The Horror Show

Facebook Twitter Google

by Ari Aster

Schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, PTSD, abuse and neglect; these are just a few of the real life, disturbing subjects that Ari Aster covers in his recent release Hereditary. Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro, this film is one that doesn’t hold back and truly terrifies from the inside out. This review will not contain any spoilers since it just came out last week and I can’t stress enough that if horror — specifically psychological horror — is your thing, then you need to go and give it a watch.

Annie’s (Collette) mother has died and it’s evident from the start of the film that her family is indifferent apart from youngest child Charlie (Shapiro). We learn that the grandmother was secretive and detached from the family during Annie’s cold, blunt eulogy and are given even more information about her family’s history of severe mental illness and abuse when she attends a grief counselling session.

Throughout the film we’re given bits and pieces of the disturbing family history through small hints and shocking dialogue and when things begin to unravel, the viewer is given the choice to decide whether the things happening to this family are supernatural or psychological. Personally, I think the film is miles more enjoyable when viewing from a psychological horror standpoint, but whatever you decide shouldn’t make the film any less enjoyable.

The performances in this film from each actress and actor are phenomenal, but I have to say specifically from Collette and Wolff. There is so much to be said without words in this film and with just facial expressions alone each actor nailed it three times over. Apart from the father (Byrne), who is clearly the emotional foundation of the family, each character is so damaged and broken in their own way and I can’t stress enough how well this was portrayed by each person involved.

There are a lot of dark, tension-building scenes with fantastic payoff and though jump scares abound, they’re not the typical clichéd ones that often plague a movie of this type. With constant questioning of what’s real and what’s not, it’s evident either way that something very sinister runs in this family.

If you’ve read my past reviews then you know how much I adore a good, thought provoking horror movie! I could probably write a three-page review on this film and dissect everything from start to finish, but to do so in this review would be a major disservice to anyone who has yet to see it. If you have thoughts on the film and care to discuss, hit me up.

Stevie Kopas, HMS

The Horror Show Menu.