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Hereditary - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "A Spine-Chilling Experience!"

Directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary is a horror-thriller and stars  Toni Collette and Alex Wolff in the lead roles along with Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne as the supporting cast. Applauded and celebrated as one of the best horror movies of recent times, critics went on to call this film as the modern-day Exorcist in their overwhelmingly positive reviews as the Tomatometer now stands at 90%. But, similar to this decades horror releases The Witch and The Babadook, this film is not well received by the audience or the general public as it earned a D+ cinemascore which was quite bizarre.

The plot of the film tells the story of the strange Graham family who is going through the death of Ellen, mother of Annie (Toni Collette) and the grandmother of Peter and Charlie (Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro). Shortly after that, weird things slowly start to unravel as Annie and Charlie begin to notice Ellen who is involved in a strange and a mysterious past.

I love horror/thriller movies and the experience of watching them in a movie theatre. I still remember torturing myself watching Conjuring 2 in an almost empty theatre just for that eerie ambiance. But, I even found myself not enjoying horror movies when they have too many silly jump-scares and a generic storyline. Anyway, coming back to Hereditary, I avoided all the promotional material and the trailers of the film and walked into the theater with an open mind only expecting to watch a good horror film. Now, nearly eight hours later, thinking about this movie is still makes my pulse pound and I'm even uncomfortable visualizing what I saw. Let me explain why!

Right from the first frame, you can tell that there's something wrong within this house and even with the family. Director Ari Aster masterfully made use of the setting, environment, characters, background score and the creepy imagery to assemble the disconcerting vibe and ensured that it's maintained throughout the film. Every scene was shot and designed with perfection and Aster did not make any mistake by spoiling the tension with an absurd jump scare. The first half was a slow-burn, it took the time to narrate the eerieness of the characters and made me become accustomed to the setting of the film. But, the second half is when the pace starts to pick up as its occupied with scary and unsettling scenes, weird anecdotes and many more. Anyhow, let's move on before I start spoiling the movie. 

Now, what made the film much more special were the characters. The development was exceptional as you can feel sorry for them and at the same time get weirded out with their actions. Complementing to the perfection of the characters, the performances from the complete cast was extraordinary. Toni Collette delivered an Oscar-worthy performance and I was honestly spooked just by looking at her in every scene. Alex Wolff was also phenomenal as this helpless guy as you can see this powerlessness and grief on his face the whole time. Milly Shapiro's appearance is creepy enough for me to not trust her character from the beginning as she carried the uncanniness with her the from start to finish.

As I complimented earlier, the technical aspects in the film were great. The way it was shot to provide and continue the frightening feeling was quite extraordinary. Also, the background score was most definitely chilling and endorsed the spirit of the film flawlessly.

Nevertheless, the hype is real and Hereditary is, in fact, the best horror film I've seen in recent years. The unsettling atmosphere and the disturbing imagery will mess with you for a long time. It's also exquisitely shot and directed film with top-notch performances. Watch it on the biggest screen available with premium sound quality to experience the uncanniness to the fullest.

My Rating - 4/5 | Grade - A (The Best One Around!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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