Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

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DarkImbecile
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Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

Hi, everybody. We've all known each other awhile now, so I feel like this is a safe space where I can be vulnerable and honest with everyone here: I'm sitting in my house alone - wife's on vacation and kids are with grandparents - at one in the morning, typing this in my fully lit office because I don't want to even attempt to go to sleep right now. I'm a 35-year-old man who has been watching and loving scary movies my whole life, and I just saw Hereditary in a big empty theater, all alone, and now I'm unnerved enough that I'm considering sleeping on my living room couch because there are more escape routes from my house on this floor. Just in case.

I'm going to spoiler the rest of this after this paragraph, because if - like me - you really enjoy opening yourself up to the unease, anxiety, and dread that good horror can provide, you'll want to go into this movie as unprepared and open to it as possible. I also don't want to oversell it beforehand and contribute to raising unreasonable expectations or encouraging the kind of reflexive resistance to high praise that might suck the life out of the experience, but it would be disingenuous of me not to say: this is the most scared I've ever been watching a movie, and the most horrified I've ever been by a work of fiction. Ari Aster's feature debut is not a flawless movie, and I'm sure - for reasons I'll get to below - individual mileage will vary greatly, but if you enjoy horror as a genre, Hereditary deserves to be reckoned with.
SpoilerShow
For me, watching this movie was like stuffing Don't Look Now, Antichrist, and Rosemary's Baby in a garbage disposal, pouring in some poisonous secret ingredients, and turning it on to let the mess be sprayed across the ceiling, only to be shocked that it comes out in a carefully structured pattern that spells out your dark personal secrets. My family had a long history of mental illness, estrangement, untimely death, and crushing guilt and grief manifesting itself in aberrant behavior, so seeing each of these elements elevated to grotesque extremes in the Leigh family - especially Toni Collette's fantastic, award-worthy performance as Annie, who somewhat resembles my late mother in both appearance and (only some, thankfully) behaviors - was uniquely unsettling even before the more overt horror begins, and truly terrifying as the imagery becomes more and more shocking in the build to a completely delirious climax. I don't know that I've ever seen as capably evoked the feeling of being eternally lost in a maze of your parent's (and their parent's, and so on) making, constrained and damaged by their mistakes and flaws without regard for your own agency and identity; early on, a high school class is discussing a mythical character's fated doom, and one says (while we're being distracted by some dialogue-free interactions between Alex Wolff's Peter, he family's oldest child, and his teenage crush), "I think it's more tragic because they're pawns in this horrible, hopeless machine."

Aster, who wrote and directed the living hell out of this film (pun intended), spends the first 20 or so minutes capably establishing the eerieness and creepy foreshadowing that's standard for these types of movies, laying the foundation for the pattern of steadily escalating scares and raising stakes we've all seen before. Then, more or less out of nowhere, he drops a bomb into the narrative with a genuinely shocking surprise (and a uniquely disturbing image now burned in my brain), a swerve which so derails the expected chain of events that even when moments in the rest of the movie felt more conventional, the lingering astonishment at this key turning point kept me from ever feeling comfortable with where this was going. Where the film ends up isn't entirely original - is, in fact, deeply rooted in and indebted to one of my favorite subgenres - but the extremity of Aster's vision for this story makes Hereditary stand out even among the most excellent of its forebears.

I was extremely impressed by Aster's, cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski's, and the sound design team's ability to direct and distract attention as needed to amplify the horror of a given moment, and his rhythmic grasp of what heightens a jump scare beyond the merely startling to something that actually makes you leave your seat in fright. As I said above, I was alone in a fairly large theater for a late night preview screening, and there are two moments - one of absolutely perfect surround sound design that made me instinctively jerk my head around to see if there was someone else behind me making that fucking noise (it'll be obvious what I mean to those who see it) and one of framing and focus that made me audibly groan - in a good way - once I noticed after a second or two what was unhidden but not specifically highlighted in the framing of a shot late in the film.

