“Hereditary” Not As Scary, But Moments of Horror and Performances are Superb

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-

“Hereditary has been talked about since it premiered at Sundance in January and again after it screened one night in the Midnighters category during SXSW. So many people have commented about how it was the “scariest” and I entered the theater feeling quite apprehensive. Well, after viewing the film, I am truly disappointed because “Hereditary” isn’t the scariest film for me. We can discuss how I felt in 1973 after watching “The Exorcist” – to this day, nothing will ever top that! 

It is one thing to see a horror film with other adults in the script, but once children are added, the horror level increases for me. This is total dread for me. Just from the title, I knew it was to be hard to view for me and the story written and directed by Ari Aster satisfactorily delivered on that dread.

Annie (Toni Collette) has two children, daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) is 13, and son, Peter (Alex Wolff) appears to be high school age. Annie is married to Steve (Gabriel Byrne) who appears to be in a position of wealth with his job and provides a beautiful mansion of a home with a lovely tree house out in the woods. From the onset of the film, it is evident there is a family with a dysfunctional history of some type. We soon learn what that is. It is amazing to watch Steve (Gabriel Byrne) try to keep some sense of stability among the family members and see it all disintegrate.

The cast of the four principal actors are extremely good in their roles, with an extraordinary performance by Toni Collette, whose work I have been following for several years since at least “Connie and Carla” (2004), not to mention those in the 1990s films. The two teen actors present the feeling of dread in a perfect manner that they are certainly two actors to follow for upcoming screen work.

“Hereditary” certainly contains a different type of story when it comes to discussing it among the horror genre. See it to understand how everyone will have a different word to describe the indescribable.

This film contains one traumatic scene that I believe I will forget. I won’t even give a clue about which one it is, but it certainly does rank up there with something chilling for me from “The Exorcist” film. This is a film you will have to view and find how it will affect you by the time the credits roll.

Source: A24

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