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Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

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Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Old 06-10-18, 12:38 AM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Perkinsun Dzees View Post
Caught a showing of this tonight.

It starts off with a slow building but unsettling air of disjointedness before we get a sudden jolt that takes things in a very creepy and disturbing direction. I was really enjoying the movie and eager to see where it was going until ...

Spoiler:
...it introduces some rather cliche (seance) supernatural elements into the plot that quickly take over the storyline. Strangely enough, this is one horror movie where I would have preferred it stay away from being overtly supernatural as I felt the story was more effective when it was grounded in everyday reality with strange occurrences that simply happened and didn't need to be explained with bad dialogue. The scene where Collette's character was trying to convince her disbelieving husband what was really going on, was probably Collette's worst scene in the movie, probably because the dialogue was so wooden. I would have preferred the mom just go increasingly nutty until crossing the line into batshit crazy instead of having her be manipulated by evil forces.

I was was very disappointed when the story segued into Poltergeist/Insidious territory (parent trying to save their child from the forces of evil) before ending with predictable body switcheroo shenanigans seemingly lifted from The Skeleton Key (or The Mephisto Waltz). Man, Get Outta here! We've seen all this kind of shit before. It's not scary or original.


So, in conclusion, I really liked it for about 90 minutes, but the last 30 minutes or so were pretty formulaic horror movie malarkey.
.
Kind of agree with your take, though some of the dark/disturbing elements introduced in the last third did perk it up a bit for me. But generally, I prefer ambiguousness in a horror film over a cut and dried "explanation" of what is going on that tends to diminish much of the mystery and dread in so many Hollywood horror films.

Spoiler:
I also agree about it having elements that were reminiscent of "The Witch." It also reminded me quite a bit of "A Dark Song" and "The Void" in spots, for those who are familiar with those films... some of the same slow burn yet darker elements as those films.
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Old 06-10-18, 02:50 AM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Sex Fiend View Post
Kind of agree with your take, though some of the dark/disturbing elements introduced in the last third did perk it up a bit for me. But generally, I prefer ambiguousness in a horror film over a cut and dried "explanation" of what is going on that tends to diminish much of the mystery and dread in so many Hollywood horror films.

Spoiler:
I also agree about it having elements that were reminiscent of "The Witch." It also reminded me quite a bit of "A Dark Song" and "The Void" in spots, for those who are familiar with those films... some of the same slow burn yet darker elements as those films.
Spoiler:
It reminded me of The Witch because in addition to a witchcraft story, a lot of the tension was the result of a family falling apart due to grief over the loss of a child.
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Old 06-10-18, 03:20 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

That was some fucked up shit. It was like watching the worst nightmare you could ever have. Nicely done!
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Old 06-10-18, 06:22 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
That was some fucked up shit. It was like watching the worst nightmare you could ever have. Nicely done!
Agreed. Just came back from seeing it. The director said he wanted to make a movie about a family suffering from grief but whereas in most movies where the family ultimately strengthens their bond in unity, his movie would have a family where grief tears them apart. He succeeded! Incredibly disturbing movie with a phenomenal performance by Toni Collette. Kudos to the brilliant cinematography as well. The day-to-night (and vice versa) transitions were awesome. This is the second movie I've seen this year to prominently feature tilt shift photography (the other was Game Night) and for both movies, it's logically used to symbolize greater themes.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:27 AM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I really, really, really wanted to love this movie. I love a good scary movie, and have a hard time not buying into the hype when things like "This Generation's 'The Exoricist'" are said. So I was all ready to be fully invested.

I will echo several of the positives already stated:
- The movie had GREAT atmosphere and tension. There was a real sense of foreboding from beginning to (nearly) the end.
- Loved the set design.
- Loved the miniatures. Wish they had played into the plot more.
- Toni Collette = wow. I've loved her since "The Sixth Sense." She totally carried this movie.
- There were a couple of effective set pieces that really worked.

Overall, however, the movie did not work for me.
- As has been said by a few, whoever played the son did not give a convincing performance, particularly in the emotional scenes.
- Several reviewers mentioned a "completely shocking" moment partway through the movie which did not shock me at all. (Call me jaded.) I also saw it coming several seconds before it happened. I will say that Collette's reaction to what happened was gut-wrenching.
- Ann Dowd's performance vacillated from really good acting to really bad improv.
- Aside from the positives I've already mentioned, this is a fairly typical horror movie. I'm putting the rest of my thoughts in spoilers:
Spoiler:

- As with most "something's wrong with the family/the house" horror movies, the horror ramps up as time goes by, but for no apparent reason. Whatever entity possesses the son/the mom seems to come and go as it pleases for no reason except to play out the run time. There was no real logic behind the mom hiding in the corner of her son's room (an effective but pointless moment) and then in the corner of the living room, only to attack him AFTER he sees her.
- Maybe I'm just slow, but I couldn't really follow the rules of what the cult was trying to accomplish and why it played out in the manner that it did. Was Charlie's death a part of the plan all along? Or did her death necessitate the seance that brought her back so that she could possess her brother's body? Why did Collette's character have to kill herself? Why did burning the book burn Collette at first, but then her husband after that?
- I wish the movie had stayed set in reality. It was more riveting when dealing with psychosis/sleepwalking, and lost a lot of steam when supernatural elements were introduced.


One other note about the audience I saw this with: about 40 people, mostly adults in their 30s - 60s. There were two small groups of 20-somethings: a group of girls who whispered to each other the ENTIRE time, and a group of guys who clucked whenever Charlie clucked (HILARIOUS). The rest of the audience was quiet and respectful, and yet they did giggle several times, and I didn't blame them. The movie just failed so sell some of its scares and some of the dialog/acting (the son) was giggle-worthy. The audience only gasped a single time:
Spoiler:
Naked people in the attic.


When it was over, I heard two different people say, "That's it?" I'm understanding the D+ CinemaScore now. Like I said, I really wanted to love it, and there are elements of this movie that make it a cut above typical horror, but ultimately I was disappointed. Among the new slate of "horror done right," It Follows, The Babadook, and A Quiet Place were much better.
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Old 06-11-18, 10:08 AM
  #31  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

About stuff in MrFix's spoiler tags:

Spoiler:
Charlie's death was absolutely orchestrated by the cult. That's why there was that cult symbol on the telephone pole. It's likely witchcraft influenced everything before it--the mom making the dumbest parenting move ever by having Charlie go with her older brother, Charlie eating the cake not looking for nuts etc. I found the brother not calling 911 out of peer pressure completely believable, and stupid--just the kind of choice that kid would make if nudged a bit by magic (or even not).

My take is that a male member of the family was supposed to host the demon. Grandma had been trying for a while, starting with Toni Colette's brother who had "schizophrenia" and killed himself because his mom was trying to put other people in him. Charlie had said Grandma had wanted her to be a boy, and that's why (though Charlie was never really Charlie--she was the demon, but half retarded being in a fucked up and female body). The only reason Charlie ever held the demon was because grandma was kept from the brother initially.

Why now? I don't know, but grandma had clearly orchestrated this (the apology note Toni Colette found). Maybe it took more sacrifice now that the brother was not a baby--more effort to expel his consciousness. Maybe the cult had decided it didn't look like there would be any more kids in the family, and waiting for the next generation was too long or risky.

I thought this was a better movie than A Quiet Place (hated the ending to that one) and It Follows (just not scary to me). For me, The Witch, The Babadook, and this movie are the best 3 recent horror movies that I've seen. It's funny this is compared to the Exorcism. I see that comparison (and even more so, Rosemary's Baby), but didn't find the Exorcism scary at all.
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Old 06-11-18, 10:56 AM
  #32  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I went into this movie as blind as possible. I knew Toni Collette was in it, it was horror, and it was getting good reviews. Let my son pick between it and Ocean's 8.

Hated it. Also hated the VVitch to the point where if I had known they were at all similar I would have probably avoided this at least until I could see it streaming somewhere. The tone and tempo just dont connect with me in any way for either film so it's just some good - great performances in a movie I'm bored to tears by. Strangely The Babadook is probably my favorite horror film of the last 10 years.

I actually liked the boy quite a bit though I did go up to go to the bathroom during the dinner scene which I've seen some people call out as a low point for his acting. Toni Collette was excellent and I'm bummed that I will probably never watch her best performance ever a second time as I really like her as an actress. Gabrielle Burns's acting just felt off to me especially in the first half. I couldn't tell if he was being patronizing, knew something the rest of the characters didnt, or was just off.

Was a lot of fun going into a movie blind like that even with the crappy results.

