How many times have you been tantalized by ultra-glowing reviews for the newest Horror classic, only to be gravely disappointed? For me, it’s a regular happenstance. If I look at the myriad of top 50 horror films streaming online, a good chunk will be modern films - made in the last ten years or so. And a lot of them are good solid, horror thrillers. Movies I’m thrilled to watch online for a low price. I can’t believe that I can sit down in front of my TV with the kids (all under eight years of age), and watch Jigsaw or Would You Rather? or Terrifier. It’s such a wholesome family night at the movies. Thank you Netflix, et al. But none of them, even the much-heralded The Babadook, or It Follows or The Conjuring (insert middle finger into back of throat - NOT SCARY!), can hold a candle to the dread and devastation that happens to the Graham family in Ari Aster’s first feature (unbelievable) Hereditary.
This film demands repeat viewings. People I’ve talked to who have seen it, either agree with me 100% or thought it was “bad”. I tell those people to lean out the window of their car to get some fresh air. They’re delusional! The brilliance of this film is in the small details that are peppered throughout the movie, the superb cast - all performances are truly brilliant, and Aster’s slow but building pace that takes the film to new levels of intensity.
The horror does not come from pop-up shocks (see Halloween 2018), but from familial relationships that go from sour, to tense, to something far, far worse. And it all makes sense. The characters do what they do because that is what anyone would do with faced with the horrors the Grahams face. To tell more would be criminal. I’ve seen it four times now and I still see new things that make me go “Oh, that’s fucking cool!” That’s a legitimate modern horror classic. Take that “The Witch”!