Cruelly effective horrors abound
Sematary and The Wicker Man is definitely the work of a writer and director who has been to the well and learned the genre like he should.
Writer-director Ari Aster’s greatest asset is Collette, at her most formidably deranged here, and pretty much carrying the film alone through long stretches when credulity is buckling under contrivance.
Gabriel Byrne is so underemployed I believe the film could have been stronger, more claustrophobic and heightened had Collette being playing a single mother – in an inverse of The Sixth Sense and Babadook dynamic – with no husband around to provide an escape valve. Almost everything Byrne contributes could have been taken up by Alex Wolff’s teenage son and maybe a lovable, disposable neighbour for a few moments towards the end.
As young daughter Charlie, first-time film actor Millie Shapiro is also pretty astonishing.
Hereditary is not ‘‘this generation’s The Exorcist’’. It’s not even close. It’s at least 10 minutes too long, the ending is far too silly to give the film any enduring power and the underpinning idea lacks the rigour and intent of any really great horror.
But Hereditary is still a good time, and it delivers your money’s worth of jumps and lunacy. - Graeme Tuckett
Toni Collette is at her most formidably deranged in Hereditary.