Last edited by Nesbit; 06-11-18 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 06-11-18, 02:10 PM
  #33  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Mr. Flix View Post
I really, really, really wanted to love this movie. I love a good scary movie, and have a hard time not buying into the hype when things like "This Generation's 'The Exoricist'" are said. So I was all ready to be fully invested.

I will echo several of the positives already stated:
- The movie had GREAT atmosphere and tension. There was a real sense of foreboding from beginning to (nearly) the end.
- Loved the set design.
- Loved the miniatures. Wish they had played into the plot more.
- Toni Collette = wow. I've loved her since "The Sixth Sense." She totally carried this movie.
- There were a couple of effective set pieces that really worked.

Overall, however, the movie did not work for me.
- As has been said by a few, whoever played the son did not give a convincing performance, particularly in the emotional scenes.
- Several reviewers mentioned a "completely shocking" moment partway through the movie which did not shock me at all. (Call me jaded.) I also saw it coming several seconds before it happened. I will say that Collette's reaction to what happened was gut-wrenching.
- Ann Dowd's performance vacillated from really good acting to really bad improv.
- Aside from the positives I've already mentioned, this is a fairly typical horror movie. I'm putting the rest of my thoughts in spoilers:
Spoiler:

- As with most "something's wrong with the family/the house" horror movies, the horror ramps up as time goes by, but for no apparent reason. Whatever entity possesses the son/the mom seems to come and go as it pleases for no reason except to play out the run time. There was no real logic behind the mom hiding in the corner of her son's room (an effective but pointless moment) and then in the corner of the living room, only to attack him AFTER he sees her.
- Maybe I'm just slow, but I couldn't really follow the rules of what the cult was trying to accomplish and why it played out in the manner that it did. Was Charlie's death a part of the plan all along? Or did her death necessitate the seance that brought her back so that she could possess her brother's body? Why did Collette's character have to kill herself? Why did burning the book burn Collette at first, but then her husband after that?
- I wish the movie had stayed set in reality. It was more riveting when dealing with psychosis/sleepwalking, and lost a lot of steam when supernatural elements were introduced.


One other note about the audience I saw this with: about 40 people, mostly adults in their 30s - 60s. There were two small groups of 20-somethings: a group of girls who whispered to each other the ENTIRE time, and a group of guys who clucked whenever Charlie clucked (HILARIOUS). The rest of the audience was quiet and respectful, and yet they did giggle several times, and I didn't blame them. The movie just failed so sell some of its scares and some of the dialog/acting (the son) was giggle-worthy. The audience only gasped a single time:
Spoiler:
Naked people in the attic.


When it was over, I heard two different people say, "That's it?" I'm understanding the D+ CinemaScore now. Like I said, I really wanted to love it, and there are elements of this movie that make it a cut above typical horror, but ultimately I was disappointed. Among the new slate of "horror done right," It Follows, The Babadook, and A Quiet Place were much better.
I probably liked it better than you did, but I agree that the plot (and "explanation/motivation" for everything that happened doesn't hold up to close scrutiny... as is often the case for most horror films. They really REALLY depend on a lot of suspension of disbelief, and that can be more jarring when the overall mood of the film is going for a "realistic" feel.

That being said, the creepy stuff was just weird enough to make allowances for the clichéd and unbelievable aspects of it. I was initially kind of ho-hum about it, but like it a bit more after a few days of thinking about it. I think that is largely due to the overall quality of the direction and production quality, more than the script, which was the weak point.
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Old 06-12-18, 10:24 PM
  #34  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

The movie didn't know what it wanted to be (aside from scary) and there was no clear idea of what the main conflict was throughout the film. There was no one to root for (aside from, briefly Good Cook Dad played by Gabriel Byrne). As others have said, had it stayed in pure psychological horror it would've been fine.

It doesn't hold up to scrutiny and I wouldn't put it alongside modern classics like You're Next, The Cabin in the Woods, It Follows, The Babadook, and Get Out.
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Old 06-14-18, 09:28 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

This was fantastic. I love a good slow build. I also love that the movie starts off as one thing, turns sharply into something else (where it veers dangerously close to standard tropes/cliches), and becomes something wholly other in the Third Act.

It also has the benefit of having enough story for the viewer to connect the dots, but a little bit of ambiguity to make you question everything.

