I watched the trailer of Hereditary when it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. At the time, people claimed it was the scariest movie ever made. As someone who scares easy, this sounded like a nightmare. Who in their right mind would deliberately make their way to watch a horror movie on the big screen? But then, I was invited to the premier show of Hereditary as a part of the MAMI film festival's Delhi edition by PVR. And life has mysterious ways of torturing my fragile soul.
Hereditary begins like a family drama accompanied by an exceptionally eerie soundtrack, you understand and sympathize with the four family members and the loss of their grandmother. But soon that turns into a frivolous task when the entire house turns out to be dysfunctional. Before I get into the gory details, have a look at the trailer.
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Now that you understand what I'm talking about, let's continue. The indie-feel of the film adds to the storyline, with aesthetic shots that make it beautiful. But perfection is flawed and this seemingly normal family proves that everybody has insecurities the world can take advantage of. 'We are not our parents' - Hereditary takes advantage of this modern day fear and encourages the tricks your mind is already playing on you. There are no cheap jump scares in the film, no demons in the mirror, no hiding behind the shower curtain. Instead, you get a cult, a crazy grandmother and a king of hell. That's all I can say without giving away spoilers.
It's written and directed by Ari Aster, best known for 2011 short film The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. He obviously has a knack for fu*ked up families and Hereditary follows the pattern well.
The first half gives you a dysfunctional family and the second half, a demonic world. That sounds like the perfect recipe for a horror movie. It's only as scary as your imagination, so good luck watching Hereditary, the scariest movie of this decade.