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#1 Edited by RonGalaxy (4934 posts) -

I don't believe spoilers can completely ruin a genuinely good movie, but when it comes to horror films, initial shock is given a lot of value. So I would tell you to go see the movie before reading anything about it, as that's really the best way for something like this to be seen. END OF SPOILER WARNING

So I saw hereditary last night. I was pretty hyped for it since genuinely good horror movies are a dime a dozen, and I can confidently say it didn't dissapoint, just that it accomplished this in very unexpected ways. It turned out to be way more surreal/absurd than I expected it to be, which is a good thing because that's the horror I appreciate the most. When a movie can successfully contrast moments of fear, shock, grief, etc with ridiculous moments bordering on comedy, it makes the horror stuff so much more unsettling and unexpected. This movie played it pretty straight throughout, but there are moments of dry-comedy peppered in there that are used in the way I described above to great effect (especially near the ending).

I know the movie has been pretty divisive with audiences, so it would be nice to hear from some people with both positive/negative perspectives. Ultimately, in my mind, the marketing did a disservice and conned people into thinking hereditary was something it isn't. It's also very different from movies like the conjuring, as those films actually end in a happy, easily understood, easily digestible way, where this film reaaaaaallllly does not.

Side note: what was up with the girl clicking? That's really the only thing that totally confused me in a way where I thought "is this necessary?". Now that I think about it maybe it was to show, definitively, that Charlie really did possess Peter in the end, while allowing for the moment to be played in silence/without much explanation/questioning between characters. That's a decent enough explanation, but a narrative explanation would have been appreciated

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#2 Posted by liquiddragon (2732 posts) -

Doesn't "a dime a dozen" mean common?

I saw it Friday night and I think it's the must see movie of the year and I've seen a lot of movies this year. One of the best horror films of all time.

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#3 Posted by htr10 (863 posts) -

Patrick Klepek and his wife Katie just did this movie on the most recent episode of their Til Death Do Us Part podcast, so I feel like I’ve seen this movie without actually having watched it. Sounds like a great movie, although I feel like I was oversold in a similar way by It Follows and The Babadook, neither of which did much for me. Guess I’m not doing much for myself by spoiling the movie first with a podcast.

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#4 Posted by RonGalaxy (4934 posts) -

@htr10: it is better than both of those movies.

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#5 Posted by htr10 (863 posts) -

@rongalaxy:

Hearing that keeps me excited to see this. Going to have to wait for it come to Vudu though. Almost never get the chance to actually go see movies in the theater anymore.

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#6 Edited by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

It's the only movie to very nearly make me pass out. First I wanna point out I'm extremely well versed in the genre. My favorite horror movies are Audition and Martyrs. Extreme violence, gore, and themes of grief aren't news to me in well done horror movies. However, this one scene in Hereditary hit too close to home for me and it broke me.

Spoilers:

Charlie's death scene disturbed me to no end. As a 25 year old with an 11 year old sister, Charlie's whole death sequence is my absolute 200% worst nightmare. What really got to me is how long it lingered on Peter's reaction. My vision got blurry and distorted, I got incredibly sweat, nauseous, big headache, and it didn't go away for about 15 minutes. I would have stepped out but I physically couldn't. I wonder how Ari Aster feels to know his first film is his masterpiece.

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#7 Posted by KillEm_Dafoe (2539 posts) -

I saw this Saturday night without really knowing anything about it. I had seen one trailer which, while interesting, didn't tell me much about what it actually about (and in this case, that was a good thing). The rest of the marketing I've seen is your typical "THIS IS THE SCARIEST MOVIE OF THE LAST DECADE" bullshit, with audience reaction shots and a stream of quotes giving critical praise. I never fall for that and it kind of makes me just roll my eyes. Even the movies that turn out to be good fall far short of being anywhere near what they're sold as.

Hereditary was perhaps the first time a film with that style of marketing actually lived up its claims, while still simultaneously misrepresenting the film. The atmosphere and mood of this movie is so grim and oppressive right from the start, thanks to the incredible score. While there are fleeting moments of levity, I was constantly waiting for fucked up shit to happen, and when it finally does, it is REALLY fucked up. Some of imagery in this film is burned into my head. The way it sets up so many clues that don't pay off until the end was very clever, and when I finally started to piece things together, it still managed to go a step or two further than what I had anticipated.

The acting was phenomenal. Toni Collette...Jesus Christ what a fucking powerhouse performance. Horror movies aren't often up for awards but I could see this one being one of the rare exceptions, up there with Alien. Although one of my few dislikes was Gabriel Byrne. His performance itself was good because he's a fantastic actor (although his accent was ALL OVER the place here), but he was the only main character with almost no development. For how much of the movie he was in, he felt pushed to the background and disconnected from everyone else. My other peeve, which is minor, was that the end explains just about everything, where I think a bit more ambiguity would've made it creepier and probably lend itself better to multiple viewings.

