Plenty of quality films played during Sundance this year — including Sorry to Bother You, The Tale, and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot — but the talk of the festival was Hereditary. The latest creeping-dread flick from A24, which also distributed The Witch, It Comes at Night, and Green Room, has been called “the most traumatically terrifying horror movie in ages” and “so disquieting, you’ll be gasping for air in the theater,” and now you, too, can experience the same sense of unease that the critics did with the trailer above.
Hereditary is a ghost story, but like A Ghost Story (also from A24), it’s not literally about ghosts — it’s about what they represent, and how the past affects your future. Also, based on the trailer, it’s about Toni Collette giving a startling performance as an artist (she specializes in dollhouses) who’s experiencing grief following the death of her mother. Here’s the official plot summary.
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.
Hereditary — which also stars Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Character Actress Ann Dowd, and Gabriel Byrne — opens on June 8.