Movie Review: Hereditary

As a horror movie fan, I think Hereditary is one of the best films I’ve seen in a while. Sure, A Quiet Place was good, even Get Out was amazing but for me there’s nothing quite like watching a good old, slow burn, moody classic like Hereditary. Not a lot of people are going to like it for sure since it’s not your typical Kwan-type blockbuster bait flick (no shade) but it’s going to stand the test of time as truly one of the great masterpieces of our time.

Here are 5 things I loved about this movie. *Contains Spoiler

1.) Toni Collette as Annie
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Tonie Collette’s performance in this movie deserves some (a lot actually) recognition and though horror films doesn’t really get recognized as much in award giving bodies, I feel like this one definitely deserves an Oscar nod. Her portrayal of Annie is so raw and unnerving that you’re going to feel her slow descent into madness. It’s like watching your mom go crazy but there’s nothing you can do about it and that’s really frustrating.

As a viewer, you’re going to hate her at some point. She’s the unreliable protagonist in the movie and you’re not sure if you’re on her side or not. Her character is so polarizing that sometimes you’d want to blame her for all the fucked up things that’s happened and has been happening to their family but at same time you also sympathize with her as a grieving mother trying to cope with the loss of her daughter. You know she’s been through a lot after going through tragedy after tragedy, you can understand why she is that way or why she’s making these choices. Gabriel Byrne as Steve, her husband is a a polar opposite and great counter to her Annie. Where Annie is driven by pure, raw emotion, Steve is the more logical one who keeps the family stable despite all of what’s happening.

2.) The Sound Design
Sound can make or break a horror film and Hereditary definitely used its sound so effectively in order to create a certain mood that keeps building the tension throughout the film. It’s haunting that keeps you at the edge of your seat and your heartbeat racing.

3.) The Story
I’ve seen a lot of horror movies and Hereditary stands out as one of those films that will stick with me for a while. One of film I can compare it to is The Martyrs, where you thought the story is going in a certain direction then switches half way. An unsettling twist that you won’t see coming at all even if the signs were there all along. Hereditary is one movie that you’ll have to see at least twice in order to get a full grasp of what it all meant. Again, most people are going to be frustrated since this film isn’t about resorting to cheap scares at all. It’s not going to spoon feed you the things that make it scary, hence it will make you process what you see on screen and analyze these things until you get that holy-shit-I-didn’t-realized-that-moment which makes it even more frightening.

I’ve watched a couple of videos on Youtube explaining its ending and some of the things that I’ve missed and seriously there are so many hidden clues I didn’t notice at first to make the whole twist in the end worth it.

4.) The Kids

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It’s really hard to unnerve me but Milly Shapiro as Charlie probably will haunt my dreams for a couple of days. Her portrayal in this film is so unsettling at times that it’s difficult to watch. The fact that she’s practically just another kid who happens to be a little weird and obsessed with eating chocolates and has a peanut allergy shouldn’t be scary on paper but everything about her in the film is irresistibly frightening that even if you don’t want to watch it you just can’t look away.

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Alex Wolff as Peter is just sublime. From a stoner kid who accidentally kills his sister in a road mishap to a stoner kid whose slow descent into madness (like his mother) was excruciatingly sad to watch is one of the best parts of the film. The subtle and slow transformation of his character as King Paimon is probably one of the most disturbing and at the same time upsetting feelings in the world. On one hand you want to save him but on the other hand you know that there’s nothing you can do and that it’s almost inevitable what’s going to happen to him.

5.) The Twist

Yes! The twist at the end was something that I never really saw coming. I initially thought that this film would be about some mental illness that runs in the family. How Annie is experiencing dissociative disorders (DD) because of her previous episodes of sleepwalking (case point: trying to kill Peter and Charlie as kids without knowing it and later choking Peter in his sleep.) or the dad twist in the end ala The Shining’s Jack Torrance route.

I also thought that all of them are actually just crazy to begin with or became crazy after Charlie’s death. How one traumatic event can change a person and how this experience can lead someone into madness.

A lot of the people didn’t like how it ended but to me this is one of the best endings I’ve seen in a while. It’s so grim and so satisfying in the end. Of course, people won’t see this as a great end since it practically fulfilled Peter’s complete transformation into one of the King’s in Hell, Paimon but it also makes a lot of sense for the “ritual” to have worked in their cult’s favor. It’s not going to be a happy ending from the point of view of the viewers but it’s the most logical one. There’s really nothing that anyone can do prevent it anyway and by the symbolism of the miniature’s alone, it shows that everything that happened in their family has been manipulated by King Paimon and his occultists all along.

5 Reasons Why I Deleted My Grindr and Tinder (and other dating apps) P.3

Sobrang daming posers. I’m not even sure if I have to explain this but this is one of the reasons why I hate using these types of apps. Like, how could these guys even have the nerve to use someone else photo as their profile picture. Hindi ba nila alam what implications could that have to the owner of the photo. I haven’t experienced this myself pero I could only imagine what it would feel like to find out someone is using your face, basically stealing your identity and going around pretending to be you just to hook up with guys.

5 Reasons Why I Deleted My Grindr and Tinder (and other dating apps) P.2

2. Pathological Liars

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When it comes to online dating, almost all of us are liars. It’s basically our chance to present the best versions of ourselves to a potential “lover” while leaving behind the most incriminating details about our lives. Yes, we lie all the time, we say things that aren’t necessarily true like how many sexual encounters we’ve had in the past couple of days or if we’re being honest about our age, profession etc etc etc. We keep the truth well covered and only reveal the best bits about us, which isn’t necessarily wrong but in the long run it will surely bite us back in ass. Ilang beses na din ata ako naipit sa ganitong situation. Ewan ko ba, I guess I’m a pathological liar in a sense that I want to appear like a decent guy all the time. Pa-innocent na pa-virgin na akala mo first time sa lahat. I’m not even gonna deny it but I’ve told a lot of lies na minsan pati ako naniniwala na totoo yun. I lied about my age and how many relationships I’ve had in the past para lang hindi ako magmukhang malandi. If there’s one thing I never lied about siguro it’s my interests since that’s when I’m most talkative when someone asks me about my hobbies.

5 Reasons Why I Deleted My Grindr and Tinder (and other dating apps)

  1. Superficial Guys

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Let’s be honest, most of us are superficial when it comes to online dating. Sa totoo lang, you wouldn’t tap on an empty profile or swipe right if you don’t think that person is attractive. Sabi nga ng officemate ko, “Mata ang unang nagmamahal,” and true enough, just like on these apps, we judge people like we judge a book – solely based on what we see in the cover. Pero may point naman, you wouldn’t necessarily entertain someone if you’re not physically attracted to them di ba? Kung wala naman spark, anong gagawin mo? Walang chemistry eh so bakit mo ipipilit? Magpakatotoo lang tayo, nauuna talaga ang itsura bago ang personality. If it’s the looks that caught your attention, it’s the personality that will make him stay in your life. Eh what if it’s the other way around? Would you still pursue someone you get along really well with after you guys meet and realized na hindi mo pala siya type?

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I guess we all have types and preferences nga naman we should respect that but sometimes most guys online are excruciatingly superficial to the point na ang hinahanap na ata nila are Greek gods amongst mere mortals eh. Parang gusto ko sabihin na pare if you’re looking for a model or an actor, you wouldn’t find him on Grindr na because the “real world” is his freaking Grindr. I’m sure na maglakad lang yan sa mall may makikilala na yan agad. I doubt that they’ll use these kind of apps to meet people when they are already surrounded by attractive people anywhere they go.

If you look at the profiles of guys on these apps, most of them are either topless (showing off their big guns and six-packed abs) or their beautified faces na pinatungan pa ng filters to the point na you won’t even recognize them anymore (minsan hindi mo alam kung totoong tao pa ba yung nasa picture or Renaissance painting eh halos wala na kasing pores tapos sobrang blurred pa na hindi mo na maintindihan kung kinukuha na ba siya sa langit sa sobrang liwanag). When you finally say hi the first thing they’ll ask naman is “pic” or “dick size” or “loc”. I get it, these apps are mainly for hookups but if you’re not the type who wants to, then this isn’t for you dahil you’re just wasting your time.

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Wala din naman masama if you want to show off your body, maybe that’s your best asset eh. If I had abs for sure naka-topless ako kahit saan magpunta pero sana we can look past beyond the physical and at least dig deeper into the personalities of the guys we’re talking to. At the end of the day and as cliché as it may sound, looks will fade pero yun personality ng tao will always remain. So, if you can find someone that made you laugh or at least someone you could talk to other than your favorite position, go for it. ‘Wag tayong masyadong superficial na naghahanap na tayo ng perfect kasi minsan you’ll meet someone that’s totally opposite of what you’re looking for and fall in love with that person eventually.

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He was standing by the door waiting for him to come home. It’s been hours since he called and now he couldn’t think of anything else. “What happened?”, he whispered to himself, confused. “Where is he now?” He wonders.

