Hereditary (2018)


Writer/director Ari Aster brings us one of the more original and interesting horror movies of the last few years — I just wish it moved faster than molasses in January. Toni Collette stars as a woman who finds herself simultaneously mourning the loss of her mother and concerned about the strange behavior of her young daughter. Turns out the two concerns are connected in a (ta-da!) supernatural way, and also involve the growing paranoia of Collette’s son and a meddling member of a grief support group. Half-way through Hereditary you’ll be scratching your head and waiting impatiently for Aster to move things into a higher gear. And he eventually does. The movie turns out to have a logic all of its own and our patience is indeed rewarded with explanation. The way in which it all comes together seems to divide audiences — but this is a movie I thought got exponentially better as it went.

It’s just so loooooooooooong. Hereditary is two hours and seven minutes, and you feel every single one of those minutes. If twenty or thirty minutes could have been shaved out of the first hour, I could see me ranking this movie a point or so higher. But if you survive that first tedious hour, things pick up and some of the performances become fairly riveting — especially from Alex Wolff as the son and Ann Dowd as the meddlesome support group attendee.

With an underutilized Gabriel Byrne

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