3.5/4

Hereditary [2018] ★★★½

I’ve heard the buzz, but nothing could have prepared me for “Hereditary”, a brilliant horror movie that ranks as one of the best films of the year. It’s incredible to think that there’s still room for originality in an already exhausted genre. But first time writer-director Ari Aster had other ideas. His movie gets in your head from the word go and refuses to leave. In telling the story of a family’s descent into darkness following the death of a grandmother, Aster has crafted a unique piece, one that keeps its distance from the Hollywood formula. His movie dares to take its time, and keeps coming at you, before it leaves you completely shattered. Toni Collette’s quietly implosive performance as a mother with demons of her own will break your heart. Now that I think of it, it’s so easy to mistake “Hereditary” for a family drama, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The horror elements are alive and well here, but at its core, it’s a devastating tale of a family that will self-destruct in front of your eyes. It’s a staggering achievement, as you’ll find yourself rooting for these characters, every step of the way. That’s all I’m going to say about Hereditary”, the better to let you get lost in its dark poetry and enveloping mystery. Aster doesn’t hold his punches, but that’s what makes his movie unique and unforgettable.

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