Hereditary Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ari Aster’s Hereditary.)

In its opening days, Hereditary has sailed past tracking expectations and earned A24 its biggest weekend release yet. Ari Aster’s indie horror film has been generating conversation since its January Sundance screening, and now that it’s on nearly three thousand screens, that conversation has gotten a lot louder.

And there’s plenty to talk about when it comes to Hereditary: the soul-chilling performances, the elegant and unusual art design, that balls-out (uhm, literally) ending no one saw coming. But under the polished, cinematic horror of Hereditary is a rougher, truer horror, one that will stay with audiences long past that shocking conclusion.

The real horror of Hereditary is in its relentless, unblinking look at family dysfunction.

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A Quiet Place Producers Interview

John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place had its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival on March 9th (read my review here), during which a theater filled with rowdy film fans sat in riveted silence, absorbing this terrifying, largely dialogue-free horror film that is unlike any other.

A Quiet Place producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, Ouija, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jack Ryan) spoke with me about that memorable screening, what it was like working with real-life married couple Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and the twisty road to delivering those sound-hunting beasties.

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Wildling Review

Wildling is Fritz Böhm’s first feature film, and it’s such an assured debut, darkly mystical and elegant. This nighttime fairy tale tells the story of Anna (Bel Powley), a young woman who’s spent much of her life locked in a room like Rapunzel, with only “Daddy” (Lord of the RingsBrad Dourif, in an equally untrustworthy role) as company.

Daddy treats Anna with tenderness, warning her against “the wildling” that stalks the woods surrounding their remote fairy tale tower. He seems loving and protective – but he’s also keeping Anna in seclusion. We watch her grow from toddlerhood to young womanhood in the confines of the same tiny room – and all the while we keep seeing Daddy inject a mysterious substance into Anna’s tummy. These opening scenes are disorienting, diving right into the narrative instead of offering any tidy context, immediately eliciting intrigue and perplexity from the audience. The context comes later, as Wildling’s story grows clearer but never less strange. Read More »

Cloak & Dagger Review

Freeform debuted the pilot of Cloak & Dagger, the new young adult Marvel series hitting small screens on Freeform in June, at SXSW today. An hour into this world, it’s clear that it’ll be among the upper echelon of Marvel television. Granted, that’s not a terribly high bar to cross, but Cloak & Dagger does so with style and powerful storytelling. Read More »

A Quiet Place Movie Review - John Krasinski

When one sense goes, the others are more heightened. It’s the pretty simple foundation on which A Quiet Place is built, a largely dialogue-free film in which every sight, every texture, every movement lands harder than it would in a noisier picture. Director John Krasinski crafts a new and unusual monster movie, featuring creatures that are much gnarlier than you’re probably expecting from an intimate festival entry by the filmmaker behind Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

Keep reading our full A Quiet Place movie review below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Alex ProyasDark City turns 20 today, a science fiction masterpiece that is at once undeniably influential in its field yet still overlooked by many fans of the genre. That commercial neglect may be due in part to the theatrical version, which opened with a studio-mandated voice-over narration that compromised Proyas’ vision – as well as that of his co-writers, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer – and spoiled the film’s compelling mystery before it even began.

In the theatrical version, as we sink through the cosmos into a city street bathed in night, Kiefer Sutherland’s Dr. Schreber gives us answers to questions we haven’t even thought to ask yet: “First, there was darkness. Then came The Strangers.” We learn that The Strangers are an ancient race whose inhabitants have mastered the “ultimate technology: the ability to alter physical reality by will alone.” We learn that they’re dying, that their civilization is in decline, and so they’ve abandoned their home and searched for a cure across the stars, before finding themselves on a “small blue world, in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world.” Although there’s still much to be learned in Dark City, the solution to its biggest riddle is handed to us in the first fifty seconds of the film.

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