Hereditary

Hereditary ★★★

Both 40 minutes over the runtime of a tight supernatural trip and an hour short of delivering upon a truly meaningful family saga. Cranks up an eery mood to start that spells doom immediately, then settles into a (often surprisingly funny) psychological domestic drama for the better part of an hour as a curveball that ultimately exists just to try to make you forget the whole game has been given away already. This approach has its pros (you may truly let your guard down before the finale cranks the horror up to 11) but the cons come after the credits roll, when trying to piece together if anything this thematically malnourished film wanted to get across actually adds up. HEREDITARY scares up some violent imagery, but to what end? If the stylistic choices feel picked out of a hat, well, it's because the writer openly admits that was the case - not that such an extracurricular would tell you anything HEREDITARY doesn't ultimately spell out. Toni Collete overcomes being squandered here through sheer talent and brute force, but nevertheless, her performance deserved a film that either needed a more ambiguous ending or a less coy second act. She uplifts a movie that is otherwise aimed squarely in Gabriel Byrne's wheelhouse, a man delivering a truly delightful Who Gives A Shit performance for a plot that just might deserve it after all.

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