Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

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barryconvex
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:08 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#51 Post by barryconvex » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:54 am

I understand why this movie doesn't work for a lot of people...
I don't. I can't believe anyone could watch this and not come away impressed by the chops of its rookie director and much more than likely, terrified. I know i was. The turning point when you knew this guy (Aster) was playing for keeps?
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That would be the shot of the thirteen year old girl's severed head. Minus a lower jaw, covered in ants and lying in the middle of the highway.
After raising the stakes (and putting enormous pressure on himself to justify using an image like that) i thought Aster showed real mettle the rest of the way while wisely trusting his thoroughbred to carry him over the finish line. And boy does Collette carry him. I've been a fan of her's since the under appreciated Clockwatchers but she's at another level here-a true master. Some minor quibbles can be made about the whole but this is a remarkable first feature with a glorious meltdown of an ending.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#52 Post by tenia » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:38 am

I just had a discussion about the movie on a French forum, and basically nobody who saw it liked it, so I definitely can picture people not being impressed nor scared.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#53 Post by Drucker » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:11 am

Sausage's post makes me want to revisit this film, but after seeing it last night, I had mixed feelings. I actually think for the most part the film works well. The early twist is indeed fantastically executed. The acting, all-around, is good and quite scary. While the final act is more traditionally horror-movie-esque, the imagery it gives us was scary, and a few of those moments are still sticking with me today.

My problem with this film is I kind of just want to eye roll at this point. I'm not a horror buff like my wife is, but in one of the very first scenes, we get a slow pan of an empty house with eerie music. There's nothing eerie about it. But the music is just so creepy. I feel like the film frequently trades on terror it's not really earning. In classic horror movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing, or The Shining, there are either regular or light-hearted moments in the beginning that don't clue you in on exactly what you're coming to expect, and that makes the horror at the end so much more terrifying. Even It Follows, which I liked more than this, starts with some kids just hanging out on a couch before a girl goes out on a date.
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Sausage's post on the last page negates this criticism a bit, but I also just can't quite get over that it ends up with crowning a new devil, or whatever. There's just too little backstory that gives it credence. I also like The VVitch more than this, and felt the payoff in that finale was entirely earned. All the events did point to a girl becoming a demon. Here, not so much. I'm actually not even sure what mental state the male body is in at the end. Is he dead? Inhabited by his sister? Honestly not sure!
Enjoyable, and certainly an above-average horror film, but not as enjoyable as some of the other stuff these folks have been a part of.

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Murdoch
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#54 Post by Murdoch » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:56 pm

I think my tastes regarding horror are somewhat in the minority here since I didn't mind the film's turn toward convention in the final act and much preferred it to something like The Babadook where the metaphor of the film taking center stage resulted in a rather trite conclusion.

As Sausage mentioned, the depth given to the family history provides a much greater weight to the final act. This film felt so painfully tragic and that tragedy only heightened once
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the cult/possession became obvious. Yes, the scene with Peter sitting at lunch watching Joan speak incantations from across the street was hokey and felt pulled from a much lesser film, but once I realized that this was all headed toward a bad end I felt a deep sadness for this family.
This also hits a personal note for me. Mental illness has begun to creep into my family and my grandmother just passed. On top of that, as part of my job, I represent mental hospitals and have seen the generations-long effects that manic illness can have on patients.
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That the characters in this are essentially pawns, doomed long before they were even born, is just the last nail in the coffin of an intricately-designed tale of loss and futility. Much horror deals with futility, but Hereditary's story works because Aster seems much more concerned with focusing on the family's grief and letting the genre details quietly accumulate in the backdrop.
That said, I did take issue with the use of Shapiro. I got the sense that her casting was solely based on her physical appearance and the film's marketing made heavy use of putting her face front and center like a prop to grab viewers. I was hoping this was just an aspect of exploitative marketing, but the film doesn't fare better, giving her an uninspired creepy little girl role. Anne, Peter and Steve all feel like real people that are part of a family. Charlie, on the other hand, is just kind of there to mangle animals and wander silently.
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Were this the cliched creepy kid movie the trailer promised, I'd simply roll my eyes and brush it off. But that's not what this movie is. Charlie has maybe 15 minutes of screentime and is gruesomely killed. There's no reason for her to be this walking stereotype other than as an easy explanation for why she terrorizes Peter and so easily accepts taking him over. But I find it very disheartening that the film would rely on such dull characterization with Charlie when it so painfully focuses on creating compelling, fleshed-out characters for the other three members of the family.
Writing this down made me realize what a mixed bag the film is, but I do think the good tips the scales in its favor. I also think mentioning this alongside A Quiet Place does Hereditary a disservice as the former is essentially a dumb action movie in need of a script rewrite.

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sinemadelisikiz
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:36 pm
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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#55 Post by sinemadelisikiz » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:16 pm

That said, I did take issue with the use of Shapiro. I got the sense that her casting was solely based on her physical appearance and the film's marketing made heavy use of putting her face front and center like a prop to grab viewers. I was hoping this was just an aspect of exploitative marketing, but the film doesn't fare better, giving her an uninspired creepy little girl role. Anne, Peter and Steve all feel like real people that are part of a family. Charlie, on the other hand, is just kind of there to mangle animals and wander silently.
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Were this the cliched creepy kid movie the trailer promised, I'd simply roll my eyes and brush it off. But that's not what this movie is. Charlie has maybe 15 minutes of screentime and is gruesomely killed. There's no reason for her to be this walking stereotype other than as an easy explanation for why she terrorizes Peter and so easily accepts taking him over. But I find it very disheartening that the film would rely on such dull characterization with Charlie when it so painfully focuses on creating compelling, fleshed-out characters for the other three members of the family.
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Charlie was never Charlie though. She was always a vessel for the demon Paimon. I think the creepy child stuff makes more sense in that light, and I'm not sure what more characterization is needed. She doesn't act like a person, because she wasn't one. I doubt that fixes the feeling that Shapiro was exploited though...

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Murdoch
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#56 Post by Murdoch » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:36 pm

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That makes sense. Admittedly the possession backstory went a little over my head.

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