HEREDITARY (2018) - Skips Many Tropes With A Good Slow Burn

Hereditary movie review... good, slow horror, the way it should be.


After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.


The film stars Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette and Milly Shapiro. The film is written and directed by Ari Aster, in his feature length debut.

First Toni Collette turns in one hell of a performance, the likes of which I've never seen from her before. And for this to be what looks like Aster's debut feature length film, I think he did his homework and did what he could to avoid most horror film tropes. That was refreshing and I can't wait to see what else he puts out!


The story starts out with grandma dying and Annie (Collette) dealing with all the details around the event. But in her grief, she starts visiting a survivor's group on the sly, which leads to her meeting Joan (Ann Dowd), who extends her hand in extra support around the latter part of the second act.

Throughout the film, we follow the son, daughter and husband/father's methods of dealing with not only their own grief, but Annie's as well.

The description of the film keeps you wondering when the heck things will start developing towards these details of this family secret, but Aster keeps the plot's tone pretty civil and waits until the latter part of the second act to really start to hint at this secret past and truly puts on the brakes, forcing patience from the viewers, as it all becomes apparently clear in the latter part of the third and final act.

As far as I'm concerned, director Aster tried to stay away from depending on tropes but still used them, but more as matter-of-fact events in his story rather than cheap thrill scenes. But there will come a moment that, well, I never saw coming that left my jaw dropped!

And I loved his unique spin on some scene transitions that keeps you wondering if this transition is trying to say something to me or not.


Hereditary is a slow but solid story that has quite the unexpected payout, again avoiding the expected kind of payout that one would think comes with this kind of family-based horror film. It left room for a prequel if they so desire to go there, and/or a sequel.

The film got a 7.3/10 on IMDb and an 89% from the stick-in-the-mud critics at Rotten Tomatoes, if that says anything to you.

But it is a slow build of a story. At one point we thought we were almost done with the film but it turned out to be just the halfway point, so come prepared for when you pull this film up.


Fortunately, I never saw the trailers for this film and came in blind. Which, in this case, is my real  recommendation. But if you must...


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Follow Cinema Static on: