Rated R, 127 minutes
The summer movie-going season needs a solid horror film, and the new film "Hereditary" should fill in the gap where "A Quiet Place" left off earlier in the spring. Dark, disturbing and very unsettling, "Hereditary" comes from writer and director Ari Lester in his feature film debut.
When Ellen passes away, her daughter's Annie's (Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Milly Shapiro and Alex Wolff) 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.
The best part about the unnerving "Hereditary" is that is doesn't always rely on cheap thrills and horror shocks like most in this genre, it builds up to, and this one is fashioned with the same type of theme such as the classic "Rosemary's Baby" 50 years ago. "The Way Way Back's" Collette is excellent here as the adult daughter who uncovers some shocking family secrets all the while dealing with some terrifying things of her own.
Though it's a little too long down the stretch, the first act is excellent and it's filled with some very disturbing scenes (decapitation is a common theme here, just saying) yet the climax tends to go a little over-the-top, thought it's terrifying enough that it'll stay with you until after you leave the theater. Watch for an excellent supporting turn from Emmy-winner Ann Dowd of TV's "The Handmaid's Tale" and also seen in the thriller "American Animals," also out this week.
"Hereditary" isn't for everyone, but horror film enthusiasts should love it.