Oof. I'm glad I didn't go out of my way for the director's cut and opted for the slightly earlier, easier to get to regular cut at the second-run theater. If I'd had to sit through thirty minutes of previews at the AMC that started thirty minutes later with an additional thirty minutes in the movie, I might not have made it to the end. Though I am
sad to have missed, according to a description of the differences, hearing someone shout
“You didn’t even know how to use JSTOR!”
I find both of Aster's movies so far incredibly frustrating, because I enthusiastically agree with this:
Mr Sausage wrote: ↑
Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:34 am
For me, Aster is an excellent writer and director of dramatic action, especially the more difficult forms of trauma and grief.
But the horror elements just do not
work for me.
He pulls unexpectedly strong performances out of his cast, his camerawork is compelling (when he isn't being ostentatious—like that nauseating shot when they first drive into the festival, under the banner...), and I thoroughly enjoy the interpersonal, emotional elements of his scripts when he's setting them up and everything's still sub-supernatural. Then they go completely over the top and/or on the nose, like
did he really need Mark to literally piss on tradition? I follow that this is some of the humor Aster is playing with and "dumb kid defiling the sacred" is a horror trope, but still... Did he need to physically incapacitate the "real villain," sew him into a bear skin, and have someone intone about resisting the Big Bad Evil One?
I felt the same way about the end of Hereditary, though; while the supernatural elements don't nullify the layered emotional situations that he is refreshingly patient with building, in my experience they undercut them with heavy-handedness—though it's weirdly fascinating that the type of complexity he does build uses the patience, discomfort, and lingering static shots of characters just experiencing emotion that planting the horror banner makes audiences expect and more willingly endure.
It feels weird to say that I'd be there on opening day if he made a straight-up (melo)drama, but if his next is another horror, I think I'm likely to avoid what, for me, is an exercise in frustration.