Finally, since I've already called out Collette's performance, I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention that while the rest of the core family cast - Wolff and Gabriel Byrne as the father - are very good, Milly Shapiro's Charlie is the creepiest child character I've ever seen on film. I don't know that I've ever had as strong of an impulse to get away from a character as intensely and immediately as I did her 13-year-old girl.
I'll be seeing this again soon and hopefully can add more thoughts about the construction and technical merits of this exceptional horror film, but for now I need to go lay awake in bed for several hours until the sun comes up.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#2 Post by criterionoop » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:06 pm

I watched it yesterday in a not-so-empty theater. Last night, I did not fall asleep until 1:30 AM because I heard every single noise from the upstairs neighbor and there was a small light flashing on the wall.

Needless to say, this movie freaked me out. It is a well-made film that builds suspense and tension toward a 10 minute (or so) unnerving finale.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#3 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:17 pm

Links to Aster's six previous shorts:

"The Strange Thing About the Johnsons" (2011)
"Beau" (2011)
"Munchausen" (2013)
"Basically" (2014)
"The Turtle's Head" (2014)
"C'est La Vie" (2016)

ETA: Most of these are not even close to being SFW, especially the first, fifth, and sixth.
Last edited by DarkImbecile on Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#4 Post by All the Best People » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:19 am

Well.

I think this film shows some directorial chops, and I'll be interested in what Aster does next.

The plot is, after the first hour or so ... just INCREDIBLY SILLY. The first hour is rather strong, very depressing, and then it gets to a place of potential hope, and then one of incredible silliness. Arbitrary rules, good actors doing their best to be believably hysterical, a denouement straight out of ... well, a classic of the genre, which will be obvious if you see it, and I can't mention without telling you where this goes.

One thing that goes is the tones, which just go all over the place. I appreciate the personal resonance it had for DarkImbecile above, and I am in no position to contradict that. But I found this something like 70% a very good movie that really lost its way in the other 30%.

It's difficult to discuss the film's flaws without getting into its plot. I can say, spoiler-tagged:
SpoilerShow
While Rosemary's Baby challenged a character's innocence, and The Exorcist characters' belief, this answers the call by challenging nothing more than the viewer's disbelief.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#5 Post by DarkImbecile » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:35 am

All the Best People wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:19 am
Arbitrary rules...
SpoilerShow
I totally get that the line between 'effectively uncanny' and 'laughably absurd' is a very subjective one, so I wouldn't begrudge anybody for seeing the last half-hour as more the latter than the former. I will, however, push back on this criticism, which I don't understand as an expectation at all in this particular subgenre (and a lot of horror more generally). The whole point of the satanic/mischief god is the subversion and erasure of the normal rules of the world as we understand it, and the horror lies in the extremes to which our expectations of the "rules" of normal life are upended. "The world shouldn't be like this" is exactly what the characters/audience should be feeling.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#6 Post by senseabove » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:16 pm

I'm with All the Best People on this one: once I settled into just watching Collette, I adored the first hour or so, up until
SpoilerShow
Annie's post-dream-within-a-dream seance
. Collette really is fantastic in this, managing the absolutely WILD swings it requires remarkably well (and I kinda want to frame the face she makes
SpoilerShow
when Joanie first brings up the idea of a seance
—it's such a perfect mix of disgust, curiosity, pain, and eye-roll). The dinner scene is a tour de force. She balances her performance on a knife-edge of whether Annie is losing it due to legitimate grief or spiritual attack, and I admire that the script pretty well stayed out of her way and let her rest in that grief long enough for the ambivalence to really be plausible, for at least a few minutes. But then it too quickly goes full horror, which I found less interesting and less successful, mostly because we don't get enough of the husband and son's before and after to actually care, and it drops all pretense of developing the characters so it can just use them as horror movie pawns. Part of that is presumably due to cutting, and the dog is a succinct case in point—I jokingly whispered "poor dog" to my friend when we saw it after the funeral, not that that takes any great insight in a horror movie,
SpoilerShow
and we don't really see it again until it's telegraphing that "oh no can you believe the scary part isn't over!", after which we briefly pan past a brown fluff off in the background during Peter's walk to the treehouse. There was probably more screentime for that dog somewhere, so we would actually care about it, but in the end, they didn't even have time to kill it. It is surprising when the story just throws Annie to the demons and switches targets entirely
, but my reaction was primarily, "Oh... O...kay?...but...I...*sigh* fine."

