Matt’s review published on Letterboxd:
It seems like every year we get a film that is dubbed one of the new classics and "one of the scariest films of all time." It's been things like It Follows, The Witch, The Conjuring, The Babadook, etc. While I like all the films mentioned, none of them have scared and disturbed me like Hereditary. In fact, I can't think of any movie in the past decade that has gotten under my skin like this one.
Hereditary is really an intense family drama wrapped in a horror movie. Toni Collette is truly amazing in this, and gives the best performance of 2018, and one of the best performances I've seen in recent years. She does so much in this and is phenomenal. Give her all the awards. If she is not at least nominated for an Oscar, something is wrong.
I don't want to say too much about the story itself because I feel like it's best to go in as blind as possible. This is really a drama about loss, grief, mental illness, family turmoil, and guilt, that happens to be scary as hell. Honestly, until the last 20 minutes, I thought "This has been great, but not one of the scariest movies ever." Well, just wait my friend, because this is slow burn horror that actually pays off. There is a sense of dread that runs through the whole film until the ending which just gets so wild and terrifying, it's almost too much. It's basically a panic attack in movie form. I just sat in theater for a few minutes after it was over. I think my sister(who loves horror as much as I do) put it best when she said "That was really good, but I don't think I ever want to see it again." She said she almost had to leave the theater in the last act because she was so tense.
Ari Aster does an unbelievable job in his feature length debut and his sense of control and style is incredible. He really forces you to watch these wide shots for a long time to the point you are uncomfortable and to where you are seeing things in various corners of the frame.
Now, of course, horror is subjective, and more than a few people will say "meh, it's not that scary." I do hope people can at least appreciate the story of a family falling apart and Toni Collette's fantastic performance. If it wasn't for some second act issues and a couple uneven performances, I'd call this one perfect.