Hereditary ★★★★

Despite the unfortunate disrespect of my fellow ticket-paying theater-goers, this was a deeply affecting horror masterwork. The incessive talking of the man seated next to me was shushed multiple times by the commanding tension of this film. The Dude Bros that couldn't help but laugh at this movie were probably just coping with their fears.

Hereditary's unrelenting quest to avoid cheap scares is weaponized as unnerving suspense, as we have been conditioned to expect such moments of release (jump, scream, laugh) when attending your average summer horror flick. The nightmare-inducing, unforgettable moments of true terror come from the slow (very slow) pans, tilts, and dollies, the wild and creepy close-ups of impeccable acting from the core cast, and above all else, the way the cinematographer was able to use light and shadow (and our eyes' natural adjustment to darkness) to scare the hell about of you.

This one is going to stick with me for a while, and I may have to hold my breath and try to endure it a second time just to take in its artistry some more.

I have some issues with its story-telling, but they aren't major enough to sink how deeply this film resonated with me. My heart rate escalated to the point of utter dread and paranoia. I was shaken well into the remainder of the night. As a horror film, this is a masterpiece full of very effective and unsettling scares, but I'll have to criticize some minor (spoilery) story details on the podcast.

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