I'd actually watch the 3-hour "first cut" that Aster described in his Film Comment interview, but this cut just throws away everything I liked about it for some not even particularly good jump scares, a too on-the-nose clucking motif, and a twist that is
SpoilerShow
literally bookmarked and highlighted
.

I am curious about his short films, though, as it sounds like they hew more to what I liked about the first half.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#7 Post by terabin » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:38 pm

Zoller Seitz 4-Star review sums up my love for the film.

When the film goes into full on horror mode I just found it a super enjoyable playing out of Aster’s strong set up in visual motifs, plotting, and characterization. The criticisms above don’t hold any water for me.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#8 Post by Big Ben » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:45 pm

This was a really remarkable experience as many of the the more absurd modern horror conventions (Construction wise) were absent. It was quite strange seeing a horror film in 2018 not have any jump scares. It's more of an evocative mood piece and I thought it worked really well. The small child behind me was in tears as he left the theater (Why his parents brought him is anyone's guess.)
SpoilerShow
The way the film is set up it feels almost as if it could be a mass delusion right up until it isn't. The film feels a lot like Don't Look Now in this sense because all the visions and so forth very much do add up to something and I think that's ultimately why the film works. Right up until the sequences where the entire family sees the glass move in the house it could have very much been one very uncomfortable delusion. It's interesting because this reminds me a lot of the feelings I had trying to sleep at night and being afraid of things in the corner of a room. For example the person standing in the corner is actually just a coat hanging on a rack etc. All the scares are at the corner of your eye and well that really worked for me. No cheap shit at all.
Aster has also very clearly seen some Kubrick films before:
SpoilerShow
The way shots are framed in the film almost always with a single focal point reminds me a lot of The Shining.
I suppose this also worked well for me because of the dysfunctional family dynamic. Things come out and it just gets worse and worse and by the end Toni Colette is delivering the performance of her career. She's fantastic!

Lastly regarding a cetain plot point:
SpoilerShow
Paimon the Goetic being that is summoned into the boy's body at the end was a last minute addition. While someone was apparently always meant to be possessed the inclusion of said being was last minute. Satan was too common and so this version of this being was chosen. I was not bothered by the inclusion at all in fact I was grateful for at least some exposition here. We aren't told much but it was more than enough for me.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#9 Post by DeprongMori » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:30 pm

While "horror" is generally not my genre, I do like a good spooky and atmospheric story, and this one delivered in spades. I was on the edge of my seat (and occasionally several inches above it) throughout the film.

Here's a piece of information I just ran into that made me reevaluate my interpretation of the film in light of the title.
SpoilerShow
I recalled Annie mentioning that her mother had "DID". As I was unfamiliar with the term, I just looked up DID in Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry had "an artist's interpretation" of the disorder. When I saw that picture I stopped cold. It looks exactly like Peter at the end of the film among the cult. I'm wondering whether this picture was the genesis of the film and it's casting, as it struck me that Peter looked like neither of his parents, but looks incredibly like the central figure in the image.

Wiki entry on Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#10 Post by D50 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:44 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:17 pm
Links to Aster's six previous shorts:

"The Strange Thing About the Johnsons" (2011)
"Beau" (2011)
"Munchausen" (2013)
"Basically" (2014)
"The Turtle's Head" (2014)
"C'est La Vie" (2016)

ETA: Most of these are not even close to being SFW, especially the first, fifth, and sixth.
Pawel Pogorzelski was DOP on all of those (Beau says additional photography by).

