Film Story It was April 3, 2018, when Ellen Taper Leigh died at the age of 78. Her daughter Annie describes her at the memorial service as secretive and as a person who revealed nothing of her inner life or her fears. Annie is married, and together with her husband Steve and the children Peter and Charlie, they live in a wooden house at the edge of the forest. After the funeral Annie brings Charlie to bed grieving for her grandmother. Annie remembers that Charlie Ellen's darling had been and used to feed her when Charlie was little, which sometimes made Annie really insane. Charlie prefers to spend her time in a large tree house on her property. There, the 13 year old makes figures from plastic waste and also likes to sleep there. Mother Annie, on the other hand, is busy making models for her planned small world exhibition. In the miniature works she shows scenes that she knows from her everyday life, such as the hospice where her mother recently died.
She can not talk to anyone about her death and the ambiguous feelings she has for her in the family. Therefore, Annie visits a support group for people who have to complain about losses. She reveals to the strangers here that her mother suffered from a dissociative identity disorder, her father was depressed and starving herself to death while her older brother was suffering from schizophreniawas ill and hanged himself at the age of 16. Annie explains that she and her mother have spent the last few years living apart and barely talking to each other. Her own son, Peter, wanted to protect her from his manipulative grandmother, and without being really at fault, she felt guilty for the entire family situation. She had contact with her mother only after the birth of Charlie, which she sometimes regrets.
When Peter wants to go to a party one night and his mother asks for a car, she insists that he takes Charlie there, even if she does not want to go with her. Once there, Peter pulls back with his friends to Kiffen, while he sends Charlie to the cake buffet, where she uses with great appetite. However, she is allergic to the walnuts in the chocolate cake and when Peter realizes his sister's condition, he carries her to the car to take her to the hospital. Charlie gasps and as she pokes her head out of the window and Peter has to dodge a dead animal on the road, the worst happens when a street mast tears her head off. Standing in shock, Peter drives home with his sister's headless body and goes to bed.
Mother Annie suffers a nervous breakdown after the accident and also Peter suffers heavily from the blame. In school, he can hardly concentrate, and the kiffen causes him pain and anxiety. Every night, when Peter looks at the tree house, from which the light from the radiant heaters penetrates, he is reminded of his act, because there his mother keeps up preferably at night since the death of his sister, to find sleep. When Annie visits the support group once again, but then wants to distance herself from it, she is approached by Joanne, who herself recently lost her son and grandson in an accident. She offers to meet her privately to talk about the loss of her daughter. Annie accepts the offer. Some time later you tell Joanne about her experiences, Séance made. She shows her how to contact her with a candle and the writing tablet of her deceased grandson. With such a candle and a mantra, Annie tries to make contact with Charlie at home. Completely overwhelmed by the result, she also wants to show this to her husband and son, but when Annie suddenly begins to speak with Charlie's voice during a séance, Peter is completely overwhelmed.
Peter is increasingly suffering from nocturnal, nightmarish visions. At school, it seems as if a foreign power has taken possession of him and he begins to hit his head on a tabletop until his nose is broken. The incident is too much for Father Steve and he decides to protect his son. In Annie, he sees a mental patient and blames her for what happens to Peter. However, this has a different theory, because in the things of her deceased mother Annie finds a photo album with pictures of this and Joanne. Also, because she's wearing the same occult sign in the photo, and she's also found a book about spiritualism and a message to her mother about her being born to make sacrifices, Annie thinks she has to be that victim, that has to be provided. Only like that.
When Peter wakes up, he finds his father's charred corpse in the living room. His mother's attempt to burn Charlie's sketchbook, and thus himself, failed. An alien power has taken possession of Annie's body. As Peter flees from her to the attic, he not only faces his dead grandmother, his mother is also separating her own head. Peter jumps out the window and a small, floating light phenomenon penetrates his lifeless body. Peter wakes up, climbs up to the tree house and finds himself there in the middle of a black mass. Joanne calls him Paimon and tells him that the body in which he is now is healthier than his previous host Charlie.
Film genre and reviews Patrick Wellinski of Germany radio culture assigns Hereditary in a row with such films as Get Out, A Quiet Place and It Follows one, which he called a new small wave of American Horrors describes. The genre researcher and film scholar Marcus Stiglegger explained to Deutschlandfunk Kultur that this idea of a paranoid world, which virtually gets bogged down by the individual, is something that can be clearly seen in these films as a reflection of social conditions, of political conditions, above all in America itself could, if almost everyone distrusts everyone. Like the movie Ghostland by French director Pascal Laugier, Hereditary reflects this latent chaos in society. Stiglegger adds that the film joins the tradition of the paranoia thriller as a profound psycho thriller that touches on primeval fears.
Daniel Prem from the cinema magazine Uncut.at explains that Hereditary, in contrast to most other horror movies, has enough time to establish his excitement, his mood and above all his characters and does not use any jump-scare paradises to set the audience in the mood and, if they exist, they are cleverly staged and never placed unnecessarily. The real and mystical elements complement each other wonderfully and result in a complex complete work about family, sadness and the question of a choice in life, continues Prem. Max Wieseler of moviepilot.de notes, Hereditaryis definitely not a mainstream horror and is more aimed at a niche audience that wants to get involved in a demanding and exhausting suffering path. Also in a criticism of Musikexpress states that the cinematic framework of Hereditary is not there to scare a few times cheap, but rather the other way round: "Aster takes the spirit world seriously, they are manifestations of deep disturbances and traumas of his characters, who do the mourning work but can not escape from who they are and what their family has made them for."
The film has so far convince 89 percent of critics at Rotten Tomatoes and received this an average rating of 8.2 of the possible 10 points. In addition, the film went from the 20th Annual Golden Tomato Awards in the category Best Horror Movie 2018 emerged as the runner-up.
Gross result In the United States, where the film on June 8, 2018 launched in 2964 cinemas, which the largest number of cinemas for a film of A24 corresponded, it played in his first weekend, 13.6 million US dollars, surpassing the expectations of A24 and the experts. In Germany the film recorded 120,290 visitors. The film's worldwide revenues total $79.3 million, making Hereditary the most successful A24-produced film.