Hereditary 😱 Film Review


Written by Thelonia

Hereditary was perhaps my most anticipated movie of 2018, and while it didn't scare me in the way I think most people expect, it has haunted me ever since I've seen it.

The movie starts with the death of the family matriarch, whose presence lingers over the whole film (and in dark corners of rooms). The family, made up of Annie (Toni Collette), Steve (Gabriel Byrne) and their children Peter (Alex Wolff) and Charlie (Milly Shapiro), is relatively unaffected emotionally by the death, but little do they know that it triggered a series of events that will change them forever...

Hereditary, like other horror films before it, works on a few different levels. While it can be viewed as a straightforward supernatural story, it also has a double layer of metaphorical meaning as to the effects of Mental Illness (hence the comparisons to The Babadook), particularly in the context of hereditary trauma & instability.

The camera work is expert, often moving around the house in the same way it looks at the dollhouse scenes. The house itself is off-putting, even just sub-consciously, in much the same way as the hotel in The Shining does, by creating the rooms in separate sets and not having them connect in the 'right' way. That and the audio mixing help create a queasy atmosphere that only gets amplified as the plot veers unsteadily towards it's inevitable conclusion.


The movie can be split pretty evenly between a first half and a second half, which both have pretty different tones in terms of the horror movies they reference and emulate. Some prefer the first half, considering the second half, that last long sequence in particular, so over the top that it becomes goofy. This is partly because the mystery that surrounds everything in the first half creates a really tense atmosphere but also because the second half introduces straight occult conspiracies in the place of the themes of grief which push the first half along. While the sort of over the top ending did make the audience laugh in places, it was punctuated by gasps, though the final effect is still haunting (both as it was happening and in hindsight).

I would also like to toss in here that my first note after the film was "King Paimon a bitch if he's doing all of this cause he doesn't want to be in a lady body." and I feel like that sums up my reaction to that plot thread pretty well.


If you can take horror movies, definitely check this one out in theaters, if only for the visuals, sound design, and the sound of an audience being put through the absolute ringer.

Hereditary is currently in theaters.

Bonus Video: 

No comments:

Post a Comment