ANNIE is a miniature-model artist who we first meet when she gives a eulogy at the funeral of her secretive but overbearing mother Ellen.
After Ellen’s grave is desecrated, strange things begin happening to Annie’s family, also including her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), son Peter (Alex Wolff) and daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro).
AP:Associated Press Hereditary makes you sweat and watch through wincing eyes with a genuinely upsetting event 20 minutes in
A horrible event steers Annie (Toni Collette) and the family towards solace in the strangest ways possible.
It, quite obviously, does not go well at all.
It’s about time we had an original horror movie.
The last ones I can think of were The Sixth Sense — which shares an actress with this, in Toni Collette — and 2015’s The Witch.
Strange this start happening in miniature model artist Annie’s family, including her daughter Charlie played by Milly Shapiro
I found this the most genuinely upsetting film that I’ve seen in a long time.
I wanted to leave but didn’t want to miss a second.
It contains elements of The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist — and tramples them together and forms a mutant hybrid that will stay with you for a very, very long time.
It’s not that there are wildly original things we aren’t used to seeing.
Mysterious events take a sinister turn after the death of Ellen, the overbearing mother of artist Annie, played by Toni Collette
The staple elements of horror are well trodden — possession, poltergeists.
Instead, it’s that they are presented in a way that is so intense and discomforting it makes you sweat and watch through wincing eyes.
There is an event, about 20 minutes into the film, as unexpected and shocking as I can remember.
AP:Associated Press Annie, played by Toni Collette shares her feelings with helpful Joan aka Ann Dowd from her bereavement support group
The gore and gut-punch knocks you for six and it’s at this moment you know this film is not f***ing around.
From the pile of clothes in the corner of the room, to the evil peripheral visions that gnaw away at you, reminding you that all is not well somewhere, even down to the way the family use cutlery differently, the whole experience is grim and dizzying in the best possible way.
The score deserves mention, too.
AP:Associated Press Elements of The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist are trampled together masterfully in Hereditary starring Milly Shapiro and Toni Collette
It’s relentless and macabre.
In the same way Hans Zimmer’s Dunkirk score didn’t let you off the hook for a second, Colin Stetson’s for Hereditary does the same job but with the difference being there’s something far more frightening waiting than Tom Hardy in a spitfire.
My only tiny gripe is casting Ann Dowd as helpful Joan from the bereavement support group Annie attends.
Fans of The Leftovers or The Handmaid’s Tale will know and love her, but already know she’s rarely cast as someone trustworthy.
Those roles are what she does so well.
But, by golly, Toni Colette is astonishingly good.