In Peter's first scene at school, the words "Escaping Fate" is on the chalkboard with the teacher discussing it. This is a reference to Halloween (1978), where the main character discusses the same thing in class. Appropriately, this movie was released the same day as the trailer for Halloween (2018). See more »
When Annie begins the seance with Peter and Steve, the candle on the table isn't lit but once the camera cuts away and comes back to the table, the candle is now lit with the flame clearly visible. See more »
You know, Annie, you can always build a shrine to all the terrible things in the world, but it doesn't mean that you have to destroy anything that is good.
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Hereditary is a refreshing example of a studio subverting expectations, as the trailer is purposely misleading (in a good way). Even as the film ventures into territory familiar to its genre, writer/director Ari Aster skillfully ratchets the tension into something that feels like a nightmare straight from hell.
Hereditary conjures multiple indelibly brutal moments of pure horror - the likes of which made many in my audience giggle in anxiety. Aster truly seems to get as much tension as possible from each scene. The film's direction, writing, cinematography, production design, and score are all some of the best the horror genre has seen. It's a beautiful thing to see a film crafted so keenly.
As for the cast, the highlights are an excellent performance by Toni Collette and a strong Alex Wolff. What begins as a drama about a family tearing apart with grief, descends into madness and the supernatural.
Hereditary doesn't redefine horror. It puts a wicked stamp of its own on the tropes of the genre. The film is a tremendous success, and a truly impressive feature-debut from Ari Aster. Horror doesn't get any better than this.
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