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Friday, June 8, 2018

Hereditary (2018)

An artist (Toni Collette) is coping with the death of her mother even though they had a difficult relationship. Shortly after the funeral, her daughter (Milly Shapiro) shows disturbing signs that she might be communicating with her deceased grandmother. But it will be her son (Alex Wolff) who will be the conduit to the their horrible fate. Written and directed by Ari Aster in his feature film debut, the film is full of fire and fury and as long as Toni Collette is on the screen, it remains an intense experience. But Collette, whose performance is magnificent, can only do so much and the film eventually peters out into silliness. Last week I saw FIRST REFORMED which held me in its grip until its laughable conclusion and while HEREDITY's finale isn't as bad as that, it's pretty trivial. The film works best as a drama of a family in crisis as it battles guilt and grief yet unable to communicate with each other. The horror element seems so much fright mayonnaise spread over a family drama sandwich. I don't mean to sound as if I didn't like it, I did. But the overly languorous pacing had me fighting nodding off rather than holding my breath in fear. The most disappointing horror film since THE BABADOOK. With Gabriel Byrne and Ann Dowd.    

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