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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Hereditary -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Not certain how to precisely categorize Robert Wiene's Hereditary.

It's rather placid for the first hour. Certainly no horror. A bit of "huh, what's going on..."

That slowly builds as absolute dread begins to set in around the 90 minute mark, as Toni Collette and Alex Wolff begin to move to the inexorably confusing ending. Bit by bit, pieces begin to fall together, in this beautifully directed drama, and in the end...

Shot on an Alexa Mini, and finished as a 2k DI, the new 4k Blu-ray from Lionsgate, represents this film as dark, with occasionally fully lacking mid-tones, and deep shadows. Some into which we almost dare not peek.

Best left undiscussed for the uninitiated, this is a very worthwhile proposition on a means to spend a couple of hours, hopefully not alone, and definitely, not in total darkness.

You'll never again react as you have to some unknown "popping" sound. Especially in darkness.

Image - 5 (HDR 10 & Dolby Vision)

Audio - 5 (DTS HD-MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail - Pass

Recommended

RAH
 

Tino

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Just finished watching this and loved it.

Creepy. Scary. Atmospheric. Great performances. Great story.

It’s a very polarizing film apparently but I’m
definitely in the it’s great camp.

Ymmv definitely.
 

Jason_V

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I understand the disdain and indifference for the movie, but I don't share it. Hereditary is one of the rare movies that had my full attention from beginning to end even if I didn't fully understand it when I left the theater.

The question for me, then, becomes is there any replay value. Probably, but I'd never think of doing so at home. It would freak me out WAY too much.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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ONLY ONE SPOILER IN THIS WHICH IS UNDER A SPOILER TAG

Watched this the other night. Had mixed feelings about it. I think as horror films go this is well made and creepy. It is, as Mr. Harris states, rather slowly paced working the long build up to what becomes the freaky payoff. So, yes, the first hour or so of the picture plays more like family drama. This will likely turn off some horror fans. Personally, I really like the slow build in a horror film. Another thing this film does that I really like is it takes great care and time to flesh out the characters and their relationships. This adds a lot more drama and emotional investment in what is happening.

The actors that portray the family are all in here and give excellent performances. Toni Collette seems particularly submerged in a pain and tragedy soaked performance that seems like the kind of acting that would earn her a nomination for Best Actress were it not being done in the service of a horror film.

This really is basically two films in one. A dark and tragic family drama which becomes a horror film freak out.

So, why the mixed feelings on it?

Well, there are things in films I honestly don't enjoy watching and this picture has one of those things as central to the story.

The violent and brutally graphic death of a child.

This is not at all easy to watch and really jerked me into a moment where I questioned if I wanted to continue watching the film. At the point where this happens the picture is still in family drama mode and it stays there as they attempt to deal with or not to deal with this incident. This is horribly depressing stuff and really I began to question how much of this I wanted to sit through.

It is quite frankly gut churning and truly what I would define as horror...but the real life kind of horror not the fantasy variety.

So, now I am sitting there thinking this film is a fairly emotionally nasty bit of business that is winding me up in a way I am not at all enjoying.

Does it work to put you in the emotional space of the characters? Yes. Do I want to watch that though? No, I don't.

So, at this point the film became a slog that was both nauseating me and had me sitting there with a remote in my hand pondering pushing the stop button.

Now, I know what you are thinking. If a picture puts you in a place where you are taking the emotional journey of the characters then it must be doing some things right. Honestly, it was but sometimes I feel like certain things are done just to be horribly manipulative of the emotions of the audience. A prime example of this sort of filmmaking is the work of a guy like Lars von Trier who really is an excellent filmmaker but often, I think, attempts to be way too over the top manipulative with the audience. Often to the extent that I lose interest in the film.

Now, this picture does not reach the level of the sort of knife twisting von Trier does where you begin to imagine that what Lars wants is to brutally punish an audience but it did place images and emotions in my head that I really did not want there. At least with Lars though you know what you are walking into when you take on one of his films. You know the guy wants to beat the shit out of you and push every button he can. Going into Hereditary though I thought it was just going to be a goofy horror film...which it does become at the turn but you have to get to that turn.

So, I am not really being critical of the film here in that I certainly thought it was well made in every respect and I think a lot of people that enjoy horror films will probably like it. I also think some won't because for a large part of the running time we are in a horribly depressing family drama and I think some horror fans may not find that entertaining.

Here's something I found very misleading though. On the box for the film they have a quote shouting "This generation's The Exorcist but heads will spin more savagely!"

This is quite discernibly not a film that should be compared to The Exorcist. It does perhaps borrow some things structurally in that The Exorcist also begins as a sort of family drama which then mutates into a full on crazed horror freak out. That's where any comparison ends though as The Exorcist was a watershed moment and when it was released was something people had never seen nor experienced before.

Hereditary feels like it is borrowing bits and pieces (skillfully) from a bunch of other films and was not anything I had not seen before. It's well constructed but of vintage parts.

Bottom line, a good film but one I don't feel much need to revisit.
 
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The Drifter

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Recently saw Hereditary on Blu. Incredible. Very atmospheric & unsettling horror flick, and definitely one of the best I've seen in the past several years. I wasn't sure what to expect, and the movie was great in that it kept me guessing until the very end.

The Toni Collette mother character seemed off from the beginning of the film; very manic & disturbed. I couldn't figure out why she thought it was a good idea to send the kid to a teen party with her older brother; did she think the kid would have a good time with her brother, who obviously didn't want her tagging along?! Of course, that plot-line was essential to the story, and it just showed that the mother wasn't thinking clearly whatsoever. I hate forced socialization myself, so I guess this scene really hit home for me - to some extent.

The scene when the kid got her head torn off because she was sticking her head out of the car window (due to not being able to breathe) was twisted, and disturbing - and not something I ever saw coming.

The ending was horrific, and also unexpected. I.e., the deceased grandmother had been a member & probably leader of some secret, demonic "cult" and the teen grandson was being "groomed" to "take over" as the leader of the cult; the middle-aged woman who met TC at the grief discussion group obviously was involved in the cult as well.

The movie definitely had elements of The Witch, but the tone/vibe also reminded me somewhat of The Killing of a Sacred Deer - another somewhat recent & extremely unsettling movie.

It takes a lot for a horror movie to genuinely bother me these days, but this film very effectively did just that. Kudos to the film-makers for achieving this.
 

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