Haters be damned. Hereditary has beaten its box office predictions to become A24’s biggest opening so far, beating The Witch’s box office total of $25 million. In just 10 days Hereditary has made a whopping $27 million and is expected to gross over $40 million.
Just last week it was revealed that Hereditary landed a shockingly bad CinemaScore of D+. To put that in perspective, Truth or Dare scored a B-, The Bye-Bye Man got a C and The Forest was given a C. Hereditary is not the film for general audience-goers it seems.
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s 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. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.
I caught Hereditary at the weekend and I thought it was brilliant. It’s a uniquely scary experience that boasts an atmosphere laced with dread and unpredictability. Sure, it’s not your typical horror film and doesn’t rely on jump scares to frighten, but it’s uncomfortable, unsettling and beautifully crafted. If Toni Collette doesn’t land an Oscar nomination come awards season, I’ll eat my hat.
Director Ari Aster explained that the original cut was over 3 hours long and, honestly, I’d do anything to get my hands on that cut. He said:
“In the original cut, and in the script, the audience was forced to really stew … The breakdown of communication was chronicled in more pummelling detail.
Nobody wants it to be a three-hour movie, especially the distributor,” he noted. “The most important thing was pacing and finding that rhythm. The movie tells you what it needs to be. This was the best version of the movie.”
Aster has said that, although we won’t probably ever get to see that cut, the home release will come with a handful of deleted scenes, so that’s something!
Hereditary is out now and additionally stars Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, and Milly Shapiro.
Words: Jessy Williams (@JessyCritical)