Hereditary

Hereditary ★★★½

62

A feature debut that feels like a sophomore ramble - an unsettled dysfunctional horror picture defined by the awkward resentment hidden in the architectural woodwork. Every cast member is possessed. In spite of the material frequently digging through familiar concepts and grandiose, out of place mythology, it holds its own against the funhouse landscapes of James Wan pictures and Mike Flanagan's terror exercises, mostly via stillness and extended periods of silence. The film is essentially a portrait of elongated evil, both historic and modern, outstretched and inescapable, and the tension waits to strike, at many points never releasing, the dread rising in the auditorium. Negativity finds a way in through this, as it's basically one long second act, with the climax being somehow outrageous and much too brief, and the scares suffer as they're rarely allowed to be explosive. Still, in the line-up of American indie Horror, you could do far worse (It Comes At Night), as Hereditary is actually directed competently and finds a singular groove in the mix of trauma and growth. I could go for a prequel.

P.S: This was my friend's first Horror film. I'm both proud and guilty of the decision to bring her.

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