Hereditary ★★★★½

We are introduced to the world of Hereditary through Annie's dioramas; the story we are being told has already been mediated, interpreted, shaped. Been thinking about this, that in every film, no matter how outlandish, there is a kernel of truth, a story in realty transformed. Genre becomes a tool through which to analyze our own stories. Realism cannot always truthfully convey the true horror of life.
Toni Collette's performance remains captivating, a pinnacle showcase of grief from wailing to séancing to 'I am your Mother'-ing about.
This film had me by the throat when it first came out, but with some distance, I have to raise my eye at some choices, like the throwing aside of Annie, ambiguity and twists for sport, themes presented broadly, like the fact that every one of Peter’s school scenes is about geek tragedy and fate.

Hereditary's (and to an extent I think you could apply this to Midsommar) greatest strength and weakness is identical. It's a blank text, the characters, locations, events vague, more archetypes. The audience gets to project our own fears onto the characters onto the screen, as the film takes you on a sensory journey. But it keeps the film from really truly being about anything, at least not without a lengthy paper or video essay connecting various symbols, research, and metaphor. It could be about mental health, family issues, artistic interpretation, trans-ness, growing up, the danger of autobiographical art. The base material is fruitful for interpretation and response, but I can't help but wonder what the film would be if it had a bit more to say of its own.

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