Film (Re)View – Hereditary

I do have to wonder who actually writes the comments that go with movies and whether they have actually seen the movie. The people who wrote the comments for this movie clearly have not seen it.

It isn’t scary, terrifying or any other fear filling adjective and it most certainly is NOT in the league of The Shining, Psycho or The Exorcist.

In fact, the movie makes such an out of the blue right turn that I very nearly walked out. It was almost as if they had taken two different movies and randomly spliced them together OR, more likely, a vital connecting scene is lying on the cutting room floor. Shame on you filmmakers!!

The movie is very very slow to start as too much time is taken to build the scene of life in this family. There is a wacky grandmother who has recently died, and we learn that she was estranged from her daughter (Collette) and that she was extremely secretive. The secrets start to build through the bedroom door that remains closed, the mysterious words that appear on the walls, the strange orb that surrounds the little girl (Shapiro) and the unnatural connection that the grandmother and granddaughter had.

But then the movie focuses in on the impact of grief on a family and how it rips them apart. Stellar acting from Toni Collette on this front. Her grief was so real (and it wasn’t for her mother) that I had tears running down my face. Schizophrenia runs in the family, and as Collette is trying to undo what she has set in motion she exhibits signs of someone who has completely lost their connection with reality. It is at the climax of this – the husband’s (Byrne) realisation – that the film takes that abrupt turn and goes off on one hell of a tangent.

Yes, there are various hints at demonic interest found within the grandmother’s possessions, and yes, it was strange how a supposed member of a grief group could suddenly channel spirits, BUT there was not enough shown to the audience to enable us to suspend our disbelief and accept that what we were now seeing was real.

You will notice that I am deliberately not telling you anything about the story. Not that I would encourage you to see it, but I don’t want to spoil it for you if you do. Suffice it to say, there is one particularly shocking scene that even had me saying ‘Oh my God’, so unexpected and well done was said scene.

Anyway, in the about turn, the satanic worship/demon following/cult element came to the fore, BUT it didn’t make sense. It was extremely poorly done and the final scene in the treehouse was, well, appalling. No explanation was given as to what happened to Collette’s character, it was just presented as a fait accompli…, not a good idea!

Suffice it to say, my friend and I sat in our seats at the end of the movie and we both said ‘WTF?’