- Hereditary review by LP
No amount of cliche plot devices and incessant spooky music can mask what is a turgid run of the mill horror.
I found toni collettes scenery chewing performance grating,and the script poor at best. The silly house/ mental state visual metaphor
Obvious and done better elsewhere.overhyped as 90% of films are today.Rest in peace Nic roeg.
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Slow but spooky horror movie, spoilt by the final act
- Hereditary review by PV
I first tried watching this when tired - but had to give up as it's so slow and has details in it that you'll only see if you concentrate.
I watched it again when I was fresher and really enjoyed it - if that's the right word. It has genuinely spooky moments, all about ghosts and spirits and seances.
However, the final half hour of the movie - the third act - badly lets it down. The story becomes laughable then really, which is a shame, considering the time taken to build up the tension and suspense. Maybe the slowness means it is NOT a movie for teenagers with the attention span of a puppy to watch though...
Maybe those of a religious bent will find it scary - I know people like that who were terrified of the Exorcist because they actually believe in God and demons and hell. Well I don't and I found that movie laughable too.
BUT it's not TOO bad. I liked some scenes and the soundtrack too.
But I must admit I did burst out laughing at the end...
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
More tiresome than terrifying
- Hereditary review by RJ
It has been noted that this film has some similarities to Robert Egger's 2015 film The Witch - obviously in terms of its theme of witchcraft, but also because they are both films where there was a sharp divide between critical opinion and audience opinion. Both films have been acclaimed by critics but largely unloved by audiences. In the case of The Witch, I was on the side of the critics - I really enjoyed it when I saw it at the cinema three years ago (although I would be interested to have a second look at it now to see if I still felt the same). In the case of Hereditary, I have to side with the general audience reaction, which is illustrated by the (mostly) negative reviews previously written on this site.
One difference between the two films which seems almost too prosaic to mention, but which I do think is significant, is the running times. The Witch was a fairly lean 93 minutes, whilst Hereditary clocks in at a patience-testing 127 minutes. I'm actually a fan of slow cinema, but in the horror genre there is only so much I can take of shadowy apparitions, eerie music and unsettling noises before suspense turns into boredom. Another difference (allowing for errors of memory as it's a while since I saw The Witch) is that although both films have surprisingly literal 'reveals' at the end, Hereditary lingers much longer on its revelation than The Witch did, which arguably stretches credulity past breaking point.
I read lots of audience reviews of films (on here, on Amazon etc - it's a minor obsession of mine) and one of the most common types of review I come across is the kind where the writer gets really angry because they have not enjoyed a film which was critically acclaimed. I don't want this to be one of those reviews, and yet the cynic in me can't help feeling that Hereditary is essentially a bog-standard witchcraft/possession horror film of the kind found perennially inhabiting the multiplexes, which has just been slowed down to a glacial pace and had most of the more obvious jump scares removed in order to be rebadged as an 'art-horror'.
Often when horror films are critically acclaimed the reviews tend to focus on the horror being a metaphor for something else (see Raw, Under the Shadow, The Babadook etc etc). Horror above all genres lends itself very easily to metaphorical interpretations but it seems to me like this critical approach is mainly used to try and add an intellectual dimension to films, as though being 'just' a horror is somehow not enough. This approach can easily be applied to Hereditary (e.g. mental illness, familial and intergenerational tension) but I am not convinced identifying these aspects makes the film any better or any worse.
In summary, this felt like a journey I have been on too many times before in the horror genre - two hours of smoke and mirrors before a disappointing reveal and the sense of a largely wasted evening.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.