2018-06-13 / Community View

Hereditary takes family unity to uncharted depths

Sunday I went to see a horror movie and ended up watching one of the best acting performances I've ever seen.

Toni Collette absolutely blew me away as Annie Graham, the mother of a family which is falling apart and there is nothing she can do about it.

The movie opens with the family getting ready for the funeral of Annie's mother, Ellen.

During the eulogy Annie touches upon their estranged relationship and how secretive her mother was.

After they get home the cementary calls, Ellen's grave has been vandalized. Annie's husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne, The Usual Suspects), makes an excuse as to not upset Annie even more.

Annie's relationship with her eldest son Peter (Alex Wolff, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) and daughter Charlie (Milly

Shapiro) are strained at best, but not explained until the end of the movie.

Later Annie, who is a miniaturist artist, sees visions of her mother in her workshop.

Annie decides to go to a support group and ends up spilling all the family secretes. Her father starved himself to death because of depression, her schizophrenic brother hung himself and her mother had a dissociative identity disorder. After sitting in the parking lot leading up to the next meeting, a woman named

Joan (Ann Dowd, The

Leftovers) approaches her and ends up leading her down a darker path by teaching her about séances.

What makes Collette's performance even more chilling is the fact I just watched her being rather ordinary in a supporting role in Tammy, a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy.

She should be up for major awards after giving a performance dripping with pain, helplessness and hopelessness.

— Lee Morse


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