Renew Radar: HEREDITARY

Renew Radar is a recurring feature that highlights some of the titles you may see on our screen in the coming months. We may not get to all of the featured films, but these are the movies on our radar.

Toni Colette in anchors this moody, atmospheric horror tale. (Photo: A24)

In the past several years, film distributor A24 has released the thought-provoking and celebrated horror movies The Witch, Green Room, and It Comes at Night, among others. These films were met with significant critical acclaim not typically afforded to the horror genre. And, their latest release Hereditary fits perfectly into that family of films (pun intended).

Hereditary is a cerebral horror film that is on par with the genre’s icons, bringing to mind the profound scares of The Exorcist, Poltergeist, and House on Haunted Hill. It tells an artful story of the strange behavior exhibited by a young girl after the death of her mysterious and domineering grandmother. The girl’s mother, played terrifically by Toni Colette, notices something is wrong and begins to investigate her own mother’s past. Colette’s maniacal performance is one of her best — many of the film’s scares come from her visceral acting skills.

Director Ari Aster has crafted a slow-boil, atmospheric horror tale in his first feature length release. There are moments of sheer terror and transcendentally engaging filmmaking that often occur in the same instance. If this film is any indication, we should expecting to see more great things from this director in the future.