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MicroReview: Hereditary (2018)

After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.


Written and directed by Ari Aster (feature debut), Hereditary is one of those films that sort of goes there. Purposefully, I had avoided knowing too much about it before going in, and that is definitely a plus - so we'll avoid spoilers here.

Broadly, the film begins with a family who are dealing with the loss of the mother of the matriarch of the family - a pretty ordinary family at the beginning. Mother and father, Toni Collette (Fright Night) and Gabriel Byrne (Assault on Precinct 13), are dealing with the ramifications of the death - the two children, Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ) and Milly Shapiro (feature debut) are dealing with it in their own ways.

Then things go awry.

The epitome of slow, Hereditary is without doubt a horror film, but certainly to this reviewer, a horror film for a slightly older generation. The film deals heavily with the themes of death and loss. It is exceedingly depressing, and very frightening on some very meaningful levels. That said, it's not scary per se, not in a Nightmare on Elm Street way. Led with an outstanding performance by Toni Collette, Hereditary is a cerebral horror, and very slow paced.

It has no fundamental action beats, no gore, little in the way of jumps, or scares. It is however, a sublime, adult horror film that will terrify the right audience.

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