pd187’s review published on Letterboxd:
they finally did it... a24 has gentrified eli roth
kind of a mess and i rly dont trust this guy to take trauma/grief seriously but this is packed with great sick jokes and i love the cannibal ferox/2000 maniacs genre so ill turn up even for a slow, kinda pointless version of one. despite the hype i thought hereditary was good too - this guy built his rep on being solid at the drama stuff (directing actors) and really swinging for the fences with horror/gore but has completely failed to synthesize them in any real way so its all just kinda thrown together into a collection of scenes that actually work, until they dont--i guess the accomplishment is making drama audiences watch gore & horror freaks watch a drama?? in this & hereditary all the real-life family tragedy shit is wielded like a kid who just discovered racial slurs, excited hes "hacked" his way into getting a emotional reaction - its unsettling but sorta empty & irresponsible (interviewed about his 1st short film he said his movie buddies were kicking around ideas of what would be the "ultimate taboo" and arrived at incest as the "most popular" one - very cool!). he also seems to only write characters who are totally passive & conflict-averse, which i think is an art-house thing but def presents more of a barrier to general audience enjoyment than any rubber head explosions (which normal people have seen on like, BONES) even if criterion stans think its staggeringly transgressive. i watch a LOT of movies made by dudes who im sure spent most of 5th & 6th grade on rotten.com but he's the only one critics seem to take seriously - i guess docile middle-class hipsters who dont put up a fight find more to relate to than like, bill zebub. still its cool to get regal 24 blumhouse audiences out to see a movie that occasionally feels like something from matthew barney's cremaster cycle and the (eventually overdone) druggy reality warp fx reminded me of the schizo facemorphs in, no bullshit, terror toons. i know this is gonna get dinged as derivative but honestly throwing together a bunch of weird horror shit ripped off from better movies italian-style is one of my fav ways to make a movie, and the only tricks i outright hated were some a24(tm) symmetrical framing of, sigh, triangles (surprised the cult didnt have brass & white marble succulent planters) and more corny omg-what-if-you-had-to-see-an-old-person-naked??? shit (as seen in hereditary AND the IT:2 trailer that played before this) - you could easily cut 30-45min with no real loss but the long runtime does give it a sense of actually spending a week at a real, strange place, and i guess that counts for something. theres something funny going on here, where all the selfconsciously weird/shock shit seems insincere, smarmy & tryhard but in the process dude is telling on himself & making something actually kinda weird in a different & unexpected way, which is how some of my fav movies are (unintentionally) great. its complicated.
also look out for one line that proves this dude def saw my hereditary review letterboxd.com/pd187/film/hereditary/