About a week ago, I watched the movie Hereditary. I’ll try to give an entirely biased and personal review here, without giving spoilers as much as I can.
This was a visually-stunning, atmospheric horror movie. The plot was very original, and it had an old school feel like the movie ‘Kill List’. It really made me think and carefully consider what was going on throughout, which is always a good thing for me.
Although I enjoyed the movie overall, one hidden relationship between the characters was a bit too obvious for me, and there was some dialogue that I felt a bit too repetitive. Often in horror movies when someone tells someone else something is occurring, when the other person looks, it isn’t; however, in this movie it was: “Look, this is happening.” “Oh yes, it is.” While this was an interesting change, it was rather noticeable, and a couple of the scenes were drawn out, particularly towards the end of the movie, because of this. This interfered with the pacing for me, and while I enjoyed the movie overall, I didn’t find myself feeling for the characters as much towards the end. There were a few chilling scenes throughout, including an utterly traumatising scene about a third of the way into the movie.
All of the actors, especially the female lead Toni Collette, were wonderful, but Gabriel Byrne’s acting seemed rather wooden, particularly in the final few scenes. The young girl was a wonderful actress, and I would like to see her in more movies in future.
It is interesting that many of the particularly disturbing scenes occur in the first part of the movie. Some of the words written on walls served as section breaks, which was an interesting technique. In this respect it was similar to the wonderfully-disturbing movie “Antichrist”. We know when we get to ‘Pandemonium’ something particularly bad is about to happen.
Recently I also got to fulfil one of my life goals: stabbing my younger brother with a longsword. Of course, he got to hack my head off a few times immediately after, but I got better. We were both wearing protective gear and all of the deaths were virtual ones, but after you see the sword bend after a stab, or get mildly dazed by being hacked in the head, you can imagine what fun training in HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) really is.
Actually I’ve been fighting with my brother in martial arts duels since about 8 years old, duelling with longswords is probably just a natural evolution of this tendency. Reading Joe Abercrombie for the last few weeks might have influenced me a little too. I’m reading ‘Half a World’ at the moment, the sequel to the excellent ‘Half a King’, which are Norse-inspired fantasy novels. His prose, plots and characterisation are all excellent. Enough to drive a person into sword-fighting.
Will post more about my writing and the reading next time. I’m doing an course.