Hereditary is directed by first time director Ari Aster – who proves himself a brilliant director, creating a film that doubled my heart rate and made everyone leave the cinema with their jaws on the ground.
The film is without a doubt something that horrors of recent years have been missing; it pays homage to many greats such as The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby and puts its demonic twist on it.
The film centres around a conspiracy: after the death of the grandma, mysterious occurrences begin to happen. Bit-by-bit, each character (excluding the father) becomes more and more twisted – little signs appear, forewarning us of the horror that is about to come.
The girl, Charlie, is an abnormal girl: lonely and quite, and when things go south we begin to see the whole picture. The film has been perfectly crafted, inserting elements that foreshadow greater ideas – with the open-ended way the film cuts to credits you are left in shock; there is no one answer to what happened, rather it’s left up to your interpretation.
The film tackles the idea of demons, hell and spirits, sprinkling familiar ideas throughout, but the direction, visuals and sound are remarkable. An irritating ticking is always present in the house, whenever the film cuts elsewhere, there is some sort of foley sound to create tension, which the film instils so perfectly.
Toni Collette (Annie) puts on the performance of her life. She plays the mum – plagued with troubles and loss – we learn it all stems from her mother who leaves a cryptic letter; it is just prior to that that things go the wrong way. She is an artist, she has been commissioned to re-create scenes from her life – this only emphasises the dark and creepy nature of what surrounds her, as most images are rather terrifying.
One element that some may not have caught, that a few others and I did, was Annie's nightmares were signals – implanted subconsciously.
Throughout her entire life, she has sleepwalked, and in nightmares and reality, she has attempted to kill her son, because deep down she knew what would happen. The idea of a boy being the host body was implanted early on when it was briefly referenced, the grandmother always wanted Charlie to be a boy and now she is gone, the sacrifices were worth it in the eyes of the maddened grandmother.
Hereditary is without a doubt the horror we need, and I think it could be up for Academy recognition when it comes to next year – this is a film that cannot be missed.
5 Stars rating (5/5)
Written by Ben Rolph