Hereditary: A new classic of horror cinema


Special to The Prospector

Sergio Muñoz, Photographer


One of the most anticipated horror films of the year has come and it is ready to accelerate your heart to the highest level. Hereditary is directed by Ari Aster, and also Aster’s feature debut. The film is produced by A24, PalmStar Media and Windy Hill Pictures. It is good to have in mind that A24 is the creator of some of the best independent films, such as Academy Award nominees “Room” and “Lady Bird,” and Academy Award winner “Moonlight.” Hereditary also premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight Session. Therefore, we can say Hereditary is a film with a lot of expectations for people who are really interested in indie films.


Hereditary is the story of Annie and her family after the death of Annie’s mother, which is the start point for strange and uncommon events. Annie has to deal with her mother’s death and solve what is going on in their lives.


As we know, horror is a genre that has been struggling to bring good movies to the theaters, maybe because of the lack of commitment and creativity from the filmmakers who use the horror genre as a money machine most of the time. Hereditary is the exception, and it is one of those movies that we know it will turn into a classic of horror cinema. There are a lot of good points to highlight from Hereditary, but I will try to be concise in order to avoid any fact that might spoil the film.


The first great element I can think of is the actors. Every actor in the film does a really great job trying to convey sadness, horror, and even weird sensations through their actions. Toni Collette (Annie) and Alex Wolff (Peter) are the stars of the show; they are who take the audience to the depth of the film. For the most part of the film, the audience’s attention is focused on Collette and Wolff’s scenes, and they make an excellent job trying to convey what the story wants us to feel. However, this applause should be also for Ari Aster, who also is the writer of the film.


One of the strongest points of the film is the story and the characters. Ari Aster made an incredible job shaping every character because every one of them has their own personal problems that they have to deal with. Ari Aster makes enough time to develop every character. However, the only character I had a small problem with was Steve, Collette’s husband, played by Gabriel Byrne. During the film, we can see a strong connection between Annie and her children, Peter and Charlie. In the other hand, during the first act of the film, we cannot see any connection between Steve and neither the children nor his wife. I felt it like if he was their stepfather. Surprisedly, this changes by the middle of the film, when we start noticing a great connection with Wolff’s character.


One of the elements that surprised me the most was the jump scares. There are no jump scares at all! Jump scares is an element horror filmmakers use in order to, well, scare the audience. I have always thought the using of jump scares is like to cheat the audience, because jump scares cause only a reaction in the people, it is not a real scare. However, Hereditary will make you feel nervous during the entire film because of the story and how every event in the film affects every character’s life.


Hereditary is an intelligent film that Ari Aster knows how to manage. With some slow scenes during the first act that are compensated with the second and the [incredible] third act. Hereditary is a film that knows how to use horror but also the mystery. Hereditary will make you feel thrilled in every scene, until the incredible end that hides all the secrets behind the story.