Hereditary ★★

It's the Michael Bay equivalent of a horror film, and about as incongruous as The Snowman, but gets by on shocking horror, and slick art direction.

Hereditary is a narratively hollow culmination of ideas Ari Aster wrote on many napkins over a decade, stashed in a shoebox, then pulled out and scattered down a staircase to make a script. It bounces around various genres, concepts, plots, and themes, then haphazardly staples them together with elements of Rosemary's Baby.

What it does well is evoke inventively disturbing imagery, underscored by immense dread. But then it takes all of it, and tries to stick it to its characters as well as sticking a slice of aloe to Teflon covered in motor oil.

Its paper thin plot waffles between nebulous and overly expository. The characters are all one note, and underdeveloped. Whether it's Toni Collette who is crying or freaking out (nothing in between), Gabriel Byrne who's so skeptical, he doesn't even believe he's in the same movie, or Alex Wolff who plays a seventeen year old, but cries like a four year old.

This is being treated as the second coming of The Exorcist (or insert whichever movie was seen as the scariest for its time). But it seems to really just be getting far off of its hype.

Todd S. liked these reviews