Can Ari Aster And Hereditary Live Up To The Hype Machine?

Hereditary, the first full feature film from director Ari Aster hits theaters everywhere on June 8th. It has already gained a rep for scaring audiences beyond belief. Horror film fans are questioning how scary is Hereditary and will they be in for a treat; critics are already proclaiming it “this generation’s The Exorcist.”

Now I went to the press screening for this at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse on S. Lamar, not knowing much about the film. I knew that it was a horror movie and was already being dubbed as one of the scariest movies of this area. Considering I love a good horror film, I could not resist the challenge.

Eerie children, dark family secrets, dead animals, and a creepy doll’s house is a formula that will either indulge you or gets your blood pressure going. This film doesn’t come at your wits with a gentle touch. While it does manage to be subtle in many ways, it’s going to stick with you, and it’s going to leave you with images and responses you won’t be able to shake. I will say that the film does manage to carry itself more in a neutral ideology. This isn’t a traditional horror movie that plays on all the cinematic elements such as the musical score, color, and cheesy backstories. In fact, the film comes at you with an oppositional view that it could even be an interpreted as intense drama film. However, Hereditary is not a horror movie that waves its hat on cheap frights either. The scenes in the film that depict on your senses and wits are not based on the expected norm methods of scaring audiences. They do come at you in ways that you will not see coming. They will play on obscenity that may leave some uncomfortable and may even lose a little sleep over.

Director Ari Aster Raises Some Eyebrows For His Debut

Writer and director Ari Aster assert himself as a commanding talent right off the bat. Now, he may not be a man with much experience, but this seems like a movie made by someone who has the ability and savvy that can only come from years of commitment to the craft. Hereditary does not exhibit itself as a debut feature in any way, and that is possibly the highest praise that can be given to Aster. Aster is someone whose work will be watched very carefully because of this film. I am excited to see what he brings to the table down the line.

Of Course, A Great Casting Also Goes A Long Way

Hereditary has the advantage of both having something interesting to explore while also boasting a fantastic cast. Gabriel Byrne and Milly Shapiro merit appreciation for what they bring to the table, but there are a few of remarkable performances here. For one, Alex Wolff places himself as someone to keep your eye on. However, this movie goes to Toni Collette. This is an actress who has been doing outstanding efforts for a long time, but she’s never had the opportunity to glow like this before. Collette gives a transformative, intricate and layered execution that is as great as anything you’re likely to see this year. This film would likely have been damn solid without her, but it’s downright remarkable because of her.


Hereditary is not just a movie to see but preferably one that should be experienced. I strongly suggest everyone do what I did, go into this movie utterly blind to what the outside world is saying. Do I agree with other critics, citing that this film is today’s version of the Exorcist? Absolutely not, but that apple indeed does not fall too far from that tree. It is worth going to see, but it is not just a horror movie. It is a movie with some great acting and perfectly implemented images and moments that play on the mind. For the seasoned horror fan, you will enjoy and appreciate the style.

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