Hereditary (2018) – Review

Annie (Toni Collette) is a model maker with an extremely volatile and unstable family history – when her elderly mother passes away, Annie and the rest of her family begin experiencing disturbing events that tie in with the emotional trauma that has been passed through the generations of their household. A somewhat interesting premise, and genuinely scary movie at times, with a sinister, supernatural theme throughout. Hereditary is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Director: Ari Aster
Writers: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro

Hereditary is most certainly a movie that has slipped under my radar in recent times, but after reading and seeing many of the positive reviews, I felt as if it was time to catch the 2018 horror release, especially with it now streaming on Netflix. When a film receives so much praise however, at times you can find yourself disappointed with the end product and that’s what happened here to an extent. For sure, Hereditary had its strengths, but at the same time it didn’t strike me as a flawless or even top tier horror movie of today.

Nevertheless, one of the primary pros of the film was the way in the which the filmmakers managed to evoke a genuine feel of suspense and tension throughout many of the scenes, without much actually happening. There weren’t any unnecessary jump scares either, and instead, the film relied heavily on the mood and atmosphere in general to portray the elements of fear and horror that most flicks of this nature bring to the table.

In regard to the story, it wasn’t exactly unique, but at the same time, as a viewer, you were definitely invested and often left wondering how it was all going to play out and unfold. It’s also fair to say that Hereditary was anything but predictable, with quite a few unexpected twists and turns occurring. With that being said, at times you did wonder whether this was a horror movie at all, especially in the early stages of the film, when it seemed more like a slow moving drama than the horror advertised.

Something else worth highlighting would have to be the terrific performances from the actors involved. As previously mentioned, Toni Collette adopted the role of Annie and her portrayal as a woman slowly losing everything and everybody around her, while trying to cope with the grief and anger thrown her way, was outstanding. Elsewhere, Gabriel Byrne was handed the role of Steve, the family father, while Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro embraced the roles of Peter and Charlie, respectively.

Ultimately, if you’re the type of person that is able to appreciate slow, creepy tension that is built up over a sustained period of time, with some supernatural elements thrown in there too, then this is probably a flick you’ll enjoy.

“My mother was a very secretive and private woman.”

Annie – Hereditary

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