Chew's Reviews - Hereditary

By Gary Chew | June 2, 2018 |

Opens Friday, June 8 | 

If you can remember that very funny black comedian of several years back … Flip Wilson … you'll surely recall Mr. Wilson's re- occurring one-line closer that always brought down the house: “The Devil made me do it!” (Such a way for avoiding taking any responsibility for one's actions, whether one places it on one's devil or god.)

Well, I bring you a bit of bad movie news: the causation for what the Graham Family does in Ari Aster's film “Hereditary” is surely the work of the Devil. But you'll find 'nary a laugh in it, even if cynical giggles attempted to surface among the folks in the theater as the plot plodded on … and on … and on … and on.

Hereditary” is nothing like “Rosemary's Baby,” or the recent and quite spiritual picture, “A Ghost Story.” As I try to be nice, regarding Mr. Aster's work, I can't help myself reporting that the name “Ari Aster” rhymes quite handily with “A disaster.”

Neither coherence nor communication is abundant in this creepy feature for the non-thinking. (Reading the plot summary after seeing the film was the only way I could tell why “Charlie,” the Graham's 13-year-old daughter goes into anaphylactic shock at a noisy teenage party she's attending with her older brother.)

I took this screening because the three leads in it are talented: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and Ann Dowd. Toni plays the Mom; Gabriel, the Dad and Ann, the gal pal who shows Mom how to do a séance at the Graham Family's very own dining table.  Charlie's brother is Peter. He's a few years older than Charlie, but seems disturbed in more ways ... yet less obvious.  Mom is submerged in guilt for not feeling enough sorrow for the recent demise of her elderly mother; who, it seems had dark and surreptitious ties to very private friends in the quiet Utah town.

I've now read other reviews of “Hereditary and found there are those among us who think Mr. Aster has re-defined 21st century horror films. Whoa! Please, that's not very horrorshow, Alex.

Taking “Hereditary” one more step to higher disappointment: if all of the grisly dreck and bogus booga-booga mumbo-jumbo one must endure sitting though this film depicted sex acts ... which it doesn't ... labeling it pure porn would be an act of Grace.

It's not everyday you get to see a movie that shows a character sawing off his or her own head while it's caught in a hangman's noose … but wait: with a quick edit to another shot, you can only hear the headless body, as it drops from the rafters, hitting the barn floor.  So much gravity.  

Copyright © 2018 by Gary Chew. All rights reserved. 


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