I've been dying to see the new horror movie Hereditry since the trailer dropped back in January. Unaware that I had to wait almost six months for it to come out in Australia, I created so much hype around this film to my friends that when we were finally able to score tickets it was the dubbed the "elusive and mysterious" horror movie of the year.
It certainly lives up to the title. Because damn it was mysterious.
Starring Australia's own Toni Colette along with a cast of relative unknowns of Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and Milley Shapiro, Hereditry follows the Graham family who begin to unravel crytpic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry after their grandmother passes away.
But this tale is just the beginning and the death of the grandmother actually pales in comparison to the events in the movie. What appears to be a regular out-of-the-box haunting horror movie takes many twists and turns that you really don't see coming and actually left me quite shocked throughout the movie.
So cudos! You actually managed to surprised this seasoned horror movie buff.
The movie chronicles grief in a very real way, but from the get-go you find yourself trying to guess the secrets of the possible haunting. The early parts of the movie are peppered with very odd behaviours and sentances uttered by the characters that could be easily missed, but point towards a sinister secret (such as Toni Colette's chartacter of Annie telling her daughter Charli, "Your grandmother didn't want me to feed you when you were a baby because she wanted to feed you" - a throwaway line perhaps, but hints at something being very off with the grandmother).
Soon the movie descends into chaos and tensions build with a supernatural entity that quickly escalates into something entirely different and takes viewers off guard. My friend and I actually left the movie feeling quite strange and "dirty" almost in an unnerving ending to the mysterious family line.
The film is spooky, and crafted well despite it's questionable ending. It's filled with tension that is amplified by the sounds of Milley Shaprio's character of Charli's nervous habit of clicking her tongue - something that occurs regularly throughout the movie in the same affect as the silence in A Quiet Place has. The strangeness is also amplified with Toni Colette's character of Annie's almost obssesive recreation of her life in miniatures.
While the plotline certainly takes you on a terrifying journey, the real saviors of the movie are the main actors, who do an utmost astounding job. Toni Colette brings her A game once again to Annie's obviously disturbed demeanor and her scenes of grief in her bedroom are absolute perfection. Gabriel Bryne's character as the harrowed father simply trying to keep his family together in a time of earth-shattering grief is on pointe, and Alex Wolff's extreme guilt and shame drives the story with a different look in the mourning process.
Hereditry is as much of a drama plagued with sadness as it is a horror movie and an ambitious project that will keep you intrigued all the way through.
Hereditry is in Australian cinemas now.