In the summer of 2018, I went to see "Hereditary" with a friend of mine at a midnight showing. Around either 1 or 2, I walked back to my car in complete horror feeling empty and unholy.
Ari Aster has to be the best director out there making horror movies. This year he released "Midsommar" that I did see, but "Hereditary" is still my favorite of his. Aster doesn't rely on cheap jump-scares and pointless plots to attract audiences who truly love horror.
If you're sick of the same horror movies being made every year about a possessed doll or remakes of old ones, then Aster is the director to keep a look out for. But, let's now talk about "Hereditary."
I just want to quickly start out that Toni Collette was snubbed for best actress for the Oscars.
The movie starts out with the camera panning through a dollhouse, which the main character Annie (Toni Collette) makes for a living. This dollhouse is great symbolism for what will be explained at the end of the movie. It continues with the Graham family at a funeral for their grandmother.
The funeral felt like the family never knew her, and it felt absent. There was grief, but it did not linger very long. Although, the grandmother will play a very crucial part of the plot.
The next scene I am about to mention has to be the most gut-wrenching scene I have seen at that time. Peter (Alex Wolff) brought Charlie (Milly Shapiro), his sister, to a party where she accidentally ate an edible that had peanuts in it, causing an allergic reaction.
Peter tried to rush her to the hospital, but a tragedy happened. Peter was driving very fast, and Charlie stuck her head out the window till her head came in contact with a pole.
Yeah, this is not your average horror film.
Wolff did so well in his performance that this scene had to be the best acting of the film. His silence and him not looking back at what happened was the most painful and excruciating scene to sit through. Peter decided to drive back home and lie lifelessly in his bed not wanting to deal with what happened.
Annie's screams of discovering what happened was also very excruciating to sit through because this is a mother who lost her child, and her grief did not match the grief she had at her mother's funeral. This is only the first 30 minutes of the movie.
The movie continues with one discovery after another about their grandmother. Aster wanted to show that we can never escape our family, and he did it in horrific way that makes you just sit in your car in silence trying to process what happened.
As said before, Aster does not rely on cheap jump-scares. He relies on the mind. This psychological horror movie will not scare you for a quick 15 seconds, but it will settle with you for maybe a week. I kept thinking about the movie after I saw it, and that is when I knew that this was the greatest horror movie I have ever seen.
The movie also nods to "Rosemary's Baby," another one of my favorites. If you have seen it, then you will know what this movie is all about. But, the ending is just too good that I do not want to spoil it on here even though it came out over a year ago.
Aster is so underrated and should be praised more for his work. The writing is just too good, and the actors do a wonderful job at portraying their characters.
To me, the horror genre has lost its way. There is nothing unique about a possessed doll where the movie can end in five minutes if the main character would just avoid it. Stephen King's stories are great, and I do love them, but how many adaptations do we need?
Aster breaks the status quo and gives audiences true horror. Also, he is one of those refreshing directors because his content is original and not another cheesy adaptation to get quick bucks. Overall, "Hereditary" will scare you in a different way and will place an imprint in your mind.