“Hereditary” Starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Bryne is seriously effed up and probably one of the best horror movies to come out of this decade. Toni Collette is magnificent in this movie and deserves all the awards because she really put on a performance for the ages. Also, is anyone else noticing that Collette truly does her best work when she is in the role of a disgruntled mom? “The Sixth Sense”, “Little Miss Sunshine” – if she is parenting bratty children then you can bet she will bring her A to the game, okay?
The movie opens with Toni’s character, Annie, painting accessories in her mini house display that she is working on to display in an art studio with whom she has a contract with. The family is also getting ready for her mother’s funeral.
We learn through some exposition during after the funeral that the youngest in the family is deathly allergic to peanuts, like, deathly. Charlie being allergic to peanuts is semi-normal kid stuff. What is NOT normal is her cutting the heads off of dead birds to create toys. That is very, very strange. But Charlie is a strange kid.
Some time passes after the funeral and Annie is regularly attending a support group to deal with the grief of losing her mother and the trauma of the poor relationship that they had before she died. At this point we’re left wondering, is the movie called ‘Hereditary’ because the grandmother has passed down some kind of mental illness to her daughter and granddaughter? Spoiler alert: it is not. Though this entire post is a spoiler so that alert is pretty moot.
One night Annie’s teenage son, Peter, wants to go to a house party and like a lot of parents do – Annie insists that he has to bring Charlie along to go.
This is a bad idea.
At the party, Charlie is left unsupervised because duhhhh what teenager is really going to keep a close eye on there 12 year old sibling when they want to be cool and party with friends? Charlie finds some chocolate cake at the party and decides to gobble it down no questions asked.
Remember that peanut allergy?
Charlie’s lungs begin to close almost immediately. Peter gets Charlie to the car and speeds off rushing them to the hospital. Keep in mind, this child is quite literally dying so an ambulance would have almost definitely been a better idea.
While speeding, Charlie sticks her head out of the window desperate for oxygen. A deer in the middle of the road causes Peter to swerve the car at 100 mph, the side of the car hits a pole, and off comes Charlie’s head.
From this point on the movie gets terrifying.
What made this movie special to me was
Toni Collette being terrifyingly good the acting. The scene where Annie dramatically accuses everyone in her family for not taking responsibility was, again, nothing short of award winning. If you’ve never sat at the dinner table and had your mom scream “Don’t you ever raise your voice at me! I am your mother!”, then have you ever really sat at a dinner table?
When Annie’s support group buddy (heyyy Aunt Lydia) introduces her to some witchy witchy incantations to bring back the spirit of her dead daughter. Whew, I knew nothing good would come of it. Take note everyone, NOTHING good comes from trying to bring back the dead. And this was something much more frightening than a pet sematary situation. Heads literally rolled.
I felt like this movie did a lot for horror fans. For the past few years we’ve had a lot of super campy supernatural/exorcist movies (looking at you Conjuring universe), and “Hereditary” was both as interesting as it was terrifying. I’m going to go ahead and put it in my folder of classics.