Scary dollhouse? Check. A creepy child? Check. Unexplained reflections in a window? Check. Lots of screaming? Check.
Judging by critics’ reactions, horror film Hereditary sounds like the scariest movie to hit theatres in years. The scary flick, distributed by A24 Films, received glowing reviews across the board after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday.
Hereditary focuses on the Graham family (mom Annie is Golden Globe-winning actor Toni Collette), which is starting to crumble following the death of a mysterious, reclusive grandmother. Strange things start to happen, and the family’s otherwise peaceful existence is ripped apart.
Here are some of the critical reactions to the movie.
From The A.V. Club:
“This isn’t a scary movie. It’s pure emotional terrorism, gripping you with real horror, the unspeakable kind, and then imbuing the supernatural stuff with those feelings. It didn’t play me like a fiddle. It slammed on my insides like a grand piano.”
“It’s a freaky trance-out of a supernatural thriller, all about a family that’s being torn apart by ghosts, and it’s full of things that would look right at home in the megaplex horror-film-of-the-week (except, in this case, for how artfully done they are). It has séances with mysterious moving objects. It has decapitated bodies and crawling ants (as opposed to, you know, buzzing flies). And it has visitations by figures from the afterlife, who stand stock still and nude and grinning in a way that’s more insidious than anything in the Insidious films. (At the sight of the first ghost, I literally felt a creeping chill pass through me.)”
From The Hollywood Reporter:
“Hereditary takes the core haunting element of a spirit with a malevolent agenda and runs with it in a seemingly endless series of unexpected directions over two breathless hours of escalating terror that never slackens for a minute.”
From Slash Film:
“The film’s deliberate pacing, commitment to atmosphere over cheap scares, and stellar cast, led by the remarkable Collette, make this work an early contender for one of the best horror films of the year. There’s an artistry and level of craftsmanship that is too often lacking in movies designed to scare or otherwise creep us out, and the effort is both effective as hell and greatly appreciated. Arter is a filmmaker less interested in spectacle and more intent on a type of world building that places his audience at the center of this fresh hell — both the last place we want to be, as well as exactly where we want to be for this ride.”
See ‘Hereditary’ — if you dare — in theatres on June 8.
(You can watch the trailer, above.)