Jul 7, 2019
Welcome back for another week of reviews. I’m as rested as I’m going to get after our recent Big Heads Media Takeover here at One Movie Punch. And the first thing I did after a nap was run to the theaters to catch up on all the films I missed while in captivity. This week, we’ll have three Certified Fresh films in theaters right now, one review from One Movie Spouse. I’ll be reviewing two films I watched while in the bunker, and our good friend Andrew Campbell will be back with another Fantastic Fest feature.
I also want to give a shout-out to Casey Dana, former neighbor
on the island next to us, and current friend of the show and the
family. She sent along a movie theatre gift card, which I guess
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Which brings us to today’s classic review. Writer/director Ari Aster is back in theaters last week with “Midsommar”, which we’ll be covering later this week. It was just about a year ago that One Movie Spouse and I went to see “Hereditary”, which was an incredible and disturbing experience. It felt fitting to run the review again this week. The film current sits at an 89% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an incredible 87 Must See at Metacritic. You can catch the film streaming on Amazon Prime and Hoopla.
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Here we go!
Today’s movie is “Hereditary” (2018), the dramatic horror film written and directed by Ari Aster, his first feature-length film. The film follows Annie (Toni Collette) who is struggling emotionally with the recent loss of her mother, along with her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), older son Peter (Alex Wolff), and younger daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). However, strange and tragic events begin to happen, setting the family against one another, fighting something they can’t define.
I am so late to the game on this film, as I was with “A Quiet Place” (Episode #127). I was a bit sad when it lost to “Hotel Artemis” (Episode #162), but I’m glad it finally prevailed, especially with the recent mini-backlash from the critics. It tempered my expectations going in, but I’m glad I didn’t pay too much attention, because WOW! So many things to talk about, so let’s dive in.
This film is well-crafted, with an incredible attention to detail. Annie’s miniatures were amazing, obviously painstakingly hand-crafted and works of art within themselves. Details matter a lot in this film, with each set containing little hidden messages, clues, and misdirection, helping to unfold the story in such a way as to keep the viewer guessing. Is it supernatural or hallucinatory or bad luck or something even more sinister? We really don’t know until the final act, when most is revealed. It never feels too long, and maintains the right amount of mystery and tension the entire way.
Toni Collette is amazing as Annie, really nailing her character’s complicated background and relationships, especially as tragedies new and old begin to pile up. The emotion really comes through. Milly Shapiro’s performance as Charlie is also great, although way more on the creepy side. I wasn’t prepared for her character’s fate or lasting impact in the story. She puts on an impressive performance for her first major role.
“Hereditary” (2018) is intense and haunting, the way horror films should be. Ari Aster delivers an incredible debut feature-length film, built on a smart script, detailed sets, awesome art direction, and impressive cast performances. Horror fans and folks who enjoy well-crafted films willing to endure a little fright should definitely check out this film.