There is one thing I'm still not sure on, though, which is it feels like the movie hints that Annie may have known, to some degree, about her mother the entire time. In the dream sequence where she's standing over Peter and says that she didn't want to be his mother, and then talks about how she tried to keep him away from her mother when he was growing up, but then let her spend all kinds of time with Charlie... that tells me she wouldn't let her mother near Peter because she needed the male body. I don't know why else this would be, but the rest of the movie and Annie's behavior doesn't necessarily support this. Although I could be missing something.

I hope more people see and appreciate this movie. It's weird and downright bizarre in a way that I think most people won't expect, but damn it if it doesn't deliver. This legitimately IS the best horror movie I've seen in over a decade, and maybe one of the best of all time, as someone who loves the genre but is constantly disappointed by what it offers these days.

It's the only movie to very nearly make me pass out.

Spoilers:

Charlie's death scene disturbed me to no end. As a 25 year old with an 11 year old sister, Charlie's whole death sequence is my absolute 200% worst nightmare. What really got to me is how long it lingered on Peter's reaction. My vision got blurry and distorted, I got incredibly sweat, nauseous, big headache, and it didn't go away for about 15 minutes. I would have stepped out but I physically couldn't.

I am a self-proclaimed gorehound, but because of the tone of the movie, this scene is profoundly disturbing to me, even though it's not the most graphic thing in the world. It's so well done. When it happens, you're not sure what happened... there's a split second where it looks like her head maybe came off? But the movie doesn't tip its hand immediately and instead builds tension so masterfully that it was almost unbearable. Then the reveal, as it just rests on Peter's unblinking expression as Annie heads down to the car, and she lets out this blood-curdling scream and begins to cry, before cutting to Charlie's disfigured head being eaten by maggots on the side of the road and just lingers on that shot for a good 10 seconds. It both shows a horrifying image while also leaving something to the imagination, which is Annie finding her daughter's headless body in the car.... it's one of the most unsettling, bone-chilling scenes I've ever seen.

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#8 Edited by RonGalaxy (4934 posts) -

I'm getting my moviepass card in the mail soon, and the first thing I do with it is see this movie again. I know that probably seems weird because of how fucked up it is, but it's the first time in a LONG time a movie has stuck with me like this, and I need to make sure it's not a fluke. Didn't think anything would top annihilation this year, but I think hereditary might have done it.

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#9 Posted by Seikenfreak (1284 posts) -

Can't read thread. Avoiding any info on it but:

Is this only a limited release? I was thinking I'd go see it in the next day or two, went to check showtimes, annnnd.. its not at my local theater.. annnd not even at the next closest theater 20 mins away and is actually a big AMC place..

It seems to only be showing at a theater near Princeton that I've never been to and I don't care enough to go. I am disappointed.

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#10 Edited by liquiddragon (2732 posts) -

@seikenfreak: No, it's wide. It's not the widest like a big studio release like an Avengers or Ocean's even which are like 4000+ theaters but it's close to 3000. Maybe wait 'til this weekend, it might show up closer to you. It's A24 and I think it's there biggest release ever but they'll probably still try to get it to more theaters cause the word of mouth is really good.

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#11 Edited by Seikenfreak (1284 posts) -

Okay looks like they are showing it at the bigger AMC but.. honestly I'm so lazy I don't think I can be bothered to drive 20 mins away lol My theater is like 30 seconds down the road and medium-small so not many people. And cheap. I want to see it there but I have a feeling it won't come around. But they're still showing Infinity War a bunch? Geez.. I don't even remember when that came out.

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#12 Edited by ghost_cat (2117 posts) -

@rongalaxy said:

I know the movie has been pretty divisive with audiences, so it would be nice to hear from some people with both positive/negative perspectives. Ultimately, in my mind, the marketing did a disservice and conned people into thinking hereditary was something it isn't. It's also very different from movies like the conjuring, as those films actually end in a happy, easily understood, easily digestible way, where this film reaaaaaallllly does not.

Regardless of warnings, I'm not going to spoil it hear, but I the think trailers mislead in the right way for certain plot points to hit with maximum impact out of nowhere. Those particular scenes still pack a huge punch, and where the movie goes is far more rewarding than what you typically expect, but I think those trailers help amplify the experience in their own way.

Also, director Ari Aster stated in a interview that Charlie's clicking was supposed to be used as a simple call device to Charlie in terms of presence, but he did expect the majority of the audience to find it unnerving or eerie. Actually it sounds like he didn't expect a lot of things about this movie to go over so well with the audience, which is pretty damn impressive for his first feature movie.

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#13 Posted by WMoyer83 (971 posts) -

I thought it was ok. Maybe I’m just desensitized to gore and slow burning jump scares, but I felt like this movie was drawn out with too many questionable plot issues. Is the plot supposed to be ambiguous and up for interpretation? I am curious how people perceive what is really going on in this film.

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#14 Posted by bugbarbecue (181 posts) -

@liquiddragon: it does, I like when people use an idiom in exactly the inverse of it's actual meaning.

