In the modern world of instant gratification and disposable infinite content, it’s rare things stick with you. But sometimes, they repeat on you for days to come. Ari Aster has produced the latter, Hereditary captures the moments in the shadows, infiltrating your imagination with the deepest, darkest fears imaginable. A sharply formed and frighteningly intricate debut which unfurls itself subtly at every tense turn: familial fates clearer with every click. If one things certain, it’s a film which serves as an unforgiving reminder that you can’t choose what you’re born into, it just chooses you. Removing his characters’ autonomy one at a time, the fear lies more in everyday and existential anxieties than it does in supernatural extremes: losing control, losing people, losing meaning, losing yourself.
Ari Aster has turned the genre of horror on its head: Hereditary‘s synopsis could be read as much a domestic drama, as opposed to the thrilling nightmare it beomces. The director transforms the tale from subtly tense to heart-wrenchingly traumatic as the Graham family’s life does too: with the click of Charlie’s tongue, with Colin Stetson’s unnerving percussion, with Pawel Pogorzelski’s sharp shots, the film is perhaps the most modern immersive horror to date. But based on the director’s insane cinematic knowledge, is it any wonder? “I’m very aware of what’s come before me, but I hope to also make my own contribution”, Aster explains when we sit down to discuss his perception of horror, “I was trying to honour certain traditions”. Aware of his influences and inspirations, Ari Aster’s feature debut is innovative in its storytelling, authentic in its aesthetic, but absolutely aware. To dissect the intricacy of its creation, the director delved into his extensive library and exceptional knowledge as our curator of horror.