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#11 Post by Luke M » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:23 am

I think I’ve read every spoiler in this thread and I still have no idea what this movie is about.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#12 Post by All the Best People » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:33 am

Luke M wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:23 am
I think I’ve read every spoiler in this thread and I still have no idea what this movie is about.
Have you seen it? Because the movie itself leaves no question as to what it's about.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#13 Post by Luke M » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:43 am

I haven’t seen it. I read the spoilers to try to get an idea of the story.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#14 Post by D50 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:58 am

The Strange Thing About the Johnsons (2011) has
SpoilerShow
the book into the fire also.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#15 Post by Daneurism » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:04 pm

SpoilerShow
I found it remarkable how Aster was able to go so BIG and very rarely have it spill into the ridiculous. I sat in a packed theatre that only laughed twice(the mother being raised into the treehouse and the mother rapidly banging her head on the attic door). One specific scene that impressed me: When the son is being possessed in class, there's a shot from behind that shows his arm reaching out and his hand crooked. I dreaded the next shot, because it honestly would have looked ridiculous fully in frame from the front. Instead, Aster closes up on his contorted and terrified face in a dutch angle, and it just WORKS.
Anyways, I think this guy is a huge talent. Can't wait to see what he does next.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#16 Post by nitin » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:25 am

I will go against the grain and say that I thought the script was terrible and there was hardly any worthwhile characterisation beyond what was required for plot mechanics. There is more to being an effective horror film than just being a slow burn mood piece. Between this and A Quiet Place, I am clearly out of touch with what passes for an effective horror film in 2018.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#17 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:11 pm

Interview with composer Colin Stetson in The Verge (includes some Soundcloud cuts from the OST):
...The idea of hiding in plain sight was operative for me in establishing what it would be like, these multiple levels of the score. One of them, from the get-go, I wanted to avoid certain ubiquitous tropes that found throughout the genre and throughout film scoring in general. So avoiding the conventional use of strings, avoiding synths, avoiding creepy percussion — all the things I feel like a listener can maybe tune out. They get the job done, but in a way that people have heard so many times, it becomes less effective. So, how to get the same jobs done but with different sound sources that are more obscure aesthetic choices? When you listen to the score, something that sounds like strings most likely is not. It’s probably clarinets or my voice. Something that sounds like synths is probably a contrabass clarinet or some number of them. Something that sounds like a swarm of bats, that probably is strings. Using sound sources to accomplish different ends was the first goal.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#18 Post by Persona » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:24 pm

As a musical artist (primarily known for his unique technique and presentation of saxophone) Stetson has released some incredible records (especially New History Warfare Volumes II and III). I'm excited that he's gotten into film composing... seems like a natural progression for him.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#19 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:22 pm

Oh, go figure it was him, during the whole last scene I was like "haha this sounds like Spindrift, nice".

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#20 Post by Finch » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:51 pm

I just watched The Strange Thing About The Johnsons and while it was very powerful, it was also pretty harrowing. If Hereditary is anything like this, I'm in for two gruelling hours on Friday, and I'm actually looking forward to it!

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#21 Post by zedz » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:06 pm

senseabove wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:16 pm
I'm with All the Best People on this one: once I settled into just watching Collette, I adored the first hour or so, up until
SpoilerShow
Annie's post-dream-within-a-dream seance
. Collette really is fantastic in this, managing the absolutely WILD swings it requires remarkably well (and I kinda want to frame the face she makes
SpoilerShow
when Joanie first brings up the idea of a seance
—it's such a perfect mix of disgust, curiosity, pain, and eye-roll). The dinner scene is a tour de force. She balances her performance on a knife-edge of whether Annie is losing it due to legitimate grief or spiritual attack, and I admire that the script pretty well stayed out of her way and let her rest in that grief long enough for the ambivalence to really be plausible, for at least a few minutes. But then it too quickly goes full horror, which I found less interesting and less successful, mostly because we don't get enough of the husband and son's before and after to actually care, and it drops all pretense of developing the characters so it can just use them as horror movie pawns. Part of that is presumably due to cutting, and the dog is a succinct case in point—I jokingly whispered "poor dog" to my friend when we saw it after the funeral, not that that takes any great insight in a horror movie,
SpoilerShow
and we don't really see it again until it's telegraphing that "oh no can you believe the scary part isn't over!", after which we briefly pan past a brown fluff off in the background during Peter's walk to the treehouse. There was probably more screentime for that dog somewhere, so we would actually care about it, but in the end, they didn't even have time to kill it. It is surprising when the story just throws Annie to the demons and switches targets entirely
, but my reaction was primarily, "Oh... O...kay?...but...I...*sigh* fine."