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#15 Posted by theacidskull (1089 posts) -

Not a huge fan of the ending to be quite honest because there are certain gaps, then again I did see the movie in Russian (I looked for a damn english screening but the theatre didn't have one) and I'm rusty af. Some things may have been lost in translation so if anyone cares to answer a question or two I'd greatly appreciate that, that and the dub was god awful. All that said, the performance, writing and cinematography was phenomenal. One of the best horror movies out there, though I'm kinda bummed how much horror games have spoiled the shit out of me - now I can't get scared unless I'm actually playing something.

Also good god, not a single jump scare! That's a fucking achievement given how SO many recent horror movies rely on that trope to make the audience jump.

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#16 Posted by dudeglove (13383 posts) -

Then again I did see the movie in Russian

Dude, same, but given the overall quality of the film, I don't think the English dub would have done it any favors.

This film is profoundly bad and the crowd I was with spent most of the time mocking and laughing out loud at the film. So in no particular order, and yes I'm spoiling this farce:

* Really? Open with a wall of text? Can't you just skip that? It's blatantly obvious we're at a funeral.

* Where the fuck does this film take place? My friend and I looked it up and it's apparently shot principally in Utah but there's no clear idea where everything takes place. I was guessing Colorado but the locations all seemed disparate.

* Why are all the characters and the setting so utterly unlikeable? I'm not gonna preach film writing here, but if I can't get involved in any character's dilemma, how the fuck do you expect someone to be scared or shocked? This makes me sound like a monster but I was glad the kid died (the least pleasant and actually horrible part was her choking from her allergy) because I couldn't stand her irritating presence on screen.

* What sort of horror film is this trying to be? Psychological horror? J-horror? Spooky ghost story? Gore/slasher? Comedy?

* Why is Toni Colette doing a bunch of bad Shelly Duval impressions?

* Why is the director ripping off both the Shining and Lost Highway? ? Why do they make movies like this nowadays where utterly obtuse callbacks to other, better media is considered appropriate filmmaking?

* Who the fuck is the "bad guy" here? About the only character that isn't is the dog - speaking of, who killed the fucking dog?

* What the fuck is the point of focusing on all the miniature house shit and doing next to nothing with it? Don't give me that "oh it's foreshadowing" bollocks - they did jack shit with it and you know it. And then the main lady just smashes her things and I guess that's the resolution to that story then huh..

* Why does all the CG look like shit?

* Why is there a pounding dance music leitmotif? Are the shaman people or the dead grandma having a rave at all times ?

* Why do we not find out what the fuck Gabriel Byrne does all day until about three quarters of the way in? If he's a friggin psychologist, shouldn't he have been helping his entire family this whole time?

* I lost my shit at Colette's wailing at the second funeral and it broke everyone else. The film was a joke from thereon in with folk mocking the tongue clicking.

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#17 Posted by theacidskull (1089 posts) -

@dudeglove:I definitely don't share you hatred for the film lol but but there are things that keep it from being great. I liked the film a lot more and having younger siblings myself made it easier for me to connect with the characters I guess. The first two acts and the half of the third acts were great, but after the father dies things tend to fall out of place. I get that they are trying to resurrect some or provide the host for some ancient King but how was the girl the ancient king? Peter (the boy) was clearly taken over by his sister towards the end of the movie so I don't quite get how she = some ancient demonic king? That's the part where the movie was falling a part for me and keeping it from being a a great one. It's definitely a better movie than a lot of horrors, but I thought the hereditary part of the movie related to the fact that every member of the family eventually saw and was tortured by the spirit of a dead relative or something like that. Then they introduced the whole demonic possession thing and it kind of took my by suprise. Still a cool idea and It makes sense in a way that the family had a long line of cult worshippers, which also ties into how the grandmother sunk her teeth in to the youngest daughter as fast as she could, but I still don't get how the spirit of the daughter related to the ancient demon they were tying to resurrect or reincarnate. Was she already a reincarnation of the monster? That doesn''t make any sense because the cult established that the host and or prodigy needed to be a male? Did they explain this at some point? Like I said, my Russian is rusty as fuck.

This film is profoundly bad and the crowd I was with spent most of the time mocking and laughing out loud at the film.

Did we watch this in the same theatre lol? I was consecrating hard to tune everyone out lol. Where are you from if you don't mind me asking?

I will say this - Hereditary is better seen without an audience, especially since modern viewers aren't used to no jump scare movies.

* Really? Open with a wall of text? Can't you just skip that? It's blatantly obvious we're at a funeral.

I mean, this seems like a personal preference.

* Where the fuck does this film take place? My friend and I looked it up and it's apparently shot principally in Utah but there's no clear idea where everything takes place. I was guessing Colorado but the locations all seemed disparate.

I mean, I don't see how this is a flaw of the movie to be honest.

