Horror movies, by their very nature, are supposed to be scary.
However, new Hereditary appears to have taken that to the extreme, if the reactions coming out of Sundance Film Festival are to be believed.
Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and Ann Dowd, the film has been directed by Ari Aster and is fast garnering a reputation as the most frightening movie of recent times.
The official synopsis for Hereditary reads as follows:
“When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.”
Initial reviews have been almost universal in their praise of the movie while also appearing to agree that the film is very, very scary, to the point that some people were left in tears by events on the screen.
The AV Club labelled Hereditary “the most traumatically terrifying horror movie in ages” while Thrillist claimed “the screams in the theatre were almost as frightening as what was on screen.”
USA Today called it “the most insane horror movie in years” and The Verge praised the film for “the kind of slow-burn, nearly unbearable tension that can leave an entire theatre holding their collective breath.”
Hereditary has garnered similar praise on Twitter, with some praising its effective use of “real” horror, while others compared it with Kill List – a similarly messed up horror movie released a couple of years back – and well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.
HEREDITARY chilled me to my bone. It's pure emotional terrorism, gripping you with *real* horror, the unspeakable kind, and then imbuing the supernatural stuff with those feelings. I loved it/resent it for the nightmares I'm going to have. #Sundance2018
— AADowd (@AADowd) January 23, 2018
HEREDITARY: well, the spiritual successor to Kill List has arrived. will do for glottal sounds what Psycho did for showers. #Sundance2018
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) January 25, 2018
“Hereditary” … I haven’t been this upset and freaked out by a horror movie since the original Ju-On.
My stomach NEVER turns because of a movie, and there’s a moment in this movie so upsetting I almost lost it.
Every inch is crafted to horrific detail. Fuck me.#sundance2018
— Aaron Morgan (@Aaron_Morgan) January 22, 2018
HEREDITARY is so disquieting, you’ll be gasping for air in the theater. Utterly believable supernatural horror. There will be no scarier movie this year. If there is, it means we’re in a new golden age. #Sundance
— Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf) January 23, 2018
The reaction to Hereditary echoes the praise heaped on the French cannibal movie Raw, which was released in 2017.
Already labelled an early candidate for the best horror movie of 2018, Hereditary has yet to receive a release date in the UK – but given the buzz its generating that won’t be the case for long.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.