• Toni Collette is upset in 'Hereditary'. (A24)
Is it the scariest movie of all time? Is it too scary to even watch? No, and Are you kidding?
By
Nick Bhasin

8 Jun 2018 - 1:30 PM  UPDATED 8 Jun 2018 - 1:30 PM

I am very easily scared. Bugs, sharks, clowns, heights, global warming, American politics, eye contact… the mere mention of any of it terrifies me.

So in that sense, I certainly found Hereditary, the new horror thriller from writer-director Ari Aster, to be scary…

There’s the spooky family led by Annie (a giving-it-her-all Toni Collette), who’s trying to deal with the recent death of her mother, to whom she wasn’t very close, and who may have been up to some creepy shenanigans and/or funny business. She’s also got a complicated past that she doesn’t like to talk about, as well as a complicated relationship with her laid back husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her stoner son Peter (Alex Wolff) and her deeply unsettling daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro).

There are a handful of pop-out-and-make-you-jump-and-spill-even-more popcorn-on-yourself-than-usual moments. And there’s plenty of general creepiness that makes you ask “What is going on here exactly?” –Collette’s miniatures, Ann Dowd (aka Aunt Lydia) being friendly, anything that unsettling daughter is doing…

There are layers upon layers of disturbing stuff and it’s very impressive, especially for a debut film.

And then the ending happens and all that tension and suspense and goodwill that’s been built up over the first 90 minutes flutters and wheezes into the air, leaving you holding a limp, disappointing bag of Not That Scary.


 

Need more convincing? Listen to Nick Bhasin and Fiona Williams deliberate on just how unscary Hereditary is on the latest episode of The Playlist, Australia’s preeminent culture podcast. (They also have a spirited argument over Ocean’s 8.)


 

Will it make you see “things you can never un-see” and feel “pain you can never un-feel”? Maybe. I guess that depends on you and your relationship with reality.

But it certainly isn’t the scariest movie of all time for God’s sake. Unless you’ve never seen The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Get Out, It, The Blair Witch Project, Jaws, Paranormal Activity, It Follows or any of the Sex and the City movies.

And I know that headlines have to do a lot of heavy lifting, but this movie absolutely is not SO F-ING SCARY YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN SEE IT.

Need more convincing? Listen to Nick Bhasin and Fiona Williams deliberate on just how unscary Hereditary is on the latest episode of The Playlist, Australia’s preeminent culture podcast. (They also have a spirited argument over Ocean’s 8.)