Hereditary Review

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Release: 2018-06-07Genre: HorrorDuration: 128 minsBudget: $ 10,000,000

When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.


Release: 2018-06-07Genre: HorrorDuration: 128 minsBudget: $ 10,000,000

When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

The Iconic and Everlasting Impact of Hereditary

When Ari Aster’s Hereditary hit theaters, it received a mixed response from both critics and audiences. Some hailed it as the most terrifying film in years, while others were disappointed that it didn’t align with the marketing. However, over time, this unsettling psychological thriller has gained a cult following and continued to spark discussions. So, what is it about Hereditary that has captivated audiences and made it an enduring classic? Let’s explore the reasons that make this film truly petrifying.

Unconventional Terror

Hereditary may not follow the traditional ways of horror, but that doesn’t diminish its scare factor. Aster’s masterful storytelling taps into deep-rooted fears lurking in our subconscious. While ghosts, cults, and other eerie elements populate the surface, it’s the underlying themes that truly unsettle the audience. Let’s draw a parallel to another horror film that left a lasting impression – The Exorcist. The reason it terrified people wasn’t just the demonic possession but the realization that such unimaginable horror could happen to anyone. By centering the story around a child, the film struck a nerve, proving that even the most innocent can fall victim to unspeakable darkness. Its impact transcended the horror genre and became a cinematic classic.

A Personal Touch

Aster has incorporated aspects of his own life into Hereditary, adding a layer of authenticity to the narrative. By choosing a middle-aged woman, Annie, as the protagonist, the film becomes all the more relatable and unsettling for the viewers. In society, the transition to adulthood is often romanticized, but Hereditary challenges this notion. Annie’s life, though seemingly ordinary, takes a dark turn after her mother’s death. The film highlights the unspeakable horrors of abuse and the fear of perpetuating that same cycle of trauma. It’s a concept that resonates with anyone who has experienced parental abuse, making the film deeply personal and emotionally harrowing.

A Slow Burn Culminating in Terror

Hereditary unfolds at a deliberate pace, building tension and gradually intensifying until it reaches a climactic finale. This narrative structure mirrors the characters’ mental states and underscores their descent into horror. The supernatural elements intertwine seamlessly with the story, enhancing its believability. It’s not the mere presence of ghosts and demons that sends chills down your spine; it’s what they symbolize. Each haunting image and eerie sound contributes to the film’s overall impact, making it an unnerving experience that lingers in the audience’s psyche.

Technical Brilliance and Standout Performances

Hereditary boasts not only a thought-provoking story but also impressive technical aspects that elevate it to classic status. Aster expertly balances distressing imagery and a hauntingly beautiful score, creating an immersive atmosphere. However, it is the performances that truly shine in this film. Toni Collette delivers an emotionally raw portrayal of a grieving and distraught woman, solidifying her status as one of the greats in horror cinema. Her intensity and energy rival that of esteemed horror legends like Isabelle Adjani and Jack Nicholson. Collette’s unforgettable performance, particularly the infamous dinner table scene, has become a staple in horror discussions, cementing her place in the pantheon of horror icons.

An Enduring Legacy

Hereditary remains a film that will be remembered for years to come. Its unconventional approach to terror, combined with technical excellence and exceptional performances, sets it apart from other horror movies. The cinematic experience unravels profound themes of familial influence, the fear of perpetuating abuse, and the vulnerability of innocence. Ari Aster’s directorial debut has left an indelible mark on the horror genre and established him as a promising talent to watch.


Hereditary is a truly petrifying film that taps into primal fears and explores haunting themes. Its impact goes beyond traditional horror and continues to resonate with audiences. From its unconventional approach to terror to its technical brilliance and standout performances, every aspect contributes to its enduring legacy. Ari Aster has crafted a masterpiece that will be remembered alongside the greats in horror cinema.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Hereditary based on a true story?

No, Hereditary is not based on a true story. However, the film incorporates elements of personal experiences from the director, Ari Aster, to add authenticity to the narrative.

2. Why is Hereditary considered a cult classic?

Hereditary has garnered a passionate fanbase over the years, with its unconventional storytelling and profound exploration of dark themes. The film’s lasting impact and continued discussion among viewers have earned it the status of a cult classic.

3. How does Hereditary differ from traditional horror films?

Hereditary stands apart from traditional horror films by focusing on psychological terror and exploring deeply rooted fears and traumas. It delves into themes of family dynamics, familial influence, and the intergenerational cycle of abuse, offering a unique and unsettling experience.

4. What makes Toni Collette’s performance in Hereditary so memorable?

Toni Collette delivers a remarkable performance in Hereditary, portraying a grieving and troubled character with exceptional emotional depth. Her portrayal of Annie, the film’s protagonist, has been widely acclaimed and is often cited as one of the most memorable performances in recent horror cinema.

5. How does Hereditary compare to other horror classics like The Exorcist?

While Hereditary and The Exorcist differ in story and execution, both films tap into deep-seated fears and explore themes that resonate with audiences. They both challenge conventional horror tropes and leave a lasting impact on viewers, solidifying their status as enduring classics.