9 out of 10. Easy.
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Old 06-14-18, 10:29 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
This was fantastic. I love a good slow build. I also love that the movie starts off as one thing, turns sharply into something else (where it veers dangerously close to standard tropes/cliches), and becomes something wholly other in the Third Act.

It also has the benefit of having enough story for the viewer to connect the dots, but a little bit of ambiguity to make you question everything.

9 out of 10. Easy.
So agree. But I'm going to give it a 10/10. Mainly because it has stayed with me since seeing it on Sunday. It's one of the most disturbing, intense and unsettling movies that I have ever seen. An instant horror classic IMO.
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Old 06-15-18, 03:10 PM
  #37  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
It has stayed with me since seeing it on Sunday. It's one of the most disturbing, intense and unsettling movies that I have ever seen.
I agree 100%. I saw it on Monday, and can't get it out of my head. The crowd that we saw it with was hooked until the points where it took a turn. Once that happened, the majority of the crowd started to chuckle and outright laugh at parts. I stayed focused on it until the end and really liked it. I'm interested in seeing it again but I don't think I can convince my son to go with me.
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Old 06-15-18, 03:58 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I saw it almost aweek ago, and have to say it's the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. I think it hit me because
Spoiler:
the boy in it reminded me of my son--kind of a goofy, quiet stoner. Sweet kid, sometimes making fucked up choices. I could totally relate to that and I was so rooting for him throughout the movie. So I saw it as a "mom fails to protect her son" movie, which hit home as truly horrific to me.
My daughter went back for a second viewing, and said she benefited a lot from rewatching it--lots of things made more sense and things she didn't notice first time through. I'm not up to a second viewing, lol.
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Old 06-15-18, 04:00 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I can't wait for a second viewing.
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Old 06-16-18, 06:34 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
This was fantastic. I love a good slow build. I also love that the movie starts off as one thing, turns sharply into something else (where it veers dangerously close to standard tropes/cliches), and becomes something wholly other in the Third Act.

It also has the benefit of having enough story for the viewer to connect the dots, but a little bit of ambiguity to make you question everything.

9 out of 10. Easy.
I'll echo this one as well. Saw it yesterday during a matinee with a thankfully small and quiet audience. One of my favorite horror movies in years. Loved the build, loved the finale. I liked this much better than The Witch, for whatever reason. Collette was out-of-this-world good.
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Old 06-17-18, 03:13 AM
  #41  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

This movie looks like this year's Babadook.
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Old 06-21-18, 09:40 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

This was a roller coaster for me. Despite some great acting and that powerful as crap
Spoiler:
death on the road
, about halfway thru I was leaning towards hating it. Not sure why, it just wasn’t quite what I expected, or just didn’t fully click. But then 15 or so minutes later I was loving it, the family drama hit home with me, the emotions were palpable, and the scares were intense. But that last third, while scaring the crap out of me and making me shrink into my seat, probably killed any chance of this becoming a favorite. I was hoping it’d stay
Spoiler:
somewhat original, but was just another ho-hum cult and possession movie I guess.
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Old 06-21-18, 11:02 PM
  #43  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I loved this. Took a while for it to all sink in, but there's so much to ingest and uncover that a repeat viewing is essential.

Colette was incredible; such a powerful performance.

Gorgeous cinematography.

One of the best scores of the year.

Mystery was a bit thin during the second act but the insanity of the third act brought it all together.

So glad I saw this with a small crowd, who remained quiet. I can definitely see how this would play poorly to a packed house of Joe Six Packs.
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Old 06-22-18, 07:16 AM
  #44  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I found the movie more tedious than scary. Actual not scary one bit. But that was the exact experience I had while watching the overrated The Witch, Rosemary's Baby and other movies of that ilk.

I was hoping it would stay with the psychological horror vibe it seemed to be going for. That would have been much scarier and disturbing than the whole
Spoiler:
cult thing. Even just being a simple ghost story would have done more for me.


Bu that's the thing about horror. It's a lot like comedy in that it is very subjective. What's funny or scary varies from person to person. The only truly eerie scene for me that really creeped me out was when
Spoiler:
the mom was banging her head on the attic ceiling.


The rest was just kind ho-hum. And can someone explain why the dad
Spoiler:
was the one who burned up? she just gets through saying he has to be the one to throw it in the fire. He doesn't and she does and yet he explodes into flames??? And this is even after it spent 10 minutes showing her catch on fire if she does it.


