Where do I even begin? I am speechless. I can not come up with a word to describe the emotion this film has made me feel. I guess I could say I am satisfied and in awe of and in love and obsessed and honored to have witnessed this film in theaters and just witness it in general. This gives me such high hopes for the horror genre and high hopes for films in general. A24 films never do me wrong, we are honored to have A24 films. Ok, I think I got all the fangirling out of me for now but I really did love this film. I went into it with pretty high hopes and thankfully I was not disappointed. I am going to refrain from spoilers in this review because I believe it is best going into it without knowing anything at all so I really can't talk much about the plot without spoiling it. I can say that I was not expecting almost anything that happened in this film (besides obvious occurrences shown in the trailers) so basically the trailer gives little to nothing away unlike most horror film trailers. You are in for one wild, insane ride. Most horror films, first off, show every single scare and almost the whole plot in the trailers so you know what you're getting out of it and, second off, most horror films rely on jump scares and spooky images. This film has, to my knowledge, no outrageous jump scares. There are small jump scares that I would hardly call a jump scare but they are smart and strategically done. This film in general is just so smart. The film relies on tension and build up and confusion and the fear really gets in your head. Now I did not find this film to be as terrifying as I thought it would be. I don't really scare easy but I saw this with my dad who likes horror but it definitely gets to him more than it would me and he was not very terrified either. This in no way means it was not terrifying because fear is subjective but I was honestly hoping to be a little bit more scared after watching it. I guess it is good that I am not but I saw reviews of people saying it was more terrifying than The Conjuring and saying this is the new The Exorcist so I was hoping to not be able to sleep the next night honestly but I guess that is ultimately not something most people would want. So I am glad I can sleep and I'm just not scared but I am still satisfied and it still psychologically stuck with me. I absolutely love when a film is able to stick with you and effect you emotionally, I think that is just such an insane concept. This story that (in this case Ari Aster) someone writes and creates has the power to inject itself in your head and effect you. That is wild. This film is definitely one of those stories, something that will linger with people for a long time after viewing.
This was such a smart horror film and such a beautiful film in general. The cinematography was stunning, so so stunning and, wow, the sound mixing! The atmospheric sounds were perfect, not over the top with screeching violins and what not like most horror films but subtle and intense at the same time. You weren't distracted by it but it still made you feel the fear and tension that over the top sounds in other jump scare frenzied horror films force you to feel. This film builds up the fear inside you through the sounds without you even realizing it. I will never be able to hear a *cluck* again without thinking about Charlie and this movie. Another perfect aspect was the acting! Wow! Toni Collette, I want to personally thank you for being you and being amazing. She was extraordinary and genuine.
Alex Wolff you impressed me a ton. I wasn't so sure at the beginning but you blew me away. Everybody was brilliant!!!!!! Just the characters in general were brilliant. They were real people. In most horror films, the characters are just not realistic. They are what people think people are like, no one really acts or talks like them usually. The reactions and thoughts the characters in Hereditary had didn't shock me or take me out of the story, they felt genuine and that made everything all the more scary. This didn't feel fake or feel like a scary film, this felt like real life. I couldn't think about anything else during this film. I was completely in the world and completely sucked into these characters.
I hardly have anything negative to say or can't even think of anything negative to say about this film. My only concerns are mostly the meanings behind some occurrences. Obviously, the film does not have to answer everything and this film really did well at slowly and subtly answering your questions. The first like 90% of the film is a bunch of puzzle pieces and everything eventually makes sense at the end but I still feel a little confused at parts which could just be my misunderstandings. I don't fully grasp the concept of her creating miniatures. It did not have much to do with the plot specifically so it must mean something broader than that. I'll have to rack my brain a little about it but I guess it could be just trying to tell us to not really believe anything we see. Every character is just a pawn and is being played. Again, I don't want to spoil it but I'm not totally sure what they represented. I absolutely loved the wide shots in this film and how they were composited to look like her miniatures, which could further show that the real world is like her miniatures in which everything is placed strategically and is not under their own control. I can't say many other occurrences without spoiling anything but honestly everything is mostly there I probably just need another viewing.
I recommend this film a ton but it is a horror film and it is a pretty frightening one at that both psychologically and visually. But it is such a well done film that I hope it will inspire more beautiful horror films and honestly go down in history for being one of the best and smartest horror films out there.