Why ‘Hereditary’ is the scariest modern horror film
Doug Abell | Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Are you looking for an atypical horror movie?
“Hereditary” encompasses a watching experience that keeps viewers on the edge of their seat waiting for a jump scare that will never come. Directed by Ari Aster, “Hereditary,” depicts the story of the Graham family unraveling spine chilling secrets about the ancestry of their family.
But what makes Hereditary the scariest horror movie of the twenty-first century?
It simply comes down to the style of directing performed by Ari Aster. The style the film is directed in will leave any viewer with shivers down their spine. My first experience watching the film left me hiding my eyes in anticipation of a jump scare that could happen at any point. But the key to this style of directing is that Aster does not let you get the release of a jump scare. The frightening aspect of the movie continues from scene to scene and will never give you the relief of knowing the jump scare is over and you can relax for a while. While this is the key aspect behind the true horror of “Hereditary” the twists and turns of the film adds another dimension to the horror.
In a non-horror genre, there are rarely twists that completely change the plot of the movie. Given that, these twists will not happen in the dead middle of the movie. Hereditary differs from this immensely. In the middle of the movie Aster delivers a twist that completely shifts the flow of the movie and what you as a viewer are expecting to happen. Not only does this twist leave you with your mouth open, but it is also a gory twist that will leave you stunned for the entirety of the movie. However, after watching the movie several times, the twists that Aster delivers become more and more evident. Every single detail of the movie is directed to perfection to where the ending is apparent from start to finish, but as a first-time viewer it is impossible to pick up on.
Not only does Aster deserve acclaim for this film, but the actors do as well. The performances of Alex Wolff as Peter, Millie Shapiro as Charlie and Toni Collette as Annie are done to an overwhelming amount of perfection. All of them play exactly the role they need to play in the film that adds a realistic feel to that the movie needs to stand out in the vast genre of horror.
The fear and intense despair that Toni Collette experiences in the film makes anyone sympathize with her as a mother in the film. I, personally, would not be able to imagine enduring what she goes through as a mother in the film, but she encompasses this outstandingly. Her performance will leave viewers thinking about what it must be like to be a mother in the same position she is in throughout the course of the film. Millie Shapiro plays the perfect misunderstood child going through trauma and her acting alone gives “Hereditary” the level of fright that it needs. Additionally, Alex Wolff suffers intense trauma and fear as a character, and he encompasses this perfectly making an audience scared for him.
Overall, the composition between the style of directing that Ari Aster adds to the film, the stunning twists that arrive throughout the film and the spot on acting performances of the lead roles truly makes “Hereditary” the scariest, most spine chilling modern horror film in existence.
You can contact Doug at [email protected]
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.