Hereditary focuses on the after-effects of a death in the family, in this case, the Grandmother; portraying themes of family and life after death. Toni Collette who stars as Annie gives a powerhouse performance here. With Annie also having incredibly nuanced dialogue that makes you question whether the supernatural happenings are real, or if it is simply her deeply broken mind. Another fantastic performance is by Alex Wolff who is a scene stealer, managing to capture a true and unrelenting sense of fear and helplessness. The cinematography is gorgeous, with every shot looking almost handcrafted, one such example is the dollhouse scenes with the cut between the zoom on the dollhouse, and then the corresponding scene in the actual house, working to great effect. What’s more the minimalised sound design really helps to build a sense of tension and unease, as the audience is straining to hear any sound to figure out where the scare is coming from. Hereditary is the tensest film you will watch this year, with a lot of truly harrowing scenes and unexpected twists; keeping you near perpetually on the edge of your seat. The film does use the odd jump scare here and there, but in general it gets its scares from the unexpected events and even from dialogue. The final 20 minutes are truly the scariest part of the film because the other acts of the film so excellently set them up. Hereditary is a master class in storytelling with each shot revealing something regarding the film’s many mysteries. My only negative is some of the plot points in the films first act feel a little heavy-handed and unrealistic, clearly written in to foreshadow and set up later events.
Overall, this is a must-see for horror fans.

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