This article is really just a reminder that Ari Aster is probably the best horror/thriller director of all time. I’m doubtful that an argument could persuade me otherwise and I’ll stand by my statement. Ok fine, I’ll admit, there can be a debate. I nominate for the best horror director of all time Stanley Kubrick versus Ari Aster. Kubrick has the recognition and history, as well as being a pioneer for the genre, but I think that having Hereditary as your first (!) feature film is reason enough to place Aster into the ring. And don’t even get me started on Midsommar (2019), which was released only one measly year later! One year! I could write a whole other article about Midsommar, or even Jordan Peele who now that I consider it, stands just as strong a candidate as Aster, but I’ll spare any readers who don’t want to hear my trivial rambling.
Moving on, another statement I’ll stand by is that the performances from Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, and Nat Wolff all have some of the best individual performances I’ve ever seen. Collette keeps our attention, and for good reason. Her facial expressions in Hereditary deserve their own Academy Award… a sore subject because Collette wasn’t even considered for a nomination! On another note - Nat Wolff is so talented and absurdly underrated. I’m convinced that the universe NEEDS him to be in more projects in order to save all of humanity. I really wish that the NUFEC blog had a voice memo option so I could scream this to anyone who reads my review since I cannot articulate it well enough for words! (Maybe that just means I need a better vocabulary.) On top of their solo performances, as a collective, these three actors were so great that it is just plain evil. I mean it! They are all so debilitating and mesmerizing that it’s diabolical! Lastly, this IS the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. Maybe even the most terrifying piece of art I’ve experienced. I also think that it’s so cool that all these talented actors were just so committed to the obscure, layered, and jarring ideas of this film. It says a lot about them as people that makes me respect them even more than I already did - which is practically impossible!
I need to read a book on this movie. This is also one of the only movies I feel it’s necessary to call a ‘film’. I want to lurk inside Ari Aster’s brain because I am so curious as to how and why he did everything in and for this movie! He is genuinely a genius for writing and directing this. I’m twiddling my thumbs, waiting for his tell-all! Finally, this film makes me consider that it might justify our generation’s glorification of A24 combined with unprecedented access to streaming platforms so that there are so many more people in the world that get to experience not only this film, but hopefully many more genius, stunning, and enigmatic films to come.