* Why are all the characters and the setting so utterly unlikeable? I'm not gonna preach film writing here, but if I can't get involved in any character's dilemma, how the fuck do you expect someone to be scared or shocked? This makes me sound like a monster but I was glad the kid died (the least pleasant and actually horrible part was her choking from her allergy) because I couldn't stand her irritating presence on screen.

Goddamn dude... I felt bad for the kid since the family clearly had some serious family issues and it's heavily implied (if not once explicitly said) that the psycho grandmother fucked with the poor kid form an early age, so it makes sense that she why she was such an outcast. Plus she seemed very introverted if not autistic a little bit and seeing her head slam against the pole was by far one of the most surprising and shocking things ever. I've seen a lot worse in films, don't get me wrong, but the execution was really good, at least in my opinion. I did not expect it to take such a brutal turn, especially since I thought the movie was pretty much about her.

* What sort of horror film is this trying to be? Psychological horror? J-horror? Spooky ghost story? Gore/slasher? Comedy?

Psychological Ghost story I assume, though not sure what the comedy part is about.

* Why is Toni Colette doing a bunch of bad Shelly Duval impressions?

I dunno man, I thought she did great.

* Why is the director ripping off both the Shining and Lost Highway? ? Why do they make movies like this nowadays where utterly obtuse callbacks to other, better media is considered appropriate filmmaking?

Haven't seen lost highway but I don't see a lot of similarities between this and the shining beyond the fact that both protagonists basically go insane or are possessed by something.

* Who the fuck is the "bad guy" here? About the only character that isn't is the dog - speaking of, who killed the fucking dog?

I will agree about the bad guy kind of being obscure. Again, I thought it was some hereditary problem the mother was exibiting but then they introduce King pilmeni or whats his face and it kind of got weird after that.

And the dog was probably killed either by the possessed mother or by the hordes of cultists that show up at the house?

* What the fuck is the point of focusing on all the miniature house shit and doing next to nothing with it? Don't give me that "oh it's foreshadowing" bollocks - they did jack shit with it and you know it. And then the main lady just smashes her things and I guess that's the resolution to that story then huh..

I think it was meant to document how the family were just pawns to something they didn't understand. It also documented Colette's progression into madness.

* Why does all the CG look like shit?

There's only one scene that i think that looks a little awkward, beyond that there isn't a lot of CGI used. Mostly practical effects.

* Why do we not find out what the fuck Gabriel Byrne does all day until about three quarters of the way in? If he's a friggin psychologist, shouldn't he have been helping his entire family this whole time?

* I lost my shit at Colette's wailing at the second funeral and it broke everyone else. The film was a joke from thereon in with folk mocking the tongue clicking.

Man you really hate the actors don't you lol.

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#18 Edited by dudeglove (13383 posts) -

@theacidskull: I was in the Oktyabr theater on the Arbat in Moscow last night. I am not a Russian native. If you were in the same cinema I apologize for my cacophonous laughter.

As for the general plot points and exposition, which I think were really badly done, I was under the impression that the grandma is carrying the spirit of whatever the demon king is and is passing it through the family (pretty explicitly mentioned through the picture of the old woman with "QUEEN whatshername" hanging in the treehouse). The mother for whatever reason was conflicted about inheriting her mother's legacy of resurrecting king dickhead, which was why she tried to abort her son (because the king needs a male host) but doesn't know why, but was stopped by her mother all the same (hence me not knowing who the fuck is meant to be the actual baddy here).

In turn the grandmother turned to her tongue clicking granddaughter and "raised" or brainwashed her, writing shit on the walls, and set about her plan of using her family members as sacrifices in order to fulfill the bullshit prophecy (he needed three sacrifices because reasons). Which is for what exactly? Bring about the end of the world? Get a bunch of gold? Generally just have some shitty sex cult in the woods of Utah? The whole thing stank imo.

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#19 Edited by WMoyer83 (971 posts) -

@dudeglove:

Yeah, there was some pretty poor writing in this film, the biggest one I take exception to was

the fact that in order for any of this plan for a Demon King to possess the boy, they had to kill Charlie and make her death create a bizarre turn of events to create the perfect conditions to completely mentally break Peter. So with that being said, Grandma Voodoo had to set up the perfect conditions for:

-Peter to want to go out

-his mother to force him to take his sister

-go to a party that just so happens to have people baking cakes (what kind of party does that now really), and just so happen to have one person decide to conveniently chop up walnuts and put them in a cake

-and it just so happens that Peter needs in the particular moment to use the cake to distract Charlie just long enough for him to smoke weed without her seeing...yet she still eats the cake with walnuts in which she is conveniently allergic to

-Charlie still finds Peter inside of this mansion to let him know shes choking

-instead of stopping to call 911 he rushes her into the car and speeds off into the middle of nowhere

-Charlies sticks her head out of the window and gets it knocked off by a pole that just so happens to have the evil demon king symbol on it, insinuating that all of this was pre-planned and predetermined

So in my opinion, this movie was incredibly dumb, did not know what kind of tone it wanted to set, and went all over the place and was a confusing mess.

