Hereditary is a 2018 horror film directed and written by Ari Aster, and his feature directorial debut film. The film was first premiered on the 21st of January 2018 during the Midnight section of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and was later released on the 6th of June in the United States. It was met with critical acclaim both by critics and the audience, and many have praised the performances of the cast.
Commercially, the film saw widespread success, and made $79 million on a $9 million budget, making it one of the most successful horror films in recent memory, and is suggested for anyone that wants a thoughtful horror after a day of series or online pokies.
The movie starts out with the death of the Annie Graham’s mother, Ellen. Graham is the wife of Steve, and the mother of two teenagers, 12 year old Charlie, and 16 year old Peter. At the funeral, Graham talks about her mother’s secret life, and reveals that they had a difficult relationship.
A week after the funeral, the family founds out that the grandmother’s grave was desecrated, and they were unable to locate the missing body. The daughter, Charlie, goes out with her brother to a party, where she unknowingly ingests peanuts, to which she has a severe allergy. Upon finding his sister entering into anaphylactic shock, Peter rushes to take her home, but as she leans her head out the window in an attempt to help her breathing, she is decapitated by a pole.
Charlie’s presence plagues Peter both at home and at school. Annie meets a stranger named Joanne at a group-help meeting, and Joanne convinces Annie to attempt a séance to try and contact her deceased daughter. While the séance seemingly works at first, things quickly spiral out of hand, with moving objects and possessions. Annie seeks out Joanne, but discovers that she has since disappeared, and while looking through her mother’s belongings, she discovers that her mother and Joanne were formerly friends, and part of an insidious cult that are trying to bring a demon into the real world.
Meanwhile, Peter becomes possessed at school and breaks his own nose, while Annie tries to convince Steve about the paranormal occurrences that are taking place around the house. They try to throw Charlie’s sketchbook into a fireplace, only for Steve to immediately go up in flames and burn to death. Upon finding his father’s corpse, Peter is chased by Annie into the attic, which is now decorated with occult imagery. Peter attempts to escape, but finds himself in the family tree house Once he enters, he is possessed by demon Paimon, and it’s revealed that the cult had planned the entire thing since Ellen’s death.
All in all, Hereditary makes use of a lot of common horror movie themes, but merges them all together into something entirely new. It’s a captivating film that plays off of a lot of different fears, and has a surprise twist ending that’s not to be missed.