Movie Review: Hereditary (2018)

Trauma, we all experience it in one form or another. Aaaaaaand with that, you should be aware that the jokes won’t be flowin’ throughout this post. So let’s just get one out of the way right now, before shit gets serious. What do you call in Aussie actress who fetches her paycheck? Toni Collect.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hereditary”.

After the death of one of their relatives, the Graham family does their best to move on. But that isn’t so easy, as increasingly strange and disturbing things keep happening around them. Talking about the narrative of “Hereditary” without getting into too many details is difficult, as I feel it is one best left experienced knowing as little as possible. Because it’s not some typical horror narrative, and don’t worry, I’m not pulling out that whole “elevated horror” bullshit. I’m just saying that if you’re expecting spooky jumpscare fest number gazillion, then you’re gonna be sorely mistaken. “Hereditary” is mostly a slow burn family drama that also happened to get under my skin thanks to some bone-chilling imagery, tragic and believable writing, and an eerie atmosphere. It’s been a while since I watched a scary movie that got under my skin this much, while also keeping me emotionally invested in the drama.

The characters in this are flawed, damaged, nuanced, and simply enthralling to watch, and a lot of that comes down to the stellar cast. Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne, and Ann Dowd are all fantastic in their respective roles. There’s not a single weak link in this entire cast.

The score for the movie was composed by one Colin Stetson, and I think he did a great job with it. It’s eerie, it’s emotionally charged, it’s tense, and it just generally fits the movie quite well, often elevating some already stellar moments throughout. It’s not one of those I’m gonna find myself listening to in my spare time, but I did think it was good.

“Hereditary” was the first feature film written and directed by Ari Aster, who also did “Midsommar” (which I talked about last year). And holy fucking shit, this dude knows what he’s doing. Whenever someone gets to make their first feature, there’s something that might feel rocky about the craft… but not here. Aster shows skill far beyond his years, building an unsettling atmosphere and suspense seldom seen in modern horror. And when mixed with Pawel Pogorzelski’s often symmetrical and very rigid cinematography, you get a movie that is both beautiful and unsettling to look at. Speaking of unsettling visuals, I should warn that there’s some incredibly distressing visuals at a few times. I can stomach violence and gore and stuff… but some of the stuff here managed to get a strong reaction from me. So consider yourself warned.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7.3/10.

“Hereditary” to me is a visceral and haunting horror-drama like no other. It has a great story, really good characters, fantastic performances, really good music, and excellent directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hereditary” is a 9.89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Hereditary” is now completed.

Give Toni Collette an Oscar, you cowards.

Movie Review: The Usual Suspects (1995)

usual suspects

You should know by now that I love crime movies. Whether it’d be a crime-drama, crime-thriller, crime-comedy, etc. There is just something about crime-based movies that I love. Maybe it is because I have never committed a crime and probably never will and the movies help me get some kind of weird satisfaction from it or something. Anyway, today we are taking a look at a crime movie that is being praised as one of the best.

Ladies and gentlemen, please step forward and say the line you’ve been given when told so… because we are taking a look at “The Usual Suspects”!

The story is about con man Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) who is the sole survivor of a brutal and horrific gun battle on a boat/at a dock. He is brought in by the police and is being interrogated by US Customs officer Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri). As you may have guessed, the officer wants to know what the hell happened there. And not only does Kint tell him about what happened there, but he also tells about the events leading up to it starting with a random police lineup where he meets his fellow cast members (Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak). And at the same time as Kint is telling Kujan about the different situations there is an investigation going on that revolves around the mysterious killer “Keyser Söze”. And then plot twists, great heist things and other awesome things ensues… and that is kind of what makes this story so great. It has an unconventional way of telling itself. It is not straightforward, it is not without complexity, this story is fucking awesome!

The characters in this movie are fantastic in every aspect of the word. Not only well-acted, but also fantastically well-written. They are all entertaining to watch and they all fill their shoes perfectly. But by god, the biggest surprise in this movie was Stephen Baldwin. Take in mind that I have only seen him in that shit movie “BioDome”. But here he not only gives a really good performance but also turned out to pretty much be my favorite character. He is witty, he is smart, he got a great beard and just is perfect for the movie! Also, Kevin Spacey gives an Oscar worthy performance in this movie (Duh, of course he was Oscar worthy, he won an Oscar for the role).

The soundtrack by John Ottman (Who was also the editor for the movie) is just fantastic! Combining both subtle and pretty (I don’t wanna use this word, but I have to) epic orchestrations. The subtle parts were there when they needed to and the bigger parts were there when they needed to. And therefore it really worked.

Fun fact: The script for this movie was written by Christopher McQuarrie who later went on to direct 2012’s “Jack Reacher” and the upcoming “Mission Impossible 5”. I don’t know, I just thought it was kinda cool to see his name in the credits of this movie since I really liked “Jack Reacher”. Also if you didn’t know, this movie was directed by Bryan Singer who you may know from movies like “X-Men”, “X-men 2” and “X-men: Days of future Past”. Yeah, this guy has been around and kicked butt. I also have to mention that this movie is perfectly shot. I know I rarely say that about a movie that is not directed by David Fincher, but this time I can say it without any problems. It looks fantastic!

Time for the reception. For the most part, “The Usual Suspects” was well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds a score of 88% and of course with that score has been certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic this movie has a 77/100. Here comes the funny bit where I tell you about what Roger Ebert thought about it… he didn’t like this at all. He gave this movie 1,5/4 stars… I know, it’s kind of weird. Anyway, moving on from that! Let’s see here, on imdb.com this movie has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250” list there. This movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor in a supporting role (Kevin Spacey) and Best screenplay, written directly for the screen (Christopher McQuarrie).

This movie got great performances, an interesting plot with cool twists, great music, perfectly shot and it made me like Stephen Baldwin. So time for my final score for this little movie. My final score for “The Usual Suspects” is a 9,70/10 which of course grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“The Usual Suspects” is finally reviewed.

KEYSER SÖZE, KEYSER SÖZE, KEYSER SÖZE!