The trailer for “Hereditary” spooked me for months! With enormous buzz coming out of Sundance last January, I was fully preparing to be scared, very scared. Thus, when the invite for the screening arrived, I had to psyche myself up to be able to handle what I was expecting from the hype to be the most frightening movie ever made. The day of the screening, I was attending both Book Expo and the Cannibis Expo, so I was away from home all day. In anticipation of returning home too scared to be in the dark, I ran up my electricity bill by leaving the lights on all day.
However, the expense was not necessary. Hereditary is scary but not in any lingering way. I was greatly disappointed with this overhyped, very slow film. Sure, there are some great jump scares and Toni Collete is Oscar-worthy as the grieving Mom on an inescapable horrific path. However, the film is paced so slow that I almost fell asleep at times. All of the horror occurs in the last five minutes – there IS one scene that still haunts me – and it is more weird than scary.
If you are a horror fan, it’s a must-see for the sheer odd creepiness. But don’t expect to be really scared or to fully understand everything. Perhaps it will be scarier the second time round. For me this go round was meeting some young weirdo attendee, who was wearing an odd amulet and trying to explain the dark magic of the film to a critic from a major paper. SHE was spookier than the film!
I do however recommend his short“The Strange Thing About The Johnsons”, which is the film that put Ari Aster on the radar. I love this version with reaction:
I have heard Aster plans to stay in the horror genre, so I hope that he will get more interesting in the future. Because while shot beautifully, Hereditary is a near-miss.