In case you haven’t noticed, I’m obsessed with horror films. From The Exorcist to Paranormal Activity and everywhere in between, I’ve seen more movies than I can count. And I’ve spent night after night hiding under my blankets, refusing to move, terrified of what might be outside my window.
When I read the reviews of Hereditary, I was so excited: finally, a supernatural horror that would leave me shocked. Two hours of film that will translate to two weeks of sleepless nights. So, shortly after it came out, I ran to theatres to experience true fear. And I left…
Firstly, I’ll say the acting is phenomenal. Alex Wolff has quickly become one of my favourite actors after seeing him in Coming Through the Rye, and his performance in Hereditary is one of the best I’ve seen in modern cinema. Toni Collette, no stranger to the supernatural genre, doesn’t disappoint. From the first second to the last, you are captivated by the Graham family and become desperate for answers.
The only thing better than the acting is the cinematography. It becomes difficult to tell if you’re looking at a miniaturized version of the house, or the real house. The camerawork is flawless, which leads to some remarkable spooky scenes at the end of the film. The best part about watching this movie in cinemas is listening to everyone noticing what’s going on in the background.
But the unfortunate truth of this film is, it’s just not that scary. There are a few scenes that make you uncomfortable, but you probably won’t have sleepless nights or struggle to walk around in the dark. It’s creepy, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s just not terrifying, and it’s certainly not the scariest film in recent years. Judge me if you will, but Sinister left me with more fear than Hereditary.
It’s also a very confusing plot. It requires a lot of thinking and, afterwards, a lot of watching interviews and reading reviews to understand who was who and what just happened. I’m still not sure who Joan was. (Spoiler: Is she dead? Does anyone know?)
This is certainly a movie worth watching. My friends and I were talking about it a week after watching. And I would highly recommend it to watch during a horror movie binge with your friends, with plenty of popcorn and a healthy dose of enthusiasm. It’s complex, interesting, and beautiful.
I just didn’t think it was scary.