Remember the days before jump scares? You know, back when movies were actually aiming to truly scare you? The kind that systemically put pieces together designed for you to truly experience discomfort as the movie progresses?
Well, thankfully Hereditary is here to change all of that.
Annie is grieving the loss of her mother and she may not be all that deserving of her grief. She joins a loss support group in the vein of Alcoholics Anonymous in an effort to truly unpack her emotions towards her mother. Her daughter, Charlie misses her grandmother to the point of dismissing her mother Annie. What feels like drama about loss slowly turns into an effective psychological horror story about the ties of family.
Not even gonna lie; This movie was actually scary. The lack of the annoyingly popular jump scares sent me back to the past when I was a kid taken to see horror movies with friends and their mother. It was a time when movies of that genre may have not had the best acting or even the best plot mechanics, but the soundtrack was consistently eerie and the fear I felt was genuine. To its favor, Hereditary has a cast full of talent and a plot that’s mostly coherent.
Toni Collette’s performance as Annie steals the show. Although the events touch every member of her family in different ways, her journey is a more private, quieter, (and stranger), struggle against the darkness. A character like Annie could easily slide into typical, campy territory but instead Toni’s performance expertly delivers the role of a grieving mother, daughter, and later something else entirely.
Although mostly amazing in its delivery, I would have liked to see scenes with Annie’s mother. By the end of the film there’s a story of greed and possession that pieces together like a puzzle but with a few pieces forced into fitting. Those few pieces should have been time spent with Annie’s mother like a flashback providing more context to its disturbing ending.
Even with the lack of full context, I still highly recommend this film to horror fans tired of the overly hyped films with no real horror to them. The acting, soundtrack, and plot come together to create such an eerie experience that you might not want to go to bed long after the credits roll.
Rating: 9 out of 10