Hereditary ★★★★

My grandmother saw The Birds and was sick after it, left haunted by it.

My uncle saw The Exorcist and was sick after seeing it, left haunted by it.

My mother saw Halloween and was sick after seeing it, lefthaunted by it.

My sister saw The Blair Witch Project and was sick after it, left haunted by it.

Now I have seen this... I feel kind of sick... I feel I will be haunted by it no matter how hard I try.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that one visceral and terrifying cinematic experience, a truly chilling and of its moment epoch, that churning gut wrenching kind of feeling... well it is and always has been Hereditary. 

Never in my life has a film tightened my throat and consumed me with dread quite like this, and even with the audacity to make me feel it was all hype during its first act before insidiously taking hold of me and rendering me a wreck by the third. The devil is in the detail, all too literally, and its unrelentingly constricting and undesirably alluring camera that attracts you to all the wrong and most dark places is as satanic in its awful majesty as most any other film you’ll see this year... or for many to come I should imagine. Slow pans and even slower, probing zooms pick apart the family at the centre of the film and animate the eerie inanimacy of the surroundings alike a doll’s house under a microscope, whilst an almost ceaseless groaning and growing score eases its way into your mind until the film is finished and all that remains is a dull silence and two hours worth of reality decaying into the macabre and the unimaginable drenching the consciousness with such dense despair that the only possible outcome is that you are rendered dumbstruck and haunted, dragging your feet from the theatre in a disorientated haze having lost all sense of the boundaries between what happens in your mind and what lurks in the peripheries of your eyeline threatening one day to seize you and squeeze you for every ounce of humanity you have left. 

The fact that the performances across the board are so compelling and committed, so delicately poised between mental instability as runs in the family and an almost outright visage of possession, adds a huge amount of nuance and believability to something that drives itself further and faster into the darkness of the occult than many will care to stick out the ride to. 

It isn’t a perfect film, but it may well come to define a generation of modern horror, and if nothing else reasserts the fact that A24 are the only studio who can make horror great again.

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