Hereditary

Billed as the scariest film for years – and I scare easily at the movies – I can’t help admit Hereditary left me unspooked. Not to say it isn’t a good film, because Toni Collette is great in it and there’s a smartness to the atmosphere created by Ari Aster on his directing debut.

It’s about family breakdown, when Collette’s Annie has to deal with the passing of her stern mother Ellen. Grief and guilt are the main subjects here, and they hang heavy over Annie as she grapples with her true feelings about her cold, distant disciplinarian mother.

It’s when she begins delving into her mum’s belongings, things get a bit creepy and when she seeks counselling in a therapy group, welcomed in by one gossipy woman in particular, who invites her for a seance. Hmm – not a great idea….

 Annie’s husband (Gabriel Byrne) has to look stern and disbelieving, but when their daughter Charlie starts behaving oddly, something malevolent takes over the family – not helped by older brother Peter’s bong habit.

What was Annie’s mum up to? Who were her friends and what does the symbol on her necklace mean? And what’s up in the loft?

I liked the film – it’s tense, certainly, and dingy with a couple of decent shocks, but I wasn’t petrified and parts of it weren’t that original or surprising if you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby.