By Dave B.
In Hereditary (2018, currently on Amazon Prime), a family recovering from the death of their matriarch is rocked when they are hit by an unexpected tragedy. Familial bonds are strained as the Graham family secretly blame each other for what has occurred, but are unable and unwilling to talk through their pain. Their weakened internal dynamic leaves the family vulnerable to malevolent forces hell-bent on fulfilling their own ancient agenda.
I have mixed feelings about Hereditary. The first hour of the film is unambiguously boring. I couldn’t pay attention for longer than five minutes at a time. Mostly, that’s because nearly the entire first hour of the movie is a family drama about a family that doesn’t seem that interesting. My only consistent area of interest was in trying to figure out how that family could afford the house they live in. I don’t think the wife’s business of creating model buildings would bring in enough money to afford their very nice home, huge that’s secluded in a beautiful wooded area and I never figured out what the detestable husband did for a living (it may have been mentioned, but like I said, boring first hour).
The second half of the two-hour long movie is much more interesting than the first. The underlying conflict in the film evolves from family dynamics into troubles of a more mysterious and supernatural sort. That’s not to say that Hereditary is ever scary, because it’s not. But I was able to give the movie my full attention as I tried to piece together how the family would deal with the growing threat that they face.
A big part of the problem with Hereditary is that, beyond Toni Collette’s admittedly strong performance, not much about the film is noteworthy. It doesn’t break any new ground, none of the characters are at all likable, and as far as the movie’s take on how a family deals with tragedy, I couldn’t help but make (totally unfair) comparisons to “The Haunting of Hill House” which I thought dealt with the subject much better and more engagingly, in part because it had much more time to delve into the personalities and relationships involved.
All in all, I don’t like Hereditary. It’s just not my cup of tea. If you’re someone who enjoys horror movies that aren’t scary and have long stretches where nothing much happens, you may want to dedicate a couple of hours of your life to watching this one. But if you’re like me and want your horror movies to increase your heart rate at least once or twice an hour, Hereditary is a hard pass. Not because it’s terrible, because it isn’t. It’s just extremely meh.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.