Summer is over here in Sweden, and we are going into autumn. If there is one thing i can find positive about autumn, it is that i can cozy watching new films, while the rain floods outside. Usually i do this every year, when it gets colder. Since during summer time i am usually very busy, autumn becomes a bit more calmer. This means i have more time to check out films i have not seen yet. And of course it goes pretty fast, until we are getting closer to Halloween. A wonderful weekend for horror fans, and i always check out horror films during Halloween weekend. Since it is September at this moment, we have some goodies on our way, for example the new horror film The Nun ? I will see the film in the cinema guaranteed. There are some other horror films i am planning to check out, such as the British Sci Fi horror film Await Further Instructions, a film that looks really interesting. I will be writing a review on this film as well, probably sometime in late October if possible. Now, let´s talk about the occult. There are a lot of horror films from the past that have brought up the occult in many different ways. One good example is the Mexican horror film Alucarda, released in 1977 by director Juan López Moctezuma. The story takes place at an orphanage where nuns teach religion. Alcucarda, a 15 year old girl, have lived all her life at this orphanage. She makes a new friend in the new arrival Justine. They for a sexual relationship, and after opening a casket at a nearby burial site, they release a Demonic force that make them possessed by a Satanic entity. I would not say this is one of my personal favourite films in the occult horror genre, but the film have a different look than similar films made during this era.I suggest you pick up the DVD from America and watch the film, because this is a cult classic And i have to mention, this film is also appreciated by legendary director Guillermo del Toro. Occult horror films have been a very popular theme in many horror films, including in recent years. The difference between the old films, and the new ones are usually that the new movies don´t usually turn out as brutal as the old classics. But that´s ok, as long as a film is good. I would like to recommend one film, that you can find on Netflix known as Veronica. A Spanish horror film that is effective, using the classic concept of a Ouija board. The film Veronica is also directed by Paco Plaza, who directed the very good Spanish horror film Rec, so you know he knows the horror genre well. During spring time, i have heard a lot of great rumors about a horror film called Hereditary. The critics were really positive and the audiences seemed to be positive as well. I did see the trailer in cinemas, and it seemed to be very different from most horror releases. I finally got a chance to see Hereditary to see if i would agree with all the positive feedback i have heard about this film. Is this a new horror masterpiece, or is Hereditary a film that is a big disappointment for us horror fans ?
Annie ( Toni Collette ) is grieving the loss of her matriarch, who she loved very much. She and her husband Steve ( Gabriel Byrne ) have two children Peter ( Alex Wolff ) and Charlie ( Milly Shapiro ). While Peter is celebrating at a party, his sister Charlie have an allergic reaction and can´t breath. Peter tries to drive her to the hospital. Since Charlie cat breathe, she sticks her head out of the window to get air, but is accidentally killed by road pole. Knowing that Charlie accidentally killed his own sister, he is forced to inform his parents. They are completely devastated and especially Annie. She does not know how to go on with her life. Joan ( Ann Dowd ) offer Annie to try and contact Charlie on the other side. At first Annie don´t feel comfortable to do something like this, but she wants to hear and feel Charlie´s presence. But the process may not be as simple as Annie hopes, when she finds out some dark secrets from the past.
Since i have not seen a lot of horror films this summer, it is refreshing to see a horror film that manage to make something different from a traditional horror story. Hereditary reminds me of old school occult films, at the same time this films also is more focused on family tragedies. And in this case, this is one of those stories that is so tragic. Imagine being a brother who accidently kill your little sister, and living with this for the rest of your life ? Imagine the hate you will feel from family members. You have both a story of family members trying to handle this, and you have a desperate mother who believe she can contact her dead daughter. The biggest strength of this film for me personally is the acting. The three main characters are really well crafted, and i have to say main character Annie ( played brilliant by actor Toni Collette ) is a character that really makes a strong impact. Toni Collette have made a lot of really good performances for many years, and this time she have really tried to dig deep into her character. This could be one of the best performances i have seen in a horror film for a long time. The other characters who also manage to really good performances are actor Alex Wolff, playing the young man Peter. After the accident where his sister dies, he gives us a really strong performance of a man who is torn apart of sadness and feeling a deep guilty conscience. Legendary actor Gabriel Byrne manage to do another amazing performance as the father Steve, who tries to handle the sadness over his dead daughter, and how to be there for his wife. The young girl Charlie, played by actor Milly Shapiro, is absolutely splendid. For such a young age, she is clearly an actor we will hopefully see more of soon. I have to mention the actor Ann Dowd for her performance as Joan, also a very strong character in this film. Another reason why this is such a great horror film, is that the film does a really good job portraying a family that is completely torn apart. And especially when you see the mother desperate, who is willing to do anything to talk to her daughter again through occult ways. But when the film take a different turn towards the end, things become even more interesting. You see, Hereditary does something most horror films don´t do, have a surprise twist that you don´t expect. And this is exactly what i love, when a horror film dare to move into another direction. Director Ari Aster ( who have directed a number of short films ) have made a very strong directorial debut film, where he manage to tell a story that works very effective. Hereditary is one of the best horror films of this year, and i doubt we will see any horror film this autumn that is as well made as this film is. Make sure you take your time to see Hereditary.