When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.
Starring: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne
Written and directed by: Ari Aster
Alright, no messing around with recaps or sarcastic openings this time! I’m going to dive right into this review because apparently I’m in the minority on “Hereditary.” It seems like this movie is getting a lot of love, and I just don’t see it. No, it’s not a bad movie, but it just didn’t “wow” me like it has many others.
Let me get the obvious out of the way first, and something most of us can agree on. Toni Collette did an amazing job. Most people expected it, and got what they were looking for in her performance. Really she could have stood in the corner and said the same word for the entire film, and everyone would have said she was awesome. Regardless, she mastered the extreme emotions of her character, and it was definitely a tough role to play. The other thing I really enjoyed was the cinematography. Moving some of scenes in and out through the use of the doll houses was creative.
Now to the rest of the movie. First, I heard some people say it was scary. Sorry at no point was I scared by anything. Shocked at some of the scenes…yes, but scared no way! Scares are different for many people, but the movie didn’t even come off as trying hard to scare like say an “Insidious” movie. If anything, creepy is a word I would use more than scary.
The movie is a slow burn, which is usually a killer for me, especially the first half. The first half is used to put a few ideas in the audiences’ head, and then shock them with a tragic event. Yes, shocking, but clearly the most interesting thing that happens in the first half of the movie. To the movie’s credit, it also changes the focus from one character to another, which might throw off some as to guessing at what’s coming next.
And what does come in the second half of the movie? Lets call it a lot of very strange and weird scenes. It originally seems like the movie might be about ghosts, but it’s really about mental illness. It ran in the family big time, and it eventually comes to a head (for those who still have heads!) There’s hints of what’s in their minds, but it didn’t appear that it would come true. However it does in full bizarre fashion!
When walking out of the theater I had that same kind of feeling I did when leaving “Mother.” The feeling of “what the hell did I just watch.” No feeling of that was amazing, or scary. Just “what the hell just happened?” Yes, they did a great job of taking mental illness to a horrific level, but it just didn’t do anything for me. The acting was great, the mental illness aspect of the story was interesting, and the cinematography was fantastic. However, it just got too weird too quick, which ruined it for me. With that, I’ll be in the minority on “Hereditary” and give it 2.5 pools of blood.