‘Hereditary’ faces an uphill battle due to its genre. A horror movie, there are those who loathe being scared. An emotion not many want to feel, being frightened has seen countless books, films and TV shows garner huge success. The genre can be a double edged sword as it only appeals to a certain paying audience instead of a general one. But ‘Hereditary’ may find more viewing scope than others due to an imaginative script shredding the nerves shortly after the cinema theatre lights dim.

Annie (Toni Collette) and her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) live with their two children in a large house. Still mourning the death of her mother, Annie begins to notice strange occurrences. When told her mother’s grave has been desecrated setting off a chain reaction of unbridled terror. Uncovering dark familial secrets, Annie and her family are swiftly placed in peril as evil prepares to strike from the shadows.

Directed with great visual flair by Ari Aster, ‘Hereditary’ relies heavily on its look. The warped visions Annie sees go a long way in creating atmospheric dread as she uncovers clues as to what’s happening. The puzzle box of conspiracies gradually evolves into an aria of horror deceptively pulling each family member into a savage quagmire. Despite uneven performances, the engaging script and excellent cinematography ensures ‘Hereditary’ breaks out from the glut of spooky films.

As with any decent horror movie, ‘Hereditary’ takes a tangible slice of everyday life and turns it into something wicked. This dose of reality enables viewers to feel the scares of which ‘Hereditary’ has in abundance. The shocks are genuine with consistent creepy moments. Whilst a few genre clichés seep through, sparks of originality shine with a commendably daring conclusion not many will guess.

Although let down by some dodgy acting, ‘Hereditary’ makes its mark. It’s difficult being scared given the amount of similar movies that have come before. ‘Hereditary’ gives it a good go with Aster’s directorial talent one to watch as his latest provides a potential stepping stone to greater horrific heights.

Rating out of 10: 6

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