And people saying there was no jump scares? Really? Is the part where Annie is driving alone and he hears her daughter click not a jump scare? Or the part where his mom pops onto the screen crawling across the wall not a jump scare? What about the bird flying into the window?

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#20 Posted by theacidskull (1089 posts) -

@theacidskull: I was in the Oktyabr theater on the Arbat in Moscow last night. I am not a Russian native. If you were in the same cinema I apologize for my cacophonous laughter.

As for the general plot points and exposition, which I think were really badly done, I was under the impression that the grandma is carrying the spirit of whatever the demon king is and is passing it through the family (pretty explicitly mentioned through the picture of the old woman with "QUEEN whatshername" hanging in the treehouse). The mother for whatever reason was conflicted about inheriting her mother's legacy of resurrecting king dickhead, which was why she tried to abort her son (because the king needs a male host) but doesn't know why, but was stopped by her mother all the same (hence me not knowing who the fuck is meant to be the actual baddy here).

In turn the grandmother turned to her tongue clicking granddaughter and "raised" or brainwashed her, writing shit on the walls, and set about her plan of using her family members as sacrifices in order to fulfill the bullshit prophecy (he needed three sacrifices because reasons). Which is for what exactly? Bring about the end of the world? Get a bunch of gold? Generally just have some shitty sex cult in the woods of Utah? The whole thing stank imo.

Naaah I saw it in Georgia (country). There are frequent Russian showings here, and there wasn't an english so I had to see a russian screening.

And I got that part, the one part I didn't get is how the daughter and the son become the host for the king at the same time? Like does one become the host in spirit or in body? How does the possession work? That's kinda why I thought the movie's plot significantly went down in quality once the cultist agenda was revealed. It would have been a lot more interesting if the family just grew relatively insane with the deaths.

And I assume, if we go by the note, because of power and riches? I think in terms of horror it works not to reveal the inner machinations of what we are not meant to understand, so I don't mind not knowing what the goal was. Though the rest yeah, it kind of fell apart.

Still i did like the cinematography and acting quite a bit, though you do make fair points about the writing.

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#21 Posted by dudeglove (13383 posts) -

@theacidskull: I really don't care too much to overthink it because the film didn't bother to address it, but if I had to venture a guess, the grandmother put the demon inside the granddaughter (the tongue clucking being a sign of this), raising her as a boy probably in the hope to trick the demon into inheriting the body anyway (but it doesn't work because, uhh, the son kills her accidentally but that doesn't make any sense because of the absurd set up that was seemingly planned in advance due to the symbols lying around). So the daughter dies, but her spirit, which is also the spirit of the demon king thing, is still hanging around because, uhh... well the film has to have something "scary" and it needs a vessel which is the actual son. So the mother/grandma drive the son insane, the second/third sacrifice is made (father burned, mother decapitated), meaning whatever the fucking "ritual" is is complete and the son is possessed (he clicks his tongue, tada) and thus crowned king of mischief demons or something stupid.

Like I'm not asking for a full explanation or an in depth lore of cultist twaddle, I just wanted it to make some sort of sense and the film or the director was most certainly not, so instead it waddled between Kubrick, Lynch, Fincher, J-Horror, American horror and Eli Roth/Saw type gore as if to prove a really stupid point because this is supposedly the director's major debut. It comes off as narcissistic at one end, and wholly unfortunate for the more prominent actors involved at the other. Gabriel Byrne was the devil in an Arnie film for chrissakes.

@wmoyer83: The other major beef I have, though I suppose it "makes sense" (it doesn't) is that the support group is probably the bunch that helped the mother dig up grandma to then put her in the attic. The film makes vague nods to hypnosis/sleepwalking/delusions (doesn't really follow up on them very well, frankly) so the mother is (or isn't?) pulling a Tyler Durden and/or is an unreliable narrator. Yet the film was so fiddly in deciding who the protagonist was (is it the mother? the son? the daughter?) and kept flitting between all three that it was pointless to get invested in any single one of them.

And yes, the film was filled with shitty jump scares that got more and more absurd as the film went on. Why the mother gained the ability to float/fly and then proceed to chase after her son on foot made no goddamn sense. And then cuts her head off because, uhh... spiritualism? Something written in Sanskrit that we see for half a second? The whole impression I get is "lol who cares, it doesn't really matter, you fill in the gaps, fucker" because that's how far too many films are written these days. Part of me suspects the film probably had a large explanation or exposition dump which would have maybe been something like this house is built on sacred ground (hence the friggin model we see in the hallway that is in frame so many times) that got thoroughly edited out to the point where it became daft. If the mother didn't like her miniature houses so much, why didn't she smash all the others that were lying around the house, not just the ones in her studio?

And I've yet to read a decent explanation as to the EDM rave going on in the background of at least three scenes.

