Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Review: Hereditary - Frightening hyped horror that gets let down by a weak final act

To say that I was looking forward to catching Hereditary (as much as anyone can look forward to a horror film!) on the big screen, would be somewhat of an understatement. High critical praise and hype comparing Ari Aster's directorial debut to such classics as Rosemary's Baby, Don't Look Now and The Shining as well as the extremely high calibre of horror films being produced like A Quiet Place and last year's masterpiece Get Out left a heightened sense of anticipation as the curtain rose on opening night at of this film at Tralee Omniplex.
The plot is also one that lends itself well to the horror genre. When Ellen, the head of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their heritage. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the horrific fate they seem to have inherited.
Written and directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary combines all the necessary ingredients to create the perfect horror. An isolated house in the woods, an haunting score and a eery atmosphere permeating through the whole production all add to make this a slightly, unsettling and nervy watch from the outset. Long camera shots uniquely add to the sense of dread that grips the viewer throughout. An astonishing performance from the criminally underrated Toni Collette as well as strong support from the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Alex Wolff are also a huge part of what works about this feature and for the first ninety minutes or so I was gripped with a nervy sense of unease and fear (emotions evoked by all good horror films ) and puzzled and intrigued to the direction that this film was taking.
Alas, the last half hour saw much of the previous good work unravel as the film at times sank to farcical levels and I could feel that excitement and admiration for the movie ebbing away as it staggered to it's inevitable conclusion.
Overall though, there is a lot to be admired about this feature and fans of the genre will not be left disappointed in what is a solid if unspectacular debut from a talented film maker .

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