It was around 3 am in the morning when John called. He couldn’t hear him clearly but he knew he was in trouble. “Help!”, John said trembling. And that bolted him out of his sleep. “Where are you?”, he asked, concerned but not worried yet. Then the line was suddenly cut. He got out of his bed, put on his clothes and rushed outside to check. It was raining hard that morning but even the storm couldn’t stop him from finding out what’s going on with John. He waited outside for a few minutes and then hailed a cab.

It’s been a year since the two of them last talked to each other that’s why he was surprised to hear his voice especially in such strange circumstance. John wanted space, he wanted out of the relationship, to explore new things or whatever cliched reasons why a partner would break up with you. As much as it hurt him to let him go, he did. There’s really no point in begging someone to stay if they don’t want to anymore and so they parted ways. John moved out  the next day and from then on they never spoke to each other again.

It’s weird, in a way, to love someone so deeply and know someone so much that one day you’ll wake up as strangers. It’s as if the last 2 years you spent together was nothing but a distant memory – a dream, something that happened in a another place, another lifetime.

John lives an hour away outside of the city. He knows because his best friend would usually update him on his whereabouts. No matter how many times he asked his friend to stop talking about John, deep inside he still wanted to know what has been going on with his ex. John wasn’t the most stable guy out there. Some would even say he was a lost cause. Yes, he was troubled but only in a sense that he needed protection – not just from the people in his lives that wanted to take advantage of him but to himself. His life was complicated and since he was young he had been through a lot starting with an abusive father and an absent mother. He grew up alone, with no siblings to look after him or to support him. For a while he lived with his aunt after he ran away from home. She was the only family he knew but in a tragic turn of events, she passed away too soon.
“Nothing out of the ordinary,” his best friend would say. “He’s got a new job at an advertising agency, he travels a lot and from his feed it doesn’t look like he’s dating anyone as of the moment,” he continued. “Or maybe he just doesn’t post any photos of them together?” I asked, curious. John was a very private person. He was very reserved and he doesn’t like going out at night. He was never the type that would start a conversation. He would just sit by the corner, read his book and completely engrossed himself on whatever he was reading. He was a bit shy and mostly kept to himself that’s why not a lot of people could get close to him. It was hard for him to share his feelings because he doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for him. He wanted people to think that he was strong or that he has all of this figured out but when he stares into his eyes he could tell that John was scared. That he was always worried.

The first time they met was in a bookstore. He caught him checking out one of the books and walked up to him to ask if he thinks the author was good. John was taken aback for sure. To find a stranger in front of him asking about a book he hasn’t even read yet. He was embarrassed at first. It was never really like him to just walk up to someone but he was curious enough to muster all the courage he has to do it. Honestly, it wasn’t the first hime he saw John in that bookstore. He had been watching him since the day he saw him, which was about a few weeks prior. John was too consumed in his own little world that he never noticed him. For hours he would look at the titles, read the summary and finally choose one that best interests him. And he watched him, every Monday morning, like a predator observing his prey and waiting for the right moment to strike. He doesn’t want to admit it at first but he was kind of stalking him already. “I don’t know, I’m just really drawn to him,” he said to his best friend during one of their coffee breaks. “He’s so mysterious that I feel like I want to get to know him,” he continued.

“You just probably want to fuck him,” his best friend said laughing and he answered with a resounding, “Well, yes! Of course.”

Who wouldn’t want to? He muttered while the driver drove past the bridge crossing to John’s place. John was probably one of the most beautiful person he has ever seen. He was different from all the other guys he met before. It was like he didn’t know how attractive he was. He didn’t like it when people stare at him that’s why he was always looking down, afraid to make eye contact with anyone. He just wanted to blend in with everyone else but the more he tried to the more he stood out. He was like a Greek god walking amongst us mere mortals just trying to hide his identity but failing at the same time.

“He’s probably weird,” he told his best friend. “Maybe something happened to him as a kid that fucked up his entire existence,” he added. But the more he tried to figure him out the more he got absorbed. His curiosity just kept growing and growing until one day, when finally had the courage, he walked over to him and talked.

He felt the rush of blood rising the moment he spoke. His face was red from embarrassment that all he could think of was running away and just forget what happened. He’ll never go back to that hook store ever again, he though to himself. But he was still there, standing, frozen, unable to move.

He was more beautiful up close, he realized. How could someone who looks like this man in front of me can go unnoticed all his life. He could have been an actor or a model or just be famous for having a face like that. So he stared at him and he stared back in awe.
People often talk about the significant moments that defined their lives and for him it was this moment. A single moment that seemed to stretch for a lifetime.

He waited for him to answer back. Looked into his eyes for some answers until he finally opened his mouth.

“You can see me?” John said.