Hereditary review by Bobby Blakey
Sundance always has some interesting standout films come through and the new film Hereditary from director Ari Aster making his feature debut and starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro, and Alex Wolff is apparently one of them. Reports came that this film shook up audiences offering up a terrifying new experience, but does it live up to the hype or will it be a descent into something more forgettable?
Hereditary follows Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, who passes away, causing her daughter's family to begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. There has been a lot of good buzz surrounding this film, but that often ends in disappointment so I tried to go in as fresh and open minded as possible and I was not disappointed. This is not a film for everyone and the slow burn into madness will likely lose most people, but I found the necessity of it all to really get the full effect of this dark tale. Toni Collette steals the show with an amazing performance that carries this movie.
I loved that there was so much more here than what the trailer leads you to believe. I was surprised that it isn’t so much as a horror film as it has been hyped and instead more of a thriller with supernatural elements and some jump scares. The entire first two halves of the film is build up with some strange elements and twists that I found to be compelling and interesting. The slow pace is necessary for it to fully capture the direction it is going with more than one character, but will no doubt lose people. Sure there are some elements that could have been trimmed, but I still enjoyed it all. When things start to amp up a bit more it offers up some great unnerving moments that were both cool and well executed.
Where this film might freak some people out is the actual things that happen to people which was a bit shocking. There are some of the creepy moments and supernatural elements that affect everyone differently especially if you believe in possession or demons. I recommend everyone give this film a shot and it will be interesting to see what director Ari Aster has coming up next.
This release not only includes the film but bonus content including deleted scenes, a gallery and a featurette on bringing this film to life. Learn the terrifying secrets of this family with Hereditary available now on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.