Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Horror directed and written by Ari Aster. Hereditary centers on the Graham family, when Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family dies, her daughter, Annie (Toni Collette), suspects a presence was left behind, which has a bizarre focus on her teenage granddaughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro). With the household under threat by a supernatural force, Annie must explore the darkness to escape their inherited fate.
Annie: [at her mother’s funeral] It’s heartening to see so many strange, new faces here today. I know my mom would be very touched, and probably a little suspicious, to see this turnout. So my mother was a very secretive and private woman. She had private rituals, private friends, private anxieties. It honestly feels like a betrayal just to be standing here talking about her. She was a very difficult woman to read. If you ever thought you knew what was going on with her, and, God forbid, you tried to confront that. But when her life was unpolluted, she could be the sweetest, warmest, most loving person in the world. She was also incredibly stubborn, which, maybe, explains me. You could always count on her to always have the answer. And if she ever was mistaken, and, well, that was your opinion, and you were wrong.
Annie: [to Charlie] That’s Grandma? You know you were her favorite, right? Even when you were a little baby, she wouldn’t let me feed you because she needed to feed you. Drove me crazy. She wanted me to be a boy. You know, I was a tomboy when I was growing up. I hated dresses and dolls and pink.
Charlie: Who’s going to take care of me?
Annie: Uh, excuse me. You don’t think I’m going to take care of you?
Charlie: But when you die.
Annie: Well, then dad will take care of you. Or Peter.
Teacher: [to Charlie] So, maybe we finish the toy after the quiz.
[suddenly a crow slams into the classroom window]
Annie: [at a support group meeting] My mom died a week ago. So I’m just here for trying it. I have a lot of resistance to things like this, but I came to these a couple years ago. Well, I was forced to come and I guess it, I guess it helped. So, my mom was old, and she wasn’t all together there at the end. And we were pretty much estranged before that, so it really wasn’t a huge blow. But I did love her. And she didn’t have an easy life. She had DID, which became extreme at the end. And dementia. And my father died when I was a baby from starvation, because he had psychotic depression and he starved himself, which I’m sure was just as pleasant as it sounds. And then there’s my brother. My older brother had schizophrenia, and when he was sixteen, he hanged himself in my mother’s bedroom and of course his suicide note blamed her, accusing her of putting people inside him. So, that was my mom’s life. And then she lived in our house at the end, before hospice. We weren’t even talking before that. I mean, we were, and then we weren’t. And then we were. She’s completely manipulative. Until my husband finally enforced a no-contact rule, which lasted until I got pregnant with my daughter.I didn’t let her anywhere near me when I had my first, my son, which is why I gave her my daughter, who she immediately stabbed her hooks into. And I just, I felt guilty again. I felt guilty again. When she got sick, not that she was really even my mom at the end, and not that she would ever feel guilty about anything. And I just don’t want to put any more stress on my family. I’m not even really sure if they could, could give me that support. And I just, I just feel like, I just sometimes feel like it’s all ruined. And then I realize that I am to blame. Or not that I’m to blame, but I am blamed! I’m…
Joan: I recognized you from a few months ago. Oh, God. I feel very silly. I’m Joan.
Joan: Are you doing better?
Joan: After your mother?
Annie: What? No, no. That’s not… My, um, my daughter was killed.
Joan: I’m so, so sorry.
Peter: You okay, mom?
Peter: Is there something on your mind?
Annie: Is there something on your mind?
Peter: It just seems like there might be something you want to say.
Annie: Like what? I mean, why would I want to say something so I can watch you sneer at me?
Peter: Sneer at you? I don’t ever sneer at you.
Annie: Sweetie. You don’t have to. You get your point across.
Peter: Okay, so, fine. Then say what you want to say, then.
Annie: I don’t want to say anything. I’ve tried saying things.
Peter: Okay, so try again. Release yourself.
Annie: Release you, you mean.
Peter: Yeah, fine. Release me. Just say it. Just f***ing say it!
Annie: Don’t you swear at me, you little s**t! Don’t you ever raise your voice at me! I am your mother! Peter: Do you understand? All I do is worry and slave and defend you. And all I get back is that f***ing face on your face. So full of disdain and resentment and always so annoyed. Well, now your sister is dead. And I know you miss her, and I know it was an accident, and I know you’re in pain. And I wish I could take that away for you. I wish I could shield you from the knowledge that you did what you did, but your sister is dead! She’s gone forever! And what a waste. If it could have maybe brought us together or something. If you could have just said, “I’m sorry,” or faced up to what happened. Maybe then we could do something with this. But you can’t take responsibility for anything! So now I can’t accept, and I can’t forgive, because, because nobody admits anything they’ve done!
Joan: You didn’t kill her, Annie.
Joan: She isn’t gone.
Annie: Why are you scared of me?
Annie: I never wanted to be your mother.
Annie: I was scared. I didn’t feel like a mother. But she pressured me.
Peter: Then why did you have me?
Annie: It wasn’t my fault. I tried to stop it.
Annie: I tried to have a miscarriage.
Annie: However I could. I did everything they told me not to do, but it didn’t work. I’m happy it didn’t work.
Peter: You tried to kill me.
Annie: No, I did not. I love you!
Peter: You tried to kill me!
Annie: I love you!
Peter: Why did you try to kill me?
Annie: I didn’t! I was trying to save you!
Peter: Why did you try to kill me?
Peter: I don’t like this. Dad, I don’t like this.
Peter: Make it stop! Make it f***ing stop! Make it stop!
Joan: Hey, hey, hey. It’s alright. Charlie, you’re alright now. You are Paimon, one of the eight kings of Hell. We have looked to the Northwest and called you in. We’ve corrected your first female body and give you now this healthy male host. We reject the Trinity and pray devoutly to you, great Paimon. Give us your knowledge of all secret things. Bring us honor, wealth, and good familiars. Bind all men to our will, as we have bound ourselves for now and ever to yours. Hail, Paimon!
Coven Members: Hail, Paimon! Hail, Paimon! Hail!