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Updated: Oct 7, 2018

Film: Hereditary Starring: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Alex Wolff Director: Ari Aster Review: @reluctantmoviebuff Rating: 4.5X's out of 5X 's 

“Hereditary,” the confident first feature of soon-to-be-lauded Ari Aster, is not the scariest film I’ve seen in years…it’s the most disturbing. This isn’t your mother’s “House on Haunted Hill” or your brother’s “Conjuring,” this is something more real and unsettling. An excellent Toni Collette leads the ensemble as matriarch Annie Graham, an artist whose enigmatic mother has just passed away. Surviving are Annie, Annie’s husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne, great reserved performance), her daughter

Charlie (Milly Shapiro, creepy) and her son Peter (Alex Wolff, the film’s emotional secret weapon). It’s clear from the start that neither Annie nor her family are exactly sad to see this mysterious woman depart the earth. Resentment, secrets and pain lurk beneath the surface; it gets even worse when a horrible, tragic event not 30 minutes into the film throw the Grahams into an even more dark abyss of grief. Director Aster has described this film as “a family going to hell”; a more succinct or apt statement does not exist in describing this. “Hereditary” wears many hats as a horror film – it’s a witchcraft thriller, it’s a dark emotional family drama but, above all else, it’s an unflinching, horrifying study of grief. I’m not an easy man to scare but there are a couple images in this film that will stay with me for quite some time. Also, there is no weak link in this ensemble cast. Collette gives the performance of her career as a haunted woman who tries her best to understand how and why her world is crumbling around her. The real MVP award, however, belongs to Wolff who matches Collette in depicting expressions of shock, awe, horror, regret and confoundment. Ann Dowd also shines as a slightly mysterious partner-in-pain that helps Annie cope with her new upside-down world. Performances, tension and images aside, I really don’t have many gripes with this film except for its slightly outrageous final scene involving a wretched gathering of sorts. But, even then, I question myself: “With a film that throws you through so many emotions – shock, awe, horror, resentment, and a bit of a dark humor - how else is a director to close out such a unique unsettling cinematic experience?” 

Click here for the Official trailer: Hereditary official trailer


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