Hereditary: my half and half opinion

Hereditary, 6.3/10, is a film I watched over a week ago now (a week!) and I still haven’t been able to make up my mind on it. At times, I have even thought about going back and giving it a second chance. This is due to the never ending list of the pros and cons that have been towering up but I think I have finally made up my mind.

Following the normal status quo, I will explain the premise of the movie and then I will get into the nitty gritty of it. When the Grahams family suffer the loss of their mysterious Grandmother; Charlie (played by Milly Shapiro) the granddaughterand Annie (played by Toni Collette) the daughter begin to unravel some haunting occurrences and are forced to face a few disturbing secrets of the daughter’s troubled past. It would seem a group of devil worshipers are on the hunt for a new coven leader to take place as King Paimon. They have their eyes set on Charlie to take this place – well whatever part they can get hold of her.

From the very first time of watching the trailer for this movie, I eagerly awaited its release. However, I feel like I was the main contributor to feeling disappointed after watching this film. This was mostly down to the significant gap between my expectations and the reality: what I had expected after seeing the trailer and what, in reality, I was provided with from the film. This isn’t a totally terrible thing but merely not what I had psyched myself up for. There was a lack of a ‘jump’ factor also which for this genre is a risk to take. However, I did feel the tension was continuously built throughout – and successfully too. Another pro to this film is the fact it steered outside of the conventional expectations of a film of this type and was well-executed. However, the con has to be that, at times, it was easy for me – as the audience – to loose attention. For me, the element of grip wasn’t there totally and consequently, slightly let me down.

A couple of reviews ago, I mentioned how an audience is equally as important in making a film as the content of a film is. The audience during this screening weren’t taking the film seriously and giving it a chance – talking and giggling throughout. I don’t feel that is down to the movie itself as commonly, people will talk during a horror movie because they are scared and use conversation and laughter as an attempt to distract themselves from the on-screen action. I have to say, as for the laughing, please tell me how watching your own mother cutting her own head off is funny in the slightest.

The particular scene aforementioned is the epitome of horror but nowadays it is so hard for a horror to be bone-chillingly scary because as a society we have been overexposed to too much. We are numb to what should normally scare you as we live in a horrifying world. For example, if you want to be scared stiff then all you need to do is switch on the six o-clock news.

Imagine living in 1973, not attached to the ‘social media umbilical cord’ and walking into the cinema to watch the The Exorcist for the first time. You probably wouldn’t have even made it to the end of the screening. You can understand the inescapable struggle to recreate the same horror movie viewing in this modern climate.

If anything, this film is commendable for its originality, its clever use of imagery and its cinematography. I also particularly liked that at times, you have shots from a high overseeing camera angle connoting how the evil spirits are playing God with the families lives; similar to how she, as an artist, micromanages a fictional life. Both shots recurred more frequently the more the film progressed.

You should definitely give this film a fair chance and go into it with an open mind as its intensity could be psychologically thrilling. Don’t let others around you ruin your experience.

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