Hereditary is a new indie horror flick that brings an inventive atmosphere and uses excellent camera movement to create an eerie and claustrophobic setting to make its viewers never feel safe.
The film follows a family after the matriarch of their passes and the Graham family must return to normal life. The mother, Annie (Toni Collette), is a little out sorts since her mother’s passing and begins to go to counseling to deal with her feelings. However, Annie and her family (Alex Wolff, Gabriel Bryne, Milly Shapiro) begin to unravel as a mysterious supernatural forces begin to haunt them and they discover dark secrets about their ancestry.
The films use of small spaces and tight camera movement to constantly keep viewers uneasy. It adds a tension that most horrors don’t have and doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares to scare viewers. Hereditary has an incredibly creepy atmosphere that keeps it worst frights only slightly hidden just behind its characters eyes.
Often times, audiences are left looking into dark corners and over our protagonists’ shoulders that ramps up the suspense and keeps them cowering in their seats. The film also has plenty of surprises that will undoubtedly make Hereditary a film that viewers won’t surely forget.
However, the film suffers heavily from an incredibly long and boring second half that will have audiences feeling like they are waiting for the film to get good. The first act keeps viewers interested only for the audiences to feel blindsided by a second act that is constantly almost scary and halts the great momentum the first act brings. It also focuses on tons of set-up rather a more smooth approach to let the viewers feel like they have a grip on what is going on. This all leads to worthwhile third act as it ramps up the scares that many would’ve wanted the film to be the entire time.
This second act can also feel confusing for viewers as there isn’t much explained as to what is happening. Viewers are left to reading book pages and notes that characters are seeing onscreen to understand what is going on. Even more so, the film tries to explain itself at the end to alleviate and prevent viewers from saying that it was too abstract and hard to follow. At least telling viewers the purpose in everything that’s been happening the last two hours gives it a satisfying conclusion. However, it is honestly a cheap way to do it.
Hereditary also brings some pretty solid special effects that has the highs of adding a level of darkness and strangeness that is not seen much in the genre. Sadly though, these effects also have the lows of being so ridiculous that they’ll make the audience laugh rather than cower in fear.
The film also brings some excellent family dynamic thanks to the main protagonists’ excellent acting abilities. Their emotive performance are also enhanced on the camera constantly lingering on their faces during and after more dramatic moments. This adds plenty of moments of shock and awe and gives the actors a chance to show their character’s feelings in that moment.
There are a few moments, though, where viewers can feel a bit of over-dramatic scenes and reactions. This especially comes from scenes where viewers are meant to feel sad but many will end up being unable to keep themselves from laughing.
Hereditary is an impressive and unique entry to the horror genre. While it mainly focuses on set-up over an easy to follow plot, it boasts a great group of actors, a wonderful setting, and a tenseness that will send chills down each viewer’s spine.