My rating: **1/2 out of *****
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Old 06-24-18, 12:48 PM
  #45  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Saw this again yesterday at a local second-run theater.

Enjoyed it just as much as the first time that I saw it.

The audience for this screening was similar to some of the other posters' experiences. Mimicking Charlie's clicking noise, consistently talking, etc. At the moment, I attributed it to the film being effective, as I felt the audience was trying to do something to alleviate the tension & stress they felt during certain scenes of the film.

And can someone explain why the dad
Spoiler:
was the one who burned up? she just gets through saying he has to be the one to throw it in the fire. He doesn't and she does and yet he explodes into flames??? And this is even after it spent 10 minutes showing her catch on fire if she does it.


I was wondering this as well. It confused me during my first viewing and again during my second.
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Old 06-24-18, 05:17 PM
  #46  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Originally Posted by Spiderbite View Post
And can someone explain why the dad
Spoiler:
was the one who burned up? she just gets through saying he has to be the one to throw it in the fire. He doesn't and she does and yet he explodes into flames??? And this is even after it spent 10 minutes showing her catch on fire if she does it.
Originally Posted by asianxcore View Post
I was wondering this as well. It confused me during my first viewing and again during my second.

My take on that scene is that
Spoiler:
Paimon tricked her. He set her up to think she could save her son by burning the book, which then caused her mind to finally snap when she sees her husband go up in flames instead of her. That allows her to be possessed (you see the sudden change in her expression from absolute shock to a sly grin).

In a Variety article, the director gave his explanation:

Is that why she thinks she can stop it by burning Charlie’s sketchbook – the first time she tries, she catches fire — but the second time, her husband Steve catches fire?

Exactly. Even that scene is meant to play as Annie’s big redemptive moment, she’s going to sacrifice herself for her son. It’s a beautiful gesture but part of the cruel logic of the film is it’s an empty gesture. Ultimately, it’s not her choice to make. She thinks there’s a design here and she can end things if she sacrifices herself. But there’s no design and there are no rules. There is a malicious logic at play.
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Old 06-25-18, 03:22 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

^ I like that explanation quite a bit.
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Old 06-29-18, 10:26 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Probably should have not read all the hype and reviews because I found this one generally boring; horror films have never once scared me apart from cheap jump scares. I do enjoy the genre and hoped one would finally give me the creeps, but I personally found this a bit cliche and ho-hum.
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Old 06-30-18, 05:04 PM
  #49  
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

Add me to the “meh” crowd. I have been a big fan of the A24 staples, so it wasn’t a pacing or tone issue for me. For the caliber of filmmaking here and the quality acting, the story was a bit of a hot mess. I got what the filmmaker was going for, but there were too many instances of things happening for convenience of the writer rather than organically happening for the story.

The biggest instance of this is the progression of Paimon. It starts in the daughter (cool) and should jump to the son at the time of her death — he was there, he was vulnerable, and this would explain his seemingly nonplussed reaction. It would explain the lady yelling at him to get out of his own body if Paimon was in there with him at that time. But instead the demon ends up ... in the mom?? What? How?The mom then goes after the boy in a rather strange (for the story) and inconsistant mix of stealth and all-out attack mode.

The things it does well, it does very well. I can’t say I had developed much of an attachment to the daughter (despite having a special needs child myself), but her death scene was one of the biggest gut-punches I’ve ever experienced in a theater. I was so emotionally repulsed at that point that I literally felt sick and considered walking out. Then I realized the scene was working on a level most films never reach. Unfortunately the rest of the film does not keep up with that. There are no characters to associate with or feel sympathetic towards, the story doesn’t hold up, and there is no reason to continue to engage the film.
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Old 07-05-18, 11:50 PM
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Re: Hereditary (2018, D: Aster) S: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd

I think I need to stop seeing horror movies in theaters. I've just had too many occasions where people in the room ruin my experience. Which is what happened here. A couple of people continually laughed at the inappropriate places, utterly destroying any chance of the movie working for me. It wasn't even something I could complain to anyone about because they weren't talking or anything ... just consistently laughing at the worst times. I get how of the more over-the-top moments could make some laugh or giggle. But the biggest laugh getting scene was
Spoiler:
where Charlie gets decapitated and Annie breaks down upon finding her body
. Which had me tempted to go up to these people and shout at them "WTF is wrong with you people?!?!?!"
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