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Kubrick would've used Toni Collete
Scariest movie experience I’ve had in years. A lot of shots are stuck in my head haunting me as I write this.
Hereditary is, on one level, about the things we fear we may pass on to our children, and the film amply plays into that, whether it's presenting allergies, birth defects, or mental illness. What is actually going on in this horror film would be getting into spoilers, especially considering that it changes its skin every so often. Part of the enjoyment is having one's expectations confounded. What I will say is that it's a very well made film, and an intelligent one. It manages jump scares not through dissonant chords and smash cuts, but with mood and the innocuous things the audience connects to the events. It lets your eye roam and find the scare. Watch the topics covered in the teenager's classroom, because they're essentially the titles of each act. The film's recursive qualities, mostly achieved through the dioramas Toni Collette's brilliantly-portrayed character makes (which also ties into a theme of manipulation/puppetry), enhance the creep factor and bring an existential dread to the proceedings. Is our course predetermined by our genes/family history? It's a sound basis for psychological horror when you think about. A second viewing would probably yield more interesting elements laid in, including a completely different interpretation of literal events that may well hold up to scrutiny. The actual ending left me a little cold, I'll admit, but movies like this often do. I like them (The VVitch and The Kill List are the examples that come to mind), but intellectually.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #81 in A.V. Club's The Best Movies of the 2010s
This movie ranks #198 in TSZDT's The 1,000 Greatest Horror Films
This movie ranks #222 in Reddit Top 250
This movie ranks #397 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #994 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die