February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek Review: Hereditary

A horror movie about a grieving mother received a lot of positive buzz from critics and negative criticism from moviegoers. Who was right?

I got to see three movies this past weekend, and it was a good weekend to see movies.

Here’s my review for the new horror movie Hereditary.  The review should be spoiler free, but check back in with Gabbing Geek for some other, much more spoiler-y remarks about the movie in a few hours.

The best horror movies deal with real world issues no matter how supernatural those films might be.  Hereditary is no exception.  Opening with a bit of text in the form of an obituary, we soon learn that Annie Graham’s mother has died.  Annie is played by Toni Collette, and she’s just awesome in this movie.  She lives in a secluded house in the woods with her doctor husband Steven (Gabriel Byrne, effectively underplaying the role), and her two kids, son Peter (Alex Wolff) and daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro).  Annie has some mixed feelings about her mother’s death, but grief affects the different members of the family in different ways, particularly young Charlie.  Events get weirder and freakier as the movie progresses, and saying more than that would ruin the surprises this movie presents.

Writer/director Ari Aster had only made short films prior to this, but this movie was tense from the first shot, with the music playing in the background, sudden shifts from day to night, and overall tone made this a horror movie that would be hard to forget.  Part of that is due to making the movie as much a drama about grief as it is a legitimately scary movie.  There aren’t any scenes that feel like a waste or a pause in the tension, as Aster follows the family around, showing how loss affects each one differently.  Collette in particular is spectacular in this one, twisting her face into the raw horror and sorrow as the role demands.  I know this one wasn’t sitting well with many horror film fans, but the critics have been praising it and for good reason.  It’s creepy, tense, and quite scary.  10 out of 10 tongue clucks.