Hereditary ★★★½

I understand the effect this horror movie is having on audiences looking for something fresh, especially considering how the trailer coyly sets up a nice little red herring.  Notwithstanding the last minute marketing reset from the arthouse (where I originally saw the trailer) to the cineplex (where I eventually saw the movie), Hereditary feels very much like an A24 production in the tradition of The VVitch, which is to say - in a complementary way - that this is not going to satisfy the mainstream audience that reveled in The Quiet Place or The Conjuring.  Rather, the intent is a sustained unsettling of the viewer.  (Indeed, a certain car accident sequence is probably the most unsettling thing I’ve seen in the cinema in recent memory.)  But whereas The VVitch managed to keep its audience in such a delicious state for 1hr 32mins, Hereditary goes for an oppressive 2hrs, 7mins - all without any kind of breather.  And as well composed and performed as Hereditary is, a film should never induce a palpable sense of exhaustion.

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