“Hereditary” Bringing Up the R Baby

Hereditary, a horror film by Ari Aster, is so busy disguising it’s newness that it’s retro-ness comes as a shock.

For those old enough to have seen a certain influential 1968 film from an infamous Polish auteur, Hereditary would seem a smart remake. For those use to gore, and not accustomed to the slow build of details and character unraveling than it’s just not horrific enough. There is a reason why the genre is called “horror” and not “horrors” movies.

Aster has gathered a talented cast that can capably handle the dramatic misdirections the plot requires.

Hereditary implies deep dark secrets shared by families. Toni Collette fierce performance balanced between grief, delusion and shock cleverly disguises that this is not a mother’s story but a tragedy about fate and realizing a frightful inheritance. Ultimately, it is Alex Wolff’s subtle portrayal of the son in grief that allows Hereditary to pull off its final shocking reveal.

Hereditary is a smart reminder that the horror movie hasn’t entirely forgotten it’s past. That bodes well for its future.

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