A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
When her mentally ill mother passes away, a woman named Annie (Toni Collette) and her husband (Gabriel Byrne), son (Alex Wolff) and daughter (Milly Shapiro) all mourn her loss. The family turn to different means to handle their grief, including Annie and her daughter both flirting with the supernatural. They each begin to have disturbing, otherworldly experiences linked to the sinister secrets and emotional trauma that have been passed through the generations of their family.
With the definition of its maker, Ari Aster, Hereditary is a film about suffering. See more »
(at around 47 mins) When Joan writes down her phone number, she folds the piece of paper before giving it to Annie. Later, when Annie looks at this paper in her workshop, there is no crease, indicating that the paper was never folded. See more »
12 Fantaisies: No. 6 in D Minor, TWV 40:7: Dolce - Allegro - Spirituoso
Written by Georg Philipp Telemann
Performed by Benedek Csalog
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. See more »
A genuine nightmare
This is a bit of an old fashioned horror movie. Something that plays as a dramatic movie first and then slowly becomes something else. Like "Rosemary" or "Exorcist" but without the high profile clout of those directors. This is two hours of an exploration of family tragedy and grief through characters struggling to cope.
To say much of this film is to ruin it, so lashing praise onto certain aspects of it is the best one can do. Not to say this is a film with a big twist, it isn't. Toni Collette is fantastic as is no surprise at this point in her career. All the performances carry their own, including one I was unsure of at first but grew on me throughout -- Alex Wolff. The cinematography, rhythms and pacing, sense of place and space, and sound design are all superb and work in conjunction to create atmosphere and dread -- like a pit in your stomach that continues to grow and grow throughout.
It turns into a genuine nightmare that absolutely worked for me. See it blind, see it as a movie first and foremost (not as a horror show with jump scares), but just see it.
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