Or, rather, if you watch "Hereditary," you may not sleep.
The indie horror thriller starring Toni Collette has quietly picked up a lot of effusive praise as a modern horror hit. Not only does it have a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94 percent from 128 reviews (as of this writing), its Metascore is 87/100. So critics didn't just approve of it enough to say it's "fresh" over "rotten", they REALLY liked it. For comparison's sake, "A Quiet Place" -- another recent indie horror darling -- has a Metascore of 82.
Here's a sampling of critics' blurbs, in case you're on the fence about seeing this one:
• "No shot seems wasted, the editing is a sturdy and linear rebuke to the quick-cut madness that's infected so many recent genre films, and the sound and set design are meticulous and spare." -- Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
• "[A] terrifying thriller that pins you to the back of your chair and leaves you paralyzed in fear." -- Adam Graham, Detroit News
• "Forget the 'scarier than The Exorcist' line (whatever that means) that Hereditary has been tagged with - this is a movie that lives up to the hype on its own terms." -- Hugh Armitage, Digital Spy
• "a masterpiece of freaky filmmaking, unsettling from its very first image through its hellish denouement." -- Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
• "This is a horror film for the ages, a slowly unraveling puzzle of psychological torment that promises an amazing career from freshman feature writer-director Ari Aster." -- Leigh Monson, Birth.Movies.Death.
• "Hereditary" is closer in tone to the likes of "The Babadook," "It Follows," "A Quiet Place" and "It Comes at Night," where the dread and fear come not from what you see but what you think you might see." -- Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle
• "[Ari] Aster has spent a lot of time studying "The Shining," "The Exorcist," and "Rosemary's Baby." It's nice to have a classicist back in town." -- Ty Burr, Boston Globe
• "Through a traumatic story of familial grief, debuting director Ari Aster has pulled off a relentless horror film, possibly a new genre classic, with scares for the ages." -- Tomris Laffly, Film Journal International
• "[Hereditary is] a movie so horrifying and good that you have to see it, even if you shouldn't want to, even if you might never sleep peacefully again." -- Jake Coyle, Associated Press
• "If there's a better horror movie this year, I'm going to need new pants." -- Eric D. Snider, Crooked Marquee
Toni Collette is due more awards love. It would be amazing to see this get her there. Why not? "Get Out" just showed, once again, that horror movies can and should be taken seriously alongside dramas.
However, not everyone was charmed, so here's one warning shot from a more critical critic:
• "Hereditary takes itself too seriously, it's too long, too predictable and frequently frustrating." -- Michael Smith, Tulsa World
"Hereditary" -- which played its trailer ahead of "Peter Rabbit" that one time in Australia, #classic -- also stars Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Ann Dowd, Milly Shapiro, Mallory Bechtel, and Brock McKinney. It is now in theaters.
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