Directed by Ari Aster
Technically remarkable and boasting a qualified narrative, “Hereditary” buzzes delirium and supernatural horror, becoming a serious candidate to win this year’s best film in its category. The film was inventively written and compellingly directed by debutant Ari Aster, a name to have in mind from now, whose work highly benefitted from the outstanding performances by Toni Colette, Gabriel Byrne, Milly Shapiro, and Alex Wolff.
The film’s power comes from the tension build-up, the dollhouse-aesthetic scenarios and creepy imagery in a striking combination with light and music.
When Annie (Colette) and Steven Graham (Byrne) lost their 13-year-old daughter, Charlie (Shapiro) in a terrible car accident that also involved their older son Peter (Wolff), they didn’t blame the latter, which is admirable. However, in order to overcome grief, Annie opens unsafe, occult doors for herself and her family when she befriends Joan (Ann Dowd), a woman she met in a therapy group session. Both become spiritual mediums.
The isolated house where the Grahams live already had shown signs of inhuman presences, but after Annie’s invocation of Charlie, the paralyzing terror invades their lives. Is there a way to revert the situation and gain the control again?
It’s all gloomy, anguishing, and strange, with some genuinely creepy and visually arresting scenes that can be violent, in its both psychological and physical forms. Besides references to ritualistic patterns and symbols, there are scary, furtive appearances, and characters airing guilt and resentment in an oppressive environment.
“Hereditary” is not perfect but does what the good horror movies do, relying on suspense and tension to deeply involve the viewer. Hence, prepare to be disturbed.