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#22 Edited by TheHT (15488 posts) -

I enjoyed it! Got a bit boring in the middle. Could probably stand to lose a good 15-20 minutes or so.

Saw the trailer once a long time ago but didn't know much of what I was getting into, other than the fact that people seemed to be pretty hype about it (critics anyways). I figured it'd be some fun witch stuff once it started, but was still skeptical it'd be anything special until the decapitation. At that point I had no idea where this movie would go, and also thought that whole sequence of events was incredibly well done. One of the two best sequences in the whole movie. Really good and unsettling.

Then it does the family drama stuff, which for the most part is good. Toni Collette is fantastic throughout, especially by the end when you start to get a sense that she's basically been being used throughout the whole movie. Recontextualizes a lot of what we saw. Not in a way that gives new insights or anything, but in a way that makes her character that much more tragic.

It also does the set up with the seance stuff at this point which--that first seance scene--was another really well done scene. But the other best sequence I was thinking about is easily the finale, where the supernatural elements come out in force and everything is all so incredibly evocative of a bonafide waking nightmare, much like the earlier decapitation sequence is of another kind of waking nightmare.

I understand the purpose of the clicking, but it's hard to not take it as a horror movie gimmick, even if it is sparingly used. But then hearing it at the end also started to make me try to work out the mechanics of the invocation in the back of my mind while the shenanigans were all playing out. Charlie was raised to be the vessel for King Paimon, but... also had some semblance of a self? Or was Charlie just an incarnation of Paimon, and whatever personality she would have had was supplanted by her grandmother's grooming?

I suppose it could just be that Charlie was being primed to host King Paimon, but they knew they needed a male body and all that so they orchestrated all this shit first and then did the ritual at the end once she was in Peter, so then Paimon would go into the person who was prepared for him, and also in the type of body that he covets. Strains believability that they could pull off all that shit, but, you know, hocus pocus.

Hard-pressed to give it a 5/5, just because it did have me trailing off in the middle, but there are so many other strong elements in here as well. In any case, it's a great horror movie!

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#23 Posted by DrFlapjack (365 posts) -

I'm not a fan of horror movies so I don't have much experience in the genre. It's hard to get my wife to the movies and horror is one of the few she'll go see so I try and take the chance to go when I can. I thought the premise had potential, but the execution was poor.

They spent way too much time in the beginning on superfluous stuff. I thought some of the acting was shoddy and there was some poor audio editing in places. I definitely don't like jump scares and I was told this movie didn't have any so I was expecting something more psychological.

Everyone has their own opinions and I won't judge (my wife liked it), but if this is considered one the best of the genre I feel the bar needs to be set higher.

I don't like being overly critical, but this movie could have benefitted from a bit more focus.

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#24 Posted by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

* Why are all the characters and the setting so utterly unlikeable? I'm not gonna preach film writing here, but if I can't get involved in any character's dilemma, how the fuck do you expect someone to be scared or shocked? This makes me sound like a monster but I was glad the kid died (the least pleasant and actually horrible part was her choking from her allergy) because I couldn't stand her irritating presence on screen.

Very curious to know what the innocent little girl with a mental condition did to make you so glad she accidentally got her head ripped from her body.

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#25 Edited by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

Some of the reactions I'm reading in this thread are utterly baffling. Particularly the ones claiming the movie had multiple jump scares.

There's one jump scare. One. It's when the mom leaps from the darkness in front of the fireplace. Considering the build up, it was earned.

I'm actually kind of astounded how the bird crashing into the window is considered a jump scare when you see the bird fly towards it. Also, clicking your tongue is not a loud noise. Jesus christ.

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#26 Posted by dudeglove (13383 posts) -

@dudeglove said:

* Why are all the characters and the setting so utterly unlikeable? I'm not gonna preach film writing here, but if I can't get involved in any character's dilemma, how the fuck do you expect someone to be scared or shocked? This makes me sound like a monster but I was glad the kid died (the least pleasant and actually horrible part was her choking from her allergy) because I couldn't stand her irritating presence on screen.

Very curious to know what the innocent little girl with a mental condition did to make you so glad she accidentally got her head ripped from her body.

Very curious to know why the little girl had been given a mental condition in the first place. It serves no purpose other than overpainting her as "awkward preteen" which is what most kids are. I'm glad she got removed because it was one less annoying, badly written character to be bothered by. Fortunately the brother steps up in her stead to also just stare at stuff. Oooh! Spooky!

As for jump scares, lol dude, ok, sure most of them aren't accompanied by screeching violin strings or discordant piano chords clearly when they're out of focus they're not jump scares. I'll give the film its props, though, it's the first time I've seen a jump laugh when it did the hard cut from the mom looking at the dead body to wailing at the funeral casket.

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#27 Posted by soulcake (2024 posts) -

Best Part about this movie, RLM reading the IMDB review comments, Hilarious. To bad i never go see a horror movie in the cinema not my thing.

