Cru­elly ef­fec­tive hor­rors abound

The Leader (Nelson) - - WHAT’S ON -

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.

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