Hereditary might be the scariest horror film in years

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Hailed by critics as the scariest horror film in some time, ominous chiller Hereditary lands in cinemas here next week.

Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and The Handmaid's Tale's Ann Dowd, it revolves around a family who experience increasingly terrifying and inexplicable events following the death of their grandmother.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The movie currently has a 93% critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, being variously described as "spine-tingling", "unsettling" and "a chilling exploration of mourning and madness". Not to mention a "modern-day Exorcist".

Viewer reactions in the US, where Hereditary has just been released, seem to back up the critical consensus.

Fave audience reactions to #hereditary:-man quietly whispering ''-girl literally screaming -me, doing a full body giant leap out of my seat at one point

— k.k. bittenbinder (@personalmaps) June 8, 2018

#HEREDITARY made The Conjuring look like a Saturday morning cartoon. I need a priest.

— Kurt Kurman (@realKurtKurman) June 8, 2018

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So... #Hereditary was scary as hell and I'm probably never going to speak to my family again just to be safe.

— ðŸ³'🌈 We're deer! We're queer! ðŸ³'🌈 (@felixthedurr) June 8, 2018

#Hereditary I have no idea what to say... I feel dirty. This is easily the most disturbing, the most unsettling, the most.... just if you're a horror fan see this. If you get scared easily. Be prepared.... I loved it btw I just won't be sleeping

— Zach Popeâ„¢ï¸ (@popetheking) June 1, 2018

From the people who brought you The Witch

With the trailer hinting at an intense, surreal and nightmarish mood, as well as weighty themes of the burdens we inherit from our parents and grandparents, Hereditary seems to be a fine new addition to a recent wave of horror movies focusing on families in crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Essentially, you can expect a dark domestic drama that spirals into supernatural terror.

Collette's performance as an increasingly traumatised mother has been described as "one for the ages", bringing to mind Essie Davis's startling work in The Babadook or - indeed - Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist.

Unhappy family: Toni Collette is winning heaps of praise for her performance (Photo: A24)

There has also been praise for Colin Stetson's unnerving score, and the restrained slow-burning tension worked by first-time writer/director Ari Aster.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Distributor A24 have a formidable record for bringing breakout indie horror to the masses.

In recent years unsettling sci-fi shocker Under The Skin, bleak survival drama It Comes At Night and atmospheric period piece The Witch have all spooked audiences under its banner. The latter also coming from a first-time writer/director.

With word-of-mouth growing, it appears Hereditary could be the surprise cinema hit of the summer.

Hereditary is in cinemas from next Thursday, June 14.

'¢ Have your say on the latest TV and film with Screen Babble, our discussion group on Facebook

[Main image: A24]

Related topics: