The accomplishments of Hereditary is not an easy feat. Truth be told, it is a testament to the production house, A24, that such bonkers of a third act found its way to the mainstream screenings. Having already produced Indie horror gems like The Witch and Get Out in previous years, Hereditary is another step forward with the understanding that it is not spirited that induce horror, it is us – the people, who must take the center stage for the creepiness to seriously register.
Revolving around a dysfunctional family, Ari Aster introduces us to the bereaved Anni Graham (Toni Collette) who has recently lost her mother. The family consisting of her ever-patient husband (Steve, Gabriel Byrne), a reserved son (Peter, Alex Wolff) and a weird young daughter (Charlie, Milly Shapiro) feels overwhelmed by the burdens of the past right from the get-go as Ari Aster skillfully withholds information from us only to reveal at times where it hits the hardest. He plays around the family dynamics in a similar fashion as to how Anni concocts her doll house, making and breaking character to his whims by taking certain audacious twists that no one could have seen coming.
The astute camera work, lingering long shots and the effective utilization of sound and darkness amplifies the atmospheric fear Hereditary wishes to instill. The narrative does shake a little during the second act wherein supernatural elements are introduced, however, it has been solely due to the astounding performance of Toni Collette that a sense of realism is always on the cards. The entire script is peppered with enough clues for the oncoming bewildering and gory third act.
However, it is not the physical horror but the psychological tricks Hereditary has up its sleeves that resonates with the viewers long after the credits roll by. Hereditary feels like a night dipped in darkness which no amount of light can salvage. The night when the moon turns black and devours stars for it is in servitude of grief. One must revere Ari Aster as we might have found a new voice who finally understands horror in all its twisted glory.