Ralph’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hereditary is one of the best horror films I've seen in a long time.
When so many horror films rely on cheap jump scares, it's nice to see a genuinely terrifying and disturbing horror movie. When I pay to see a horror movie I want to see some genuinely frightening stuff and Hereditary delivers. This film doesn't shy away from violence or vile imagery at risk of offending the audience or making them uncomfortable.
The film does an excellent job building an erie setting with its camera work, lighting and score. I've been a fan of Colin Stetsons music for a long time and his style of music fits this film perfectly. The score manages to be both creepy and beautiful at the same time. That goes for most of the technical aspects of the film. Practical dark orange lights paint the characters and walls of the house which make the setting feel both natural and unnerving. This film exists on the line between the real and the surreal which is a quality all of my favorite horror films have.
All of the performances are incredible. The star of the show is of course Toni Collette who's given some of the most emotional scenes and she sells it. Alex Wolff did a great job as well although his performance is much more subdued than Collete's. Gabrielle Byrne and Milly Shapiro are not quite as developed but give fantastic performances nonetheless.
The plot itself takes so many unexpected turns and takes on so many different sub genres of horror (psychological, paranormal) yet the film never lost me. You'd think a horror film so ambitious would fall flat on its face but director Ari Aster took on the challenge and made something truly memorable. I don't understand why people were so critical of the final twist of the film. Not to spoil anything but this film does follow the conventions of traditional horror films throughout but especially toward the end. I don't understand why this is a bad thing. Horror films have always had these elements and for people to be critical of these elements in this film is ridiculous.
One critic discussing the film said "Hereditary speaks with the language of lowbrow horror when it's been setting itself up as something a little classier and a lot more original." How the end of this film is lowbrow makes no sense to me. Is Rosemary's Baby lowbrow horror? This film is clearly influenced by Rosemary's Baby, as well as other horror films like The Shining, and even The VVitch released just a few years ago, but this film does something new with these elements and has it's own voice.
Anyone who can appreciate a good horror film will find something to love about Hereditary. It is bound to be a horror classic and it is a film that will stay with me for a long time.