I'd actually watch the 3-hour "first cut" that Aster described in his Film Comment interview, but this cut just throws away everything I liked about it for some not even particularly good jump scares, a too on-the-nose clucking motif, and a twist that is
SpoilerShow
literally bookmarked and highlighted
.

I am curious about his short films, though, as it sounds like they hew more to what I liked about the first half.
I had a very similar reaction.

Good points:
- Toni Collette delivers a performance far better than the role or film could reasonably have expected.
- Good atmospherics.
- Nice to see a lot of backstory packed in but not spelt out (e.g. the fate of Collette's brother, the visual and casually verbal indications of just how perverse the grandmother's relationship with Charlie was).
- the accident was genuinely horrific, both in its execution and conception.
- Various interesting directorial flourishes

Bad points:
- Maybe too many interesting directorial flourishes. The shock jump cut from night to day / day to night was a little gimmicky when it's almost subliminal, but when they play the same card again, it's just silly.
- Too many arbitrary shock effects. I found It Follows well over-rated, and its horror premise too silly to bear much thought, but it had a clarity and consistency that helped it maintain a mood of dread. The everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach of the last half-hour or so left me less and less invested in the narrative.
- Dumb horror-movie behaviour a-go-go. You get up in a dark house in the middle of the night, hearing scary sounds, seeing horrible things, but you don't bother turning on a light?
SpoilerShow
You come across a carefully composed black magic tableaux in your attic, complete with defaced photo of your beloved son, but you don't try and disrupt whatever terrible thing it's doing by messing it up? More bluntly: you don't get the fuck out of that house and warn your family?
It's not chronic, like the majority of horror movies, but it's still lazy.
- Speaking of lazy, the shot of text explaining the film's plot is not only ridiculously clunky, it also comes early enough to destroy most of the remaining mystery about the film ("Oh, so that's what's going on"). Various other plot elements are also set up and knocked down in a completely perfunctory manner (e.g. Charlie's allergy).

The film had a lot of things going for it, but they were undercut by a bunch of totally ordinary weaknesses. I'm guessing it's the last act that people found so unnerving and scary, but for me that was the weakest and most conventional part of the film, and as such it just didn't work as scary for me.

Oh, and I figured out very early on why Collette's character was having so much trouble sleeping: it was those floodlights they had installed outside every window.

I was also imagining Ann Dowd's response when she read the script: "Oh, how wonderful! I get to play the caring supportive friend for a change, rather than some wacko cult leader."

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#22 Post by McCrutchy » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:34 pm

I've wrestled with this film for days. I tend to find movies about demons and possession very disturbing if they are well-done, and this is clearly a well-directed film by Aster. I also agree with the majority that Toni Collette gives an excellent performance that is probably better than the film deserves.

However, I have a number of issues with the film, too. The first being that in the larger sense, I saw a lot of similarities with
SpoilerShow
The Witch (a movie with some of the same personnel) and also with It Follows. I have yet to see It Comes at Night, but I sort of feel like all these tiny-budgeted independent horror films are doing this thing with slow pans and zooms now, sometimes to no actual effect, in order to make things "uncomfortable", even when they aren't. By the time I got to Hereditary, I was sort of bored by this tactic, and it only really works once the film gets going with horrible imagery. More to the point, though, in terms of The Witch, I didn't really like how both films were about women who "go nuts" and murder their family, albeit sometimes indirectly, in service of a male demon and his group of worshipers. Yes, I realize that the time periods are different, and that The Witch is a much more claustrophobic film because it really only involves the family, but I thought it was similar enough that to have Hereditary end in that way was disappointing.

