So, I said I wanted to write about more things that I enjoyed. You know what I really enjoy? Horror movies. So, I’m gunna speak to you about Hereditary today. Yeah, THAT, Hereditary. This movie chilled me in a way very very few have the ability to do. I can only compare it to Debra Logan, or The Visit. Which makes it seem like I’m only scared of old people. Which still might be true.
Also, I should say, I am an above average film analyzer. I took a large amount of film classes in College, mostly because you just watched movies. However, I actually learned a lot about foreshadowing and symbolism and shit. So, Im going to have fun doing this.
Hereditary (2018) Directed and Written by Ari Aster
Okay, this story follows Annie (Toni Collette) after the death of her mother, which she low key doesnt care about. It follows the family through the grief but grief quickly morphs into something very sinister following this family.
First of all, Toni Collette deserves an award. Her performance made my soul ache at times. Second of all, what (and I cannot stress this enough) the fuck. Now I believe I understand it, but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling. Let’s get down to it. *SPOILERS AHEAD*
Hereditary, Part 1
Never a good sign when a movie starts with an obituary. Also it’s very clear shit is off from the get go. Charlie is just off doing weird shit with her hair all unkempt, full of equal parts silence and annoyance. But whatever, I am also annoyed all the time and my hair is a mess too, so I’m not judging. That is until Charlie cuts the head off of a bird, like with scissors. Those are not the actions of a well person. However, contrary to what I expected, we don’t see Charlie for very long. In what was the most shocking part thus far, Charlie almost “dies” from a peanut allergy but ends up getting beheaded in a car accident caused by her brother, Peter.
Now in some odd shock type behavior, Peter just drives home with a headless body in the car, then LEAVES IT in the car, and goes to bed. Annie finds the body in the morning, you know, because Peter LEFT IT THERE. Then shit gets squirrelly. Annie starts acting like a psychopath and hanging out with Ann Dowd (aka Aunt Lydia), which is just never good but her intentions seem well.
Hereditary, Part 2
Alright, skipping all the fucked up shit in the middle. Mostly because it’s fucked up and if you’re reading this far you’ve probably already seen it, and I wanna get to the ending. We learn that, SHOCKER, Ann Dowd is a grotsky little beeyoch. Aunt Lydia is to never be trusted. Basically Ann Dowd has been casing this family from the jump. She’s not some innocent lady from grief counseling, she is a weird cult follower. Then Annie finds her moms headless body in the attic, freak out. And then Annie’s husband catches on fire, freak out. After that, Annie appears calm immediately after his death, freak out. Then, Annie hides on the ceiling, after crawling on the ground, like the psychopath she is, FREAK OUT.
If you know me, you know body contortion in horror films and rapid weird movement are my TRIGGERS. Cannot handle that shit even a little. So, then Annie tries to catch Peter, who traps himself in the attic where he sees a ton of naked people and Annie sawing her own head off. The most unchill scene I have ever seen. So Peter, much like I would, jumped out of the window. But since we cant have nice things, we see Annies headless body floating towards that god forsaken devils lair of a tree house and Peter follows. Where we see more naked and headless bodies now worshipping Peter/Charlie/Paimon. The end.
So, what the fuck. Hereditary Ending Explained-ish
Alright, let me try to explain the parts I can. This movie revolves around the demon Paimon. Which is totally unclear until the end.
It is clear that Annie’s mother had been apart of this cult for a very very long time. Which can be explained by the fact that Annie’s brother killed himself and said their mother was trying to put people inside him. We know Paimon prefers vulnerable male hosts, per the movie. Also in the end, when Annie finally goes through her mother’s things, we learn Paimon rewards whoever conjures him and gives him a body? So Annie’s mother was deep into this shit. She even has a picture of herself in the attic as Queen? Idk, I’m getting bellatrix Lestrange vibes.
The mother and the children
Along side that, it would appear it was always the plan to use Annie’s children. Since Annie kept Peter away from her mother, her mother had no choice but to get close with Charlie. However, we know Paimon prefers a male body. The mother planned to get close to Charlie right away, since she missed her chance with Peter. We see Charlie’s doormat say “Charles”. However, when Charlie ended up being a girl, the mother had no choice but to go with her chance anyway. Which explains the fact that Charlie, was never actually Charlie. She was always Paimon. Which is
probably why she was weird as hell. Homegirl was a full blown demon.
Charlie being a weird ass
Speaking of Charlie, ummm. Yeah. Knowing she was always a demon makes an odd amount of sense. The click she does, while it could just be a quirk, it could be the demon talking. Either way, we see Peter do it at the end when the ritual is complete, so is it because he absorbed Charlie? Or is it because it’s Paimon talking…?
Which leads us to the fact that we can assume Charlie’s death was not an accident. In order to relieve Paimon from his flawed body, the cult plans Charlies gruesome death. Which is most easily proven by the symbol of Paimon on the telephone pole which decapitates her. Now, I have a hard time thinking about how all of this was meticulously planned. One wrong thing can literally ruin this entire plan. However (whenever someone reads a dialogue, talks about another movie or work of literature, or shows another movie, it is essential to the plot. A director will not want your attention away from their plot for no reason), we hear them talk about free will and Hercules. So it is clear it is written in the stars, this family did not stand a damn chance. Everything they did would lead them to that point.
Naked and afraid?
Why the hell is everyone headless and naked? I still don’t know. Only the three women in the family end up headless. There is probably something there, but I don’t know yet. Maybe Annie’s mother believed it was ultimate gift and sacrifice to Paimon. Giving up their humaness entirely. As for the not hot nudity, maybe its just to gross us out. Because much like my Cos teachers nails, somethings you don’t easily forget.
Joan is a bitch.
Lets talk about this damn cult, and once again evil Aunt Lydia. We learn this group of people have been hanging out together and planning for a very long time. It explains all the weird people waving and smiling at Charlie, at school and at the funeral. They knew who Charlie really was. Ann Dowd (Joan, Aunt Lydia) is a central character. She tricks Annie into thinking she is helping her. She plans, what I assume to be, a fake seance to talk to her fake grandson. This tricks Annie into thinking she can talk to Charlie, when really Joan gets her to perform the other necessary part of the ritual. Which is why her seance goes so wrong.
Joan is seen welcoming Peter/Charlie/Paimon at the end in that evil tree house. She was the one pulling the strings on the human side.
So in the end, the movie is actually successful. In the eyes of Annie’s mother. She gives Paimon a suitable male host body.
AND that is what I think about that. Thank you for sticking around if you made it this far! Im excited to review more horror movies, because it gives me an excuse to watch horror movies.