Directed by Ari Aster [Other horror films: Midsommar (2019)]
This movie, which has gotten a decent amount of praise since it’s release, certainly had a strong sense of tension, suspense, and unease. However, it also seemed to lack some coherence toward the end.
Which isn’t to say that there aren’t tons of explanations online – I’m sure there are. But the movie needs to stand for itself, and I won’t say that I wasn’t put off by the route this movie took. It was interesting, but I wanted more explanation than we ever really got.
Much of the movie feels more like a tense and uncomfortable family drama following the death of a family member, and these scenes are done well. When the horror elements begin showing up more, they’re also mostly done well. Many leave you guessing exactly where this movie is going (and that’s something that’s true up toward the end of the film, actually). As for the conclusion, though, I’m not sure I find it all that satisfactory, at least in how it was presented.
The cast was solid throughout, especially Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, and Toni Collette (and to be fair, these three make up most of the screen-time anyway). Collette’s increasingly erratic behavior as the film goes on is a sight to behold, and for as young as his is, Wolff’s performance here is pretty decent (although at times I felt he overacted a bit).
Hereditary is a bit difficult to talk about right now, having just finished it twenty or so minutes ago (at the time of this writing, of course). I’m still trying to digest some of it. But my first impression is that it seems like the type of movie you’d need to watch again to better appreciate it, and though the tone of the movie is great, and there’s an utterly shocking scene relatively early into the film that I applaud, given it’s over two hours long, and I wasn’t really sold on the conclusion, that’s not something I see myself committing to. For now I’d rate this somewhere around average, though it had potential to be more.