The following review contains some spoilers so don’t read on if you haven’t seen the film.
Synopsis: When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.
There’s a lot of buzz about the new horror flick ‘Hereditary’ which was released in theaters this week by A24 films(The Witch, Ex Machina). Shot on location in Salt Lake City Utah, Hereditary stars Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne. Hereditary marks the directorial debut of Ari Aster, an American filmmaker and screenwriter, who is best known for directing and writing the 2011 short film ‘The Strange Thing About the Johnsons.’
The story unfolds with the death of the grandmother Ellen, who’s whole life seemed to be shrouded in mystery. During the wake, Ellen’s daughter Annie, tries to explain her mother to the attendees but as she does, you can see and hear the confusion and frustration,in her voice.
The film has a very slow beginning as Ari Aster builds his characters and slowly unravels the plot. And I do mean SLOWLY.
While the focus of the film initially appears to be on Annie’s daughter Charlie,(Milly Shapiro) who seems to have some type of mental handicap, we quickly discover that after her tragic death, the focus is really on Annie. But wait…there’s more! Now things get interesting. Annie quickly discovers her new found friend Joan (Ann Dowd) can conjure up the spirits of deceased relatives namely her grandson. Once she teaches the distraught Annie how to do the same, Charlie returns.
Like many horror films which utilize a plot rooted in family tragedy, the Graham family too, is s torn apart by forces they can’t comprehend. While it seems that Annie is the cause of the family’s ongoing grief, she’s the one who figures out that Joan’s satanic cult has plans for her family. In the end though, it’s Annie’s son Peter, (Alex Wolff) who pays the ultimate price.
The name of the game with this film is patience. While I would of liked the pace to have been a little quicker in the first forty-five minutes, the film had a solid story, decent amount of suspense, and some great visuals. While I wasn’t thrilled with the lackluster ending in the tree house (hoping for something a little creepier) I wasn’t disappointed. So was this one of the scariest films ever? That completely depends on your definition of scary. But it was still worth the money so we’re giving it four stars.