Enter the heart of darkness: Review of Hereditary by Rashid Irani
Prepare for an emotionally wrenching tale of love, loss and families torn apart.Updated: Jun 20, 2018 16:08 IST
- Direction: Ari Aster
- Actors: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne
- Rating: 4 / 5
A genuinely disquieting frightmare, Hereditary heralds a new horror-meister in writer-director Ari Aster.
Pushing all the right genre buttons, the first-time feature filmmaker chronicles the fears and frustrations plaguing a conceptual artist and her family following the death of the matriarch.
With a keen eye for spatial composition and spooky atmosphere (DoP Pawel Pogorzelski merits a shout out), every frame of the film is imbued with a lingering sense of dread.
The rollercoaster into the heart of darkness is set in motion from the striking opening scene. As the dead woman’s daughter (Toni Collette) grapples with events from her past, it’s apparent that the rest of her family is also still haunted by an ancestral curse.
A heart-rending tragedy strikes the younger of the two children, and the plot devolves for a bit into an overload of occult mumbo-jumbo. But among several memorable sequences is an explosive dinner table confrontation between the mother, her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and their spaced-out teenage son (Alex Wolff).
An astonishing performance by Collette as the unhinged parent elevates the scarily nuanced narrative into a league of its own. Hereditary is an emotionally wrenching viewing experience. Watch it if you dare.