIT. You guys, I'm not sure if I can fully comprehend what I watched. I don't want to over-hype this or anything but...Hereditary is going down as the scariest movie I've seen yet. Yes, that is quite the lofty statement but I would be wrong if told y'all it wasn't. Now, I'm going to try and be as thorough but as vague as possible because I don't want to give anything away, so bear with me!
After matriarch Ellen dies, Annie (Toni Collette) tries to cope with her grief alongside her family- husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), son Peter (Alex Wolff), and her odd daughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro), who had close ties with her grandmother.
As things only seem to get worse for the family, Annie begins to unravel shocking revelations about her family and their history.
See! That's as descriptive as I wanted to get for y'all without giving any plot points at all away. Sorry (not sorry)! Anyway, as I was saying, this movie FUCKED. ME. UP. We attended a screening for it last Thursday at the Drafthouse in Austin and I can tell you that almost everyone in that theater left there feeling some type of way. My hands were shaking by the end and my head hurt from being so tensed up throughout.
There's so much to rave about with this movie! There is some seriously disturbing imagery that stuck with me for a while after. Certain scenes would keep popping in my head throughout, which would amplify the scenes I was currently watching. There is some blood in this movie, I'm going to have to let you know. It's not all psychological; there's some gross outs too. OH, the sound design. WOW. The clicking of Charlie's tongue heard throughout the movie, sounds of flesh being cut, body parts thudding, wails of sadness...all mixed with the dread-inducing score. There were points where we couldn't figure out if the sounds were coming from the audience or the screen, which only exacerbated my creeped out-ness (that's a real word....).
Enough about how much of a puss I am, we need to talk about the cast of characters in Hereditary. Toni Collette deserves all the awards ever made and more- she absolutely killed it! There were several scenes, but one in particular, where she expressed grief that reverberated through the screen and punched me in the damn gut; it felt like I was experiencing what she was. If there's anyone that can display emotion damn well, it's her. Now, I've always been a major fan of Gabriel Byrne, and he was just as fantastic in this as everyone else, but as in most horror films, the dad took the back seat to the others it seemed. He played your typical skeptical and not quite as feeling father.
Milly Shapiro as Charlie was what you'd expect. She was creepy and odd but still adorably cute in that "are you going to kill me in my sleep??" kinda way. I won't give too much away about her character, but just prepare yourselves...
Collette aside, I have to say the breakout star of this flick had to be Alex Wolff as Peter. I wasn't even expecting him to be a major player in the movie and he totally stole it. I need to see him in more intense roles like this (if you haven't seen it yet, he's great in Patriots Day).
Now I'm going to have to admit, the story itself isn't too unfamiliar in many parts, which will probably turn some people off by the end, but I think that's probably why I enjoyed it. It reminded me of several past films that I really enjoyed, so why wouldn't I with this one? I think, ultimately, what will catapult this movie (and seems to already have) above many others, is what I already discussed- the imagery, the sound, the music, the cast. It all comes together perfectly, thanks in LARGE part to writer/director Ari Aster (can you believe this is his first feature film!?), to make a truly haunting movie that is going to stick with me for a long time to come. I have a feeling it will make a lot of you feel the same way too.
Check out the trailer below!