Written and directed by Ari Aster and starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolf, Milly Shapiro and Gabriel Byrne, I can’t even really tell you what Hereditary was supposed to be about. What I can tell you is, whatever this movie was attempting missed the mark. Here’s how it is described on IMDB (2018): “When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.” So we’ll just go with this description, I guess.
I kid when I say I don’t know what it was about. I fully understood what happened in this movie, but the execution of that idea is weak and long-winded. With that being said, let’s get into it, shall we?
The horror here is expertly executed and is by far the strongest element of the film. The special effects, camera work, set design, make up, etc. are glorious for those who know good gore. The problem is that there is zero suspense in too many of the scenes in between the horrific moments. The pacing is off and even stagnant at times. Overall, I wasn’t afraid, creeped out or anxious. I was, however, on the edge of my seat a couple of times (and had one helluva jump where I yelped and cussed out loud! You know, that good kind of jump that shocks and leaves you with your mouth hanging open in disbelief! Yeah, it was one of those.) but that feeling was extremely inconsistent and when that feeling wasn’t present, Hereditary felt like some sort of “slice of life” film.
The drama is kind of interesting, until it isn’t, because it takes so very painfully and tediously long to get to the point and the story is soooo long winded. I turned my phone back on to check the time and see how much more of this I had to endure. I was one hour in and I debated whether or not to walk out. I figured I was already invested so I may as well get through it. This is not how one should feel whilst watching a movie.
The mystery is so convoluted it plays like a mystery inside of a riddle inside of who gives a hoot anymore because the story of the mystery is not very well told to begin with. Sure, I enjoy a film that doesn’t hold me by my hand and spell every little thing out for me, with that big “AHA! moment near the end; but along with all of that, there has to be enough explanation of the facts to get the audience to the AHA! (I don’t know how many times I have to write that before anyone pays attention.) Important things that should have been expounded upon were glossed over and unnecessary events could have been cut out. In this way, Hereditary reminded me of Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! (here’s my review), but a “lite,” less good, less well made, mess of a movie, version. And at least while watching Mother, even though it was crazy and self-indulgent, I was invested throughout most of it and wanted to see what crazy thing would happen next.
Along with those long, exhaustive spans of suspense-free time that wore me out, there were times when the audience just had to laugh (at times quite inappropriately), because any type of reaction was better than the “nothing” we were feeling. (I will speak for the audience here. The theater was filled to capacity. Don’t you hate that? But the boredom was palpable.) We also laughed quite a bit because some of the dialogue was so strangely written in places. There were several “Who says that!?” moments.
Hereditary earned a sad 4.5 out of 10 bloops. The storytelling is convoluted, too long, too boring at times, and some scenes are just poorly written. The horror is splendid, particularly for a movie that is lacking in suspense. It pains me to pan a movie because I understand the creativity and work that goes in to making one and people were so looking forward to this one, but Toni Collette’s and Ann Dowd’s talents were wasted here.
Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1
1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
What I’m seeing/reviewing next…
I’m so far behind I don’t know where to begin! I haven’t been to the movies in a full month due to circumstances beyond my control, and I, along with this blog, have been slowly dying!!! I haven’t even seen Deadpool! So, bear with me while I catch up. In the meantime, I still have to see what is upcoming and keep up there as well. Such is blog life…
Ocean’s Eight – Which, by the way, if I didn’t have this blog I would have zero interest in seeing and I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised. While I cared for each of the stars of the original Ocean’s Eleven (1960), I didn’t care for Oceans 11 because it was simply a chance for a bunch of rich guys who happened to be friends to get together and goof off on screen. It is for the same reason I did not care for the 2001 remake and have never watched any of its subsequent installments.
Plus I have a few older reviews on ice I’ll be putting out whether the movie is still in the theater or not. It’s gotta come out on blue ray/dvd and start streaming sometime, so I might be able to help you save a couple of hours of your life doing something more constructive than watching a bad movie. You’re welcome..
Avengers: Infinity War
You Were Never Really Here
A Quiet Place
Ready Player One
A Wrinkle in Time
The Florida Project
Den of Thieves
All the Money in the World
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
The Big Sick
All Eyez on Me
It Comes at Night
The Wedding Plan
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Kong: Skull Island
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
I Am Not Your Negro