Reading all these reviews about what a “Masterpiece” this movie is makes me wonder if I missed something or if I’m just stupid. If you’re someone who’s raving about how creative and revolutionary this movie is, you’re either just trying to fit in as a horror movie snob or saw a completely different movie.
Seriously, I sat there through the first hour of the movie and wondered if I somehow walked into the wrong theater and was seeing a different movie. The pacing is incredibly slow, and I understand that the first half of a slow burning horror film like this one is supposed to build suspense, but unlike other horror flicks this film keeps you waiting and waiting and waiting for absolutely nothing.
The only positive thing about this movie is the acting. The movie does have good performances from Gabriel Byrne and Toni Collette, although I don’t feel her acting is “Oscar worthy” like people are saying. It just makes me wonder how desperate these two great actors must have been for a paycheck.
This movie was marketed as something that would make people rethink what horror movies are all about. In the end, there’s nothing to spoil about this movie because nothing happens. The plot develops extremely slowly as a poorly written family drama. Then in the last 20-30 minutes the director must have remembered that he was supposed to be making a horror movie and just slapped together an ending full of countless scary movie cliches that left everyone in the theater scratching their heads. Someone at my showing actually said out loud when the credits began to roll “wtf was that movie” and everyone laughed.
I get that cinematography wise this movie is supposed to be brilliant, because it does look pretty good. But good visuals aren’t enough to save a boring movie with a poorly put together plot in my opinion. I’ve seen a few other reviewers on here mention how people in the audience were laughing out loud during the “scary” parts of this movie, and I can say that most of the theater I was in, including myself, was filled with people laughing and loudly cracking jokes at how cliche and confusing the ending of this movie is.
Hereditary is a refreshing example of a studio subverting expectations, as the trailer is purposely misleading (in a good way). Even as the film ventures into territory familiar to its genre, writer/director Ari Aster skillfully ratchets the tension into something that feels like a nightmare straight from hell.
Hereditary conjures multiple indelibly brutal moments of pure horror – the likes of which made many in my audience giggle in anxiety. Aster truly seems to get as much tension as possible from each scene. The film’s direction, writing, cinematography, production design, and score are all some of the best the horror genre has seen. It’s a beautiful thing to see a film crafted so keenly.
As for the cast, the highlights are an excellent performance by Toni Collette and a strong Alex Wolff. What begins as a drama about a family tearing apart with grief, descends into madness and the supernatural.
Hereditary doesn’t redefine horror. It puts a wicked stamp of its own on the tropes of the genre. The film is a tremendous success, and a truly impressive feature-debut from Ari Aster. Horror doesn’t get any better than this.