- Don Ford
Don Reviews "Hereditary"
The afterlife has been debated since the beginning of recorded time, with some believing that it does not exist to the different religions that believe so many different things fueled by people who have had near death experiences. Then there is the whole other question of the existence of ghosts.
“Hereditary” is the new film directed by Ari Aster (Munchausen, The Strange Thing about the Johnsons). Starring Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, End of Days), Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine), Alex Wolfe (Patriots Day, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Milly Shapiro (Broadway Kids Against Bullying: I have a Voice), and Ann Dowd (The Manchurian Candidate, Garden State), it is the story of Anne Graham (Collette), her husband Steve (Byrne), and their two kids Peter (Wolff) and Charlie (Shapiro). After the passing of Anne’s estranged mother, she attends a group for people dealing with the loss of loved ones where she meets Joan (Dowd). After another family tragedy, the tension between Anne and Peter gets worse compounded by Anne’s past mental issues resulting in Anne meeting up with Joan, who talks her into performing a séance, and then Pandora’s box gets opened.
Ok, I am just going to say it: I hated this film! From the acting that is just “there” for great actors to a passable visual presentation, I was not impressed at all by “Hereditary”. It is even way too long, with the first hour of the film alone needing about half of its footage taken out which caused the last thirty minutes to seem rushed. Even the “cheap scares” could not make up for how bad this thing gets to the point of confusing in the third act, where I was literally thinking “can someone try to explain what is going on here”? This is supposed to be a horror film, but there were many times during the screening where the audience (including myself) actually laughed because it was so bad. The film tried to promote supernatural powers in a real world, but it was so bad, I thought it was more like a Penn & Teller (known for their violent and comical magic) show with a guest appearance by Spider-Man. There is even a scene where a bunch of old and overweight people who are standing inside and outside the house who are fully naked (and yes, there is a bunch of un-needed and very visually horrible full frontal nudity) to make the very unnecessarily “cult” storyline that was not needed. I mean, come on: if you saw a bunch of buck naked people standing outside your neighbor’s house at night, wouldn’t you call 9-1-1?? Even my great wife said that this film turned out to be more of a comedy than horror. Don’t get me wrong, I love Byrne as an actor, and I love myself a good horror film or a film like the “Saw” series, but this film is a true flop that did not work and should not have been made. I definitely cannot recommend this film or watch it again, and in fact, I make this promise: just like the last “Maze Runner” film, “Hereditary” WILL make my Top Ten Worst Films of the Year list.