Hereditary ★★★★

if i liked horror this would likely be 5 stars, but i am not a huge fan of being terrified, especially if remnants of this terror remain with me across several days. and that's how i feel now, after watching hereditary. it's been 2 days but there's still this lurking fear, this feeling that i really watched something truly dark and unnerving. 

i stand by the fact that the first hour and fourty five are fine!! the narrative is more of a dysfunctional family drama than straight/conventional horror. toni collette's annie deals with the absence of feeling at her mother's death. there's guilt that accompanies this. it's something she's not completely sure how to come to terms with but still something she perhaps can move past. but then she's struck a blow, a moment of grief that manifests as sheer physical pain, it's inescapable and unbearable and so so hard. but still i empathized and was curious to see how this would all evolve. 

in that last half hour, there is no control. not from annie, not from the viewer. i could only sit there and watch as things escalated and went places i wasn't ready for and couldn't escape. i don't like being afraid, never understood the appeal. but also -- this is so masterfully made that it was hard not to watch no matter how much i wanted to look away. every painfully prolonged shot felt decisive. ari aster and his team create a world as meticulous as annie's miniatures from the lighting to the set design to the score. this film is grounded in genre conventions and tropes, things we've seen before but there's something about the technical elements (and of course the performances and script!) that elevate this. it's horror revisited and horror regenerated and it's fucking disturbing.

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