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Hereditary - great acting, poor ending


If I had not watched the last ten minutes of this film I would have scored it almost 5 out of 5. My advice is to leave the cinema ten minutes before the end and make up your own ending. Trust me, it will be more satisfying than what is on the screen.

You're on the fence there Breen!

No, not really, I did like it right up until the twist and they change the protagonist and then it all just falls apart into nothingness. For most of the film I sat with my mouth open in horror as the story progressed. For the last ten minutes my mouth was also open, a little wider, as my chin rested on the floor with disappointment.

The film opens with an on-screen shot of an obituary (dated 2018. Never mind the fact that computer screens later clearly show 2017). The family matriarch has passed away and her daughter (Toni Collette) is left mourning and helping her family to heal. Her husband (our own Gabriel Byrne) goes along and complies with the weirdnesses that start to occur. Tragic events unfold which are both shocking and heart-rending, but then the film ends. 'Nuff said.

I went into this film with very high expectations for a number of reasons. The trailer was good. One of the best actors in the business,Toni Collette was starring. Then there were the reviews. Lots of broadsheet critics had given this film 5 stars. All I can say is they must have left before the end.

Collette deserves an Oscar nod for her performance. It is simply astounding. Gabriel Byrne gives a fantastic performance too as the husband who is trying to keep it all together. He is calm and protective of his family and Byrne plays the role brilliantly with a natural screen presence.

Ari Aster has created a debut feature that takes many horror tropes of the 60s and 70s and builds them into a modern horror story. This is an emotional horror story. Yes, there are some jumpy-scary moments but its true horror lies in the story-telling, in the human condition and the stages of grief. It is a modern story with echoes of the past including early references to the mythology of Iphigenia. To be honest, Aster has a lot of ideas. He throws them all at the screen and enough of them stick to make this film worth seeing.

Just make sure to leave before the end.


 

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