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#28 Posted by whitegreyblack (1881 posts) -

My take on Hereditary when I left the theatre is that the movie takes obvious inspiration from The Babadook & The VVitch but is not as good as either of them. I'm not saying the movie is "bad" - rather, it's good but not great and is being seriously oversold.

In my opinion it tips its hand into the full-on supernatural versus leaving the mother's mental health in question far too soon and that weakens it overall (especially how they could have ramped up more into the final moments of the film). It also lacks really any genuine scares, but that's OK with me. It does do a good job of keeping the tension going.

I have a suspicion I'll like the movie much more upon a second viewing but for now I think it's decent but certainly no barn-burner like it's been trumped up to be.

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#29 Edited by GenericBrotagonist (324 posts) -

I've always preferred uncomfortable and constant dread horror movies to the roller coaster ride of jump scares and gore that most are. Usually that means J-Horror for me, but other countries can do a good job of it as well if they try. This movie is one of the best I've seen at doing it. Up until the party, I really wasn't sure about the movie. Spooky devil kids aren't my thing and when they went to the party I was rolling my eyes since I hate those kinds of scenes. But after what happened next, the movie had me for the next hour and a half. I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and couldn't take my eyes away.

I think as a movie about death, loss, and what keeping secrets and not talking to each other does to a family in the long term; it is pitch perfect. I think as a horror movie, it depends if you're willing to buy into it. If you just think of the effects as not being perfectly realistic and therefore bad, it'll be hard for you to take it seriously. But if you see it as an aesthetic choice where the style gives it an unsettling break from what we know as reality and realistic, then you will have a much better time with those parts. It reminds me of the complaints about the effects in Twin Peaks' new season. Those baffled me as well.

Also; I realized this was written and directed by Ari Aster, the same guy who made the short film The Strange Thing About The Johnsons several years ago. It immediately made sense, both gave me the same horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. Look that up if want family drama that's even more fucked up without the outright horror part.

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#30 Edited by dgtlty (1031 posts) -

The most shocking part of Hereditary is that this is Aster's first feature. It's so well crafted and does such a fantastic job of creating dread and tension it puts other horror films (made by more experienced directors) to shame. Having said that, the way this film commits to the supernatural in the final half hour makes this film far less interesting and effective than The Babadook.

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#31 Posted by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

Very curious to know why the little girl had been given a mental condition in the first place. It serves no purpose other than overpainting her as "awkward preteen" which is what most kids are. I'm glad she got removed because it was one less annoying, badly written character to be bothered by. Fortunately the brother steps up in her stead to also just stare at stuff. Oooh! Spooky!

As for jump scares, lol dude, ok, sure most of them aren't accompanied by screeching violin strings or discordant piano chords clearly when they're out of focus they're not jump scares. I'll give the film its props, though, it's the first time I've seen a jump laugh when it did the hard cut from the mom looking at the dead body to wailing at the funeral casket.

She had a condition because that actress has a condition in real life and she's supposed to be possessed by Paimon in the universe of the movie. Her body hosting Paimon is what messed her up.

I guess I don't see what's funny about a mom crying about finding her decapitated daughter even if that hard cut was there

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#32 Posted by SSully (5575 posts) -
@dudeglove said:

Very curious to know why the little girl had been given a mental condition in the first place. It serves no purpose other than overpainting her as "awkward preteen" which is what most kids are. I'm glad she got removed because it was one less annoying, badly written character to be bothered by. Fortunately the brother steps up in her stead to also just stare at stuff. Oooh! Spooky!

As for jump scares, lol dude, ok, sure most of them aren't accompanied by screeching violin strings or discordant piano chords clearly when they're out of focus they're not jump scares. I'll give the film its props, though, it's the first time I've seen a jump laugh when it did the hard cut from the mom looking at the dead body to wailing at the funeral casket.

She had a condition because that actress has a condition in real life and she's supposed to be possessed by Paimon in the universe of the movie. Her body hosting Paimon is what messed her up.

I guess I don't see what's funny about a mom crying about finding her decapitated daughter even if that hard cut was there

I went to school with a kid who brought a portable DVD player on a class trip and would rewind the scene in The Pianist where the Nazi's throw a wheelchaired man off a balcony to his death. Every time the man fell off this kid would howl with laughter and honestly Dudeglove seems to be in a similar category. None of his complaints he listed are anything other then nitpicks and what seems to be an almost intentional attempt to not engage with what was on the screen. In other words, he isn't worth having a discussion with because he doesn't actually have anything valid to say.

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#33 Posted by John1912 (2447 posts) -

IDK I really wasnt impressed by the movie at all. It was basically the same the later Paranormal Activity movies, but not a found footage film.

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#34 Posted by pompouspizza (1467 posts) -

@frostyryan: I can’t think of a scene in a movie that has affected me that much in a long time. It made me feel unbelievably uncomfortable and the absolute worst part was how long it lingered on Peters reaction.

It’s a movie that I like more and more, the more I think about it and I’ll definitely be seeing it in the cinema again.