The other thing I'm wrestling with is how to judge the final act, particularly once Gabriel Byrne is out of the picture. That seems to be the point where the clearly paranormal stuff starts going on (moving a glass doesn't count as that's a parlor trick), with Collette climbing walls and such, which almost makes me feel like the finale could be viewed as Annie having had a psychotic break after her husband was burned alive (either accidentally or, intentionally by her with the paint thinner), and then killing herself and her son and imagining the final scene as she dies. Even though this is more satisfying to me from a realist view, I don't think the film really supports it, despite all those interesting tidbits about her mother being mentally ill with dissasosciative identity disorder, and her father "committing suicide" (which for all we know, could have been the work of Annie's mother...he certainly shouldn't have been crazy in hereditary terms), and so on. The reason that I struggle to believe that "it all really happened" is because I have a hard time believing that Annie wouldn't have been groomed to be a servant of Paimon from childhood. The photos Annie found of her mother and Joanie also show them having a grand old time worshiping this demon, and so it seems odd that she would shelter her daughter from Paimon, but then be so covetous of each of her grandchildren in service of Paimon, On the other hand, if we assume that everything in Annie's life actually did happen, then it's possible she was groomed for Paimon, and that "Annie" is just a personality that Collette's character created to attempt to lead a "normal" life, an illusion that is shattered when her family begins to die.

In fact, I think I still really like the idea that most of what happened was down to Annie and her biological line being seriously mentally ill. That her mother was seriously disturbed and involved with a cult (and possibly killed her husband, Annie's father), that her brother also died (I forget how) because of it, and that Annie was also ill and had passed mental illness on to her children, as well, even though they were only starting to show signs of it (e.g. Charlie decapitating the bird, her brother having delusions and harming himself). Therefore, Annie has probably always been psychotic, and when Annie's mother dies, it cracks her fragile façade of normalcy, something only deepened by her children's increasingly disturbed behavior and Annie having "joined" the cult her mother belonged to, Her daughter Charlie's accidental death only makes things worse, and eventually, Annie goes completely crazy and murders her husband and son before killing herself. But again, the ending doesn't really support that, not least because Annie supposedly decapitates herself before her son dies (assuming the fall actually killed him, of course), and then of course, the film continues with that kind of cheesy ending.

The last shot also bugged me, where the group worshiping Paimon turns into one of Annie's models. Are we supposed to take this as the whole narrative never having happened? Or that Annie really is crazy and imagined the entire narrative? Or did it all indeed really happen, and for some reason, Annie (perhaps working via Paimon) made a model of that final moment before it occurred? To me, there are too many possibilities, here, and I would have liked a bit more clarity before the film ended. I get that Paimon might have certain powers, but really, the way the story was built in the first two acts, I think the whole demon bit brings the picture down a notch if it's supposed to be a "real" demon, so I'm trying to figure out a way to explain things rationally, or at least mostly rationally,
Anyway, this is a film I will definitely have to watch again on Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray, if I can take it. Like many here, I sleep alone, and have been sleeping with the lights on since my showing.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#23 Post by nitin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:21 am

That reading of the film in the spoiler is way too much of a stretch IMHO given how the film plays out. It has genuine scripting shortcomings.

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Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#24 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:19 am

nitin wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:21 am
That reading of the film in the spoiler is way too much of a stretch IMHO given how the film plays out. It has genuine scripting shortcomings.
Is it, though? Other than what happens after
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Byrne dies, what else could not be explained by Annie (and her mother and children) having some sort of hereditary psychosis or other mental illness that has been passed down through their bloodline? Up until that point, I actually figured that the film would go in this direction, until it took it's turn towards the demon being legitimate.

nitin
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am

Re: Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)

#25 Post by nitin » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:38 am

I accept that is somewhat possible to argue from a purely logical standpoint that
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Annie and both her children suffer from the same hereditary mental illness such that none of what is shown is actually happening
but I still find it a stretch to give the film and script that sort of benefit given (a) the specific ways in which things and visions appear to each of those characters and (b) the specific experiences each of those characters have from their own perspective.

Also, as you say, the ending seems to put the matter beyond doubt anyway.

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