Directed By: Ari Aster
Genre: Horror, Drama, Cult
Annie’s mother died due to mental illness and dementia, she made a very unusual eulogy on her mom’s funeral saying there are people in the service she never saw before and her mother will be suspicious if she is alive, after the funeral Annie saw an apparition of her mom in her workshop after browsing one of the boxes of her mother’s stuff, she then joined a support group for the bereaved then she reveals that the rest of her family died due to mental illness, her father starve himself to death, her brother has schizophrenia and committed suicide in Ellen’s room, and now her mother.
Peter her 16-year-old son asked permission if he can use one of the cars for he will be attending some school party, Annie asked Peter to bring Charlie her youngest child with him so she can hang out with other kids making sure Peter will not drink any alcohol, Charlie doesn’t want to go but Annie forces her daughter to go. Without any supervision, Charlie eats cake with nuts resulting in anaphylactic shock, her brother Peter then rushes her to the hospital but fails to do so, when he accidentally kills his sister trying to avoid a dead deer on the highway he swerves, as Charlie gasping for air sticking her head out through the window, her head hits the post decapitating her.
The first scene shows Charlie’s treehouse, on this view the Director wanted his viewer to know the significance of this treehouse in the entire film.
Is this film really about Paimon? about cult? about one family’s tragedy that they don’t have any control whatsoever? or are they just Family with disturbed mental illness.
What does the miniature craft Annie Graham has been working on throughout the film? what’s the significance of this art in the story does it symbolizes something?
Annie Graham (Toni Collette)
Spends most of her time in her workshop making a miniature craft mostly about her life events, as you see in the film her work meticulously matches every small detail of their house’s interior and she obviously has detached relationship with her children, and even to her husband Steve.
Steve Graham (Gabriel Byrne)
Technically the sanest of all the characters in the movie, supportive father and wife, trying to make family intact, the only normal person in the household you can speak with that has a sense (for me though).
Peter Graham (Alex Wolf)
Alex is basically a typical teenager, who likes to smoke pot and get laid, has a distant relationship with his mother because of the sleepwalking incident that almost killed him and his sister Charlie.
Charlie Graham (Milly Shapiro)
Charlie is the most ambiguous character in the movie, has allergies with peanuts, makes her own toys using objects she might have picked somewhere and places a decapitated head of some dead animals, make a clicking sounds and seldom speaks. Central Character of the Movie, although she appeared only for 30 minutes the tension grows because of her sudden death.
Does it more tragic or less tragic than if he did have a choice? The question that was raised by Mr. Davies about the book The Women of Trachis by Sophocles. This question has a very significant role in the film for the title itself Hereditary seems you are fated to inherit the bad or good gene in your family bloodline, Annie has tried to avoid the mental illness that plagued her entire family, but the more she tried to avoid it becomes evident it is more likely her family will end up in the same destiny.
As you watch details in the movie the camera first shot Charlie’s treehouse it took a few seconds then to the miniature model of their isolated house, as the camera goes further it focuses to Alex’s miniature model of the room the image seems unreal until his father Steve came in to wake him up for his grandmother’s funeral service.
What appears to be a diorama of Annie’s work is, in fact, a real room in Graham’s household.
Hereditary is by far one of the most horrific films I have seen in 2018, Psychologically terrifying for when your life is fated to fail because you are being deprived with your own free will that everything that is happening in your life is not based in your decision, but someone is doing it for you whether you like it or not, that alone is frightening.
The tragedy of this family started when Ellen (Annie’s Mother) exhibited a mental disorder that is called Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID which was not explained fully in the movie how and when it has started plaguing her entire family, it was only mentioned by Annie in one of the support group session she joined after her mother died. In her grief to overcome the death of a loved one, she somehow denied her own reality, as a result, she alters her reality by expressing it through her craft by creating dioramas of her life events, a person who suffers in this type of mental disorder is simply detached from her/his own reality, and that was clearly manifested in the movie even from the beginning.
It has interpreted very clearly that when one of your family members has exhibited this type of illness you will inherit the same fate, but as the film progresses and take on its final act it seems that the Director has used this only as a metaphor to what was truly hidden within the family, they are being controlled by a cult who praises Paimon as the king, it has been laid in the conclusion that they’ve been sneaking in the family’s life ever since because the cult needed a correct vessel for Paimon to be able to survive, therefore it was not the mental illness, it was a demonic possession that has been plaguing Annie’s family from her father’s death to her brother’s suicide.
This movie was well crafted, the actress and actors who played their role were picked perfectly right, it is like a correct piece of a puzzle it fits perfectly right to its place. It might not be a traditional horror movie we have grown accustomed to, but its dark element that was used as a foundation to lay the plot was genius, this type of film requires you to view the film more than twice to understand the obscurity of this film, as the film closes, in the end, it was the cult, it was Paimon who won and all of them who died has been freed.