The film is terrifying, heart breaking and brilliant. Me, personally, I hate it. It’s genuinely scary and disturbing. My artistic sensibility adores it however. The way the camera and the lighting are used in this film in order to play on everyones expectations of a horror without needing the use of jump scares is outstanding and something to really appreciate. It truly felt like a horror movie with the audiences reactions of gasping and nervous laughing. It didn’t hold back from the vivid and brutal imagery and it was more than enough to make you feel sick the entire film due to the bleakness of it all. The car scene. I’ll say no more.
The use of dark orange light makes the seen some what unnatural but at the same time fills you with unease. Having read tweets about this film I was tense throughout. I was waiting for that one scene where something is strategically placed in the corner of the room and it takes you a minute to realise it was there. With every wide shot my heart was racing and my eyes checking every corner, there wasn’t a moment where we were chill in this film. The way they shot indoor shots from a distance made it look like the characters were in a mini replica of the house, creating an unusual sense of unease. They cleverly used colours in shots to make you very unsettled. The ending uses warm, golden colours, camouflaging it as a happy ending.
The plot itself was so diverted from the norm and was something we were really not expecting. It takes so many shocking turns and is both psychological and paranormal, two genres that when put together can be truly scarring. The director has managed to make the whole film scary in a way that you know something scary is going to happen but you don’t know what. The slowness of the film makes you cringe with every push of the camera you are warned that you are about to be scared, but not in the way you think you will be. It breaks the mould of traditional horror films throughout, and those final 10-15 minutes will completely mess you up.
This movie allowed us to go into at the characters heads, especially Peter and Annies. Their acting was sensational in showing us how the disturbing events had effected them and their relationships. Charlie’s (the daughter, CLUCK) character is truly creepy and her acting makes you feel so uncomfortable. Alex Wolf (as Peter) was really captivating and theatrical as he portrayed real grief instead of this over dramatised, underwhelming grief often in horror films. He managed to act so that we could sense a real weight on his shoulders and could tell he was emotionally destroyed. His whole performance was really sensational. Toni Collete (the mother) deserves an Oscar nomination for her performance. Despite reading reviews saying her her facial expressions and acting was completely OTT, I feel that this was a real representation of grief and sheer fear that anyone would experience if this was to actually happen, not your typical Hollywood reactions in horror films. All three of these performances will go down as iconic. Most characters in horrors are forgettable, but you feel real emotional connections to each of them, which is not common in most horror films.
Grips you with real horror, and had scenes that made us put our hands over our mouths in shock. So why should you watch Hereditary?
This will 100% be a horror classic which is why you should see it at the cinema while you can. A brilliant film which I I personally cannot bring myself to see it again. I can’t put myself through the distress of it again.
(Also, this was director Ari Aster’s first full length film. Very impressive.)