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#35 Posted by GenericBrotagonist (324 posts) -

@john1912: I don't see how anyone could find that comparison. The Paranormal Activity series is a prime example of a few hours filled with jump scares for people who want a cheap thrill and nothing more. Hereditary fills you with abject misery and doesn't let up, focusing more on the family drama than the paranormal story. There's almost no jump scares here, and the few there are are more than earned.

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#36 Edited by John1912 (2447 posts) -

@genericbrotagonist said:

@john1912: I don't see how anyone could find that comparison. The Paranormal Activity series is a prime example of a few hours filled with jump scares for people who want a cheap thrill and nothing more. Hereditary fills you with abject misery and doesn't let up, focusing more on the family drama than the paranormal story. There's almost no jump scares here, and the few there are are more than earned.

It more or less has the same cult plot as some of the later Paranormal Activity movies. Id compare them on that alone. Both are fairly low budget films with little use of special FX. IDK? I mean yea lol...Those ppl were fucking miserable. That doesnt carry a movie for me. If you take the shock value out of the daughters death, about the only other scene that had any impact for me was the mothers dream sleep walking into his bedroom. The rest was standard fair of horror tropes, littered with family tension, and glossed over background plot as to not "spoil" the twist.

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#37 Posted by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

@pompouspizza:

I truly don't know when the next time I'll be seeing the movie is. Definitely not in theaters. I'm head over heels with it because of how much it masterfully accomplishes but I also kind of fucking hate this movie for putting me through torture. Man what a movie this is.

@ssully said:

I went to school with a kid who brought a portable DVD player on a class trip and would rewind the scene in The Pianist where the Nazi's throw a wheelchaired man off a balcony to his death. Every time the man fell off this kid would howl with laughter and honestly Dudeglove seems to be in a similar category. None of his complaints he listed are anything other then nitpicks and what seems to be an almost intentional attempt to not engage with what was on the screen. In other words, he isn't worth having a discussion with because he doesn't actually have anything valid to say.

Thank you.

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#38 Posted by Zuldim (308 posts) -

I liked the movie, but I don't think I liked it as much as everyone else seems to. I like my horror movies to be scary/unnerving throughout, but most of the movie felt like a decent family drama with a horror movie tacked onto it in the last act. The acting is genuinely great throughout, and watching the film deal with grieving in such a raw way was intensely hard to watch.

A few negatives:

  • I don't like it when movies have that scene where someone is sitting in lit class, having some book described to them, but *actually* the teacher is describing what the themes of the film are going to be, and this did that. "Is it more tragic to think that *I can't remember what book they were supposedly talking about* was in control of his own destiny? Or that he was just a cog in the machine and had no control at all?" foreshadowed the cult manipulation angle so hard it felt campy to me.
  • I almost wonder if this was a problem with my screening somehow, but I don't know how it would be? There were four or five lines throughout the film that were so obviously dubbed in post due to a last minute dialog change, that the actor's lips didn't match AT ALL. Scenes where the actor would be facing the camera head on, and the line delivery clearly wouldn't match their lips in the slightest. If it's actually in the film, it was the most amateurish thing I've seen in a wide release movie in years given the frequency and obviousness of when it happened... If it was a problem with my screening, then obviously that's on my theater, but it seems like it would either all be poorly synced, or none of it would be? It was incredibly distracting. Also there's a scene where it's supposed to be 1:45AM, but the whole thing is lit like it's like 7:30 in the morning, and that was goofy.
  • Once the movie starts actually shifting away from family drama into proper horror with the seance it really does have some excellent scares, but that's like over an hour into the movie. I know it can be argued that the first hour is setting the tone, and the slow start is unnerving the audience, but I didn't find the first hour to be particularly unnerving in a horror way, just... Well, difficult to watch. Which is good film-making, and acting it just wasn't the kind of film I thought it would be.
  • Peter's actor gives a great performance, except he can't convincingly cry at all, and it was kind of hilarious.

The ending is killer though. Honestly it's a weird film. I think if I'm evaluating it as a drama, it's pretty excellent, but it sold itself as a horror movie, and I don't feel like it delivers on that promise until the very final moments. I feel like I got it oversold to me, because horror fans are one of the more excitable fan-bases out there. I feel like this happens about three times a year, where a horror film that has ambitions beyond jump scares (and, indeed, wants to be about something) comes out, and horror fans immediately sell it as THE BEST HORROR FILM IN YEARS, and then I see it, and I'm like... Yeah, it's fine. It happened for me with The Babadook, It Follows, A Quiet Place... All good movies that my personal experience with suffered, just because I'd had them oversold to me.

Good film though.

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#39 Posted by FrostyRyan (2690 posts) -

@zuldim: That's fair. It should be mentioned though that horror is exciteable for good reasons. Horror fans have to roll their eyes at so much shit so when something good comes along, it's a triumph.

With that being said, I did genuinely find Hereditary to be the most horrifying film I've seen since I was a teenager.