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“Hereditary” Movie Review

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     Steph’s review:

The 2018 film Hereditary is not your typical jump-scare filled horror movie. Instead, it utilizes slow-burning tension and atmospheric dread. The reason Hereditary has been rated so highly on horror movie lists is solely for the stunning acting of Toni Collete and Alex Wolff. I’m not going to lie, the unsettling imagery and disturbing scenes had me crying the first time I watched this movie. In hindsight, watching it a second time and knowing what was coming, the buildup could have been a lot quicker, and the film could have relied on more than just tension to create an even scarier atmosphere. The themes of psychological horror, grief, and loss of sanity can be a bit confusing to understand if you’re watching this for the first time, and I would highly recommend watching or reading an overview to get the full depth of the movie. My favorite part of Hereditary was the unpredictable nature of it, quite literally until the last seconds of the movie. After watching it a second time, it was cool to see all the foreshadowing and make sense of all the things that were confusing the first time watching it. If you are a fan of jump-scares and gore, this movie is not for you. However, if you are a fan of a more psychologically scary horror movie with deeper meaning beyond meaningless kills, Hereditary is the movie for you. 

4/5 stars  

 

     Jacob’s review:

Ari Aster’s Hereditary is filled to the brim with wonderful acting and unsettling imagery. The acting in this film may just be the best acting I’ve ever seen in a horror movie. All the actors portray a range of emotions to great effect, but Toni Collete really stands out. Whether it be grief, anger, terror, or anything in between, she completely kills it. So much so that whenever she’s upset or afraid, the audience is too. Speaking of terror, the actual horror in this film is top tier. That being said, it is fairly far and few between. The only extended horror sequence is the last fifteen to twenty minutes, which is outstanding, but the rest of the movie, except for a few short sequences, is buildup. Had the rest of the film been as scary as the last twenty minutes, this film would’ve got five stars. While the whole movie may not have been scary per say, it sure was disturbing. There are plenty of deaths, beheadings, bodies, and other truly unsettling imagery. The directing is beautifully done and utilizes every corner of the scene to terrorize the viewer. I do wish there were a few more jumpscares though. Horror movies don’t necessarily need jumpscares, but the ones they made in this film were perfect, so I wish there were a few more to end off some of the other anxiety inducing moments. Unfortunately, I found myself confused several times during the film. The themes were clear, but some of the supernatural scenes just left me feeling lost. Some may say confusion adds to the horror, but I felt that it took me out of the scene on a few occasions. After a “Hereditary explained” video or two, I got it, but I wish I understood more of what was happening in the moment. Looking back, some things were cleverly foreshadowed, but some things aren’t ever fully explained. Even with my criticisms, it’s still a great film with a surprisingly deep commentary on grief and loss. This film will definitely make you think, which is uncommon for horror movies. Its performances, horror scenes, and themes will definitely stick with you for a while. If you’re planning on watching this movie, make sure you can handle disturbing imagery and a terribly bleak story and definitely leave yourself some time to read an explanation afterwards.

 4/5 stars

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