Hereditary Review: Toni Collette is Stunning in this Shocker

I’ve been hearing so much about Hereditary since its release in UK cinemas, so after grabbing a free schedule in my diary, I headed over to my local Cineworld to check out the movie for myself.

When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited as it slowly destroys everything they know.

Now I have to say, that Hereditary has been one the hardest films for me to write about, not because it is bad, because it isn’t, it’s simply because the film was so strange that I found myself getting totally engulfed by what was happening on the screen that all intensive thoughts of reviewing the movie were slowly drifting away!

Hereditary - Cast

My concentration for the entirety of the film was needed to keep my mind from trying to overthink what was actually happening in this beautifully shot, lit and edited movie. Ari Aster’s debut feature is a movie that I am so glad I got to see on the big screen, Hereditary invites you in, give you a sense that the family on screen and in the middle of a family breakdown after Annie’s mother dies only to rip the floor away from you and send you flying into something far more macabre and disturbing., bring the horror genre a fresh new feel.

As I mentioned earlier it’s been hard to review the movie, one of the many reasons was that I really didn’t want to give any spoilers away for the film, Hereditary is a movie that needs to be seen without you knowing much about it, the twists and turns that have you jaw firmly on the floor will not work as well if you know most of what is happening or about to happen.

But there are some brilliantly shot sequences in the movie that work very well (the opening with the miniatures is unnerving and brilliant at the same time), look out for the shadows and things that look like someone or something, very much like you do when you lay in bed at night in a dark room, yeah damn right I slept the night with the nightlight on after watching Hereditary, it really played on my mind that much and no other film has ever done that!

Toni Collette who plays Annie is amazing in her role, you feel for her loss and her emotional journey after losing her mother, Oscar material here folks, I kid you not. Gabriel Byrne is brilliant as her husband, Steve, who has to not only be her anchor through the film but also try to keep the family together.

Hereditary - Charlie (Milly Shapiro)

Then there are the kids, Peter (Alex Wolff) and Charlie (Milly Shapiro), Alex brings his character wonderfully to the screen in Hereditary, I really started feeling for him as the movie went on, why did his Grandmother care so much about Charlie. Ah, Charlie, Milly has a wonderful character in this movie, after seeing the trailers I wasn’t sure where her character was going n the movie when I started watching it, but boy oh boy are there some shocks in store for those watching the movie. There is a point in the movie where even I nearly spat out my Pepsi Ginger!

Hereditary - Flames

The soundtrack for the film also set me on edge a little, Colin Stetson‘s soundtrack for Hereditary is certainly one that adds to the atmosphere of the movie, as the movie along so does Colin’s macabre in parts audio, the sound design throughout the movie is one that had me listening ever closely, with all speakers in the cinema being used wonderfully and a faint bass rumble that would build as the film progressed, now that was weird. Colin’s track “Reborn” is a masterpiece of music and sound to produce an amazing piece of audio.

Hereditary seems to a bit of a Marmite movie at the moment, I’ve seen so many people praising it and just as many hating it, but if you watch the movie with an open mind, take in the subtle clues, watch the shadows, enjoy the amazing cinematography and delight in a well edited and produced movie then Hereditary is a movie that for me has been one of the best movies that I’ve seen this year and that’s saying a lot, as there have been some damn good movies out there.

Ari Aster has brought is a worthy horror movie that once seen can never be forgotten. Hereditary is in UK Cinemas now. It is also available to Pre-Order on Amazon Prime Video (USA) at the moment, we’ll bring you an update when it is also available to Pre-Order here in the UK.

We check out the debut feature from Ari Aster, #Hereditary. Starring Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Alex Wolff and Gabriel Byrne.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham