Following in the footsteps of “The Babadook” and “The Witch,” Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” took Sundance by storm this year and is set to become the indie horror event of 2018. The film just debuted its horrifying first trailer, and it’s jam-packed with the kind of imagery that proves just how badly “Hereditary” will mess you up.
It’s not a good sign when your horror movie begins with a funeral. Here we see the Graham family burying their reclusive grandmother, but the woman will cast a long shadow over each member long after her death.
“Hereditary” follows in the footsteps of “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” by giving the genre another classic horror movie child. Milly Shapiro is set for a breakout thanks to her role as the youngest and quite possibly most disturbed Graham. Like Linda Blair, she has the kind of face you just don’t forget.
And of course every horror movie child has to make troublesome doodles in his or her notepad. It wouldn’t be the horror genre without drawings that cause concern.
You know you’re in trouble when animals start dying. After a bird drops dead in front of the Grahams’ youngest daughter, she takes a pair of scissors and cuts its neck. Also not a good sign!
“Hereditary” has elements of a haunted house flick, especially in the portions of the film set in the Grahams’ backyard tree house. Just the way director Ari Aster shoots the location makes it seem like some kind of incinerator.
The Grahams’ son is played by Alex Wolff, and he’s clearing succumbing to some kind of horror movie madness as he sees his reflection smiling back at him with a sinister grin.
Wolff’s character snaps during class and repeatedly bashes his head against his desk until his face is all bloody. We’re now in full terror mode if you couldn’t already guess.
Either this shot is upside down or one of the Graham family members is kicking and screaming on the roof. Either way, we’re terrified.
The trailer cuts to a quick shot of a body in bed covered in skin-crawling bugs. This is the part where the viewer gets incredibly squeamish.
Running for your life is so much scarier when the camera is upside down. Is reality taking a different form in the Graham house? Or is Aster just messing with the audience?
A blink-and-you’ll-it shot channels the foreboding highway shots of David Lynch. Here we see a speeding car quickly approaching a dead animal in the middle of the road. Brace for bloody impact.
A body being consumed by flames right in front of your eyes is the very definition of disturbing.
Every horror movie needs a scream queen, and “Hereditary” is lucky to have Toni Collette. Critics at Sundance went wild for her nerve-shattering performance as the Graham family matriarch. Collette earned an Oscar nomination once before for going horror in “The Sixth Sense.” Can she manage to do it again? Just wait until you see the kind of performance she delivers.