hereditary explained 2018 movie
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Hereditary is a 2018 horror film written and directed by Ari Aster and produced by Lars Knudsen and Buddy Patrick. The film follows the Graham family as they struggle to cope with the death of their grandmother and uncover a sinister secret hidden within her past. The film has been praised for its intense atmosphere, powerful performances, and exploration of mental illness and grief themes. It has also become one of the most acclaimed horror films of the 21st century and has been credited as a major influence on the horror genre. In this article, we will explore the plot of Hereditary, its themes and symbols, its critical reception, and its impact on the horror genre.

Key Takeaways

  • Hereditary is a 2018 horror film that explores themes related to mental illness and grief.
  • The film employs various symbols and motifs to explore the themes of family trauma and loss, with the family home functioning as a symbol of the family’s inheritance of psychological trauma.
  • The movie includes a series of flashbacks, which further illustrate trauma’s effects on the Graham family.
  • The film has revolutionized the horror genre by going beyond typical horror tropes and exploring psychological trauma and grief.

Hereditary Explained

Plot Overview

Hereditary follows the Graham family as they experience disturbing events with supernatural implications. The family dynamics of the Grahams have been deeply entrenched in grief and loss, as the death of the family matriarch, Ellen, catalyzes the following events. As the movie progresses, it quickly becomes a psychological thriller with unexpected twists and turns. The family’s experience with supernatural events leads to paranoia and confusion as they grapple with their newfound reality. Toni Collette’s performance as the family’s matriarch, Annie, highlights the movie, as her character is a complex exploration of the psychological effects of grief and trauma. The family’s struggles with the supernatural are made all the more compelling as they are combined with exploring the family dynamics and the psychological horror that ensues. Hereditary is a compelling blend of family drama and psychological thriller, emphasizing the dynamics of grief and loss.

Themes and Symbols

The film employs various symbols and motifs to explore the themes of family trauma and loss. For instance, the family’s inherited home functions as a symbol of the family’s inheritance of psychological trauma and the burdens that come with it. The home is a physical manifestation of the psychological burdens passed down through generations, as it is full of secrets and often oppressive or uncomfortable. Additionally, the film explores the familial dynamics of the Graham family to demonstrate how trauma can be inherited and passed down. The characters are often seen cowering in fear, resulting from the psychological trauma passed down from previous generations.

The film uses symbolism and motifs to explore how psychological trauma results from family dynamics. A recurring symbol in the movie is the family tree, which serves as a reminder of the long-term effects of family trauma and the burden that comes with it. It is a reminder of the intergenerational trauma that is faced by the Graham family and serves as a visual representation of how trauma can be inherited. The movie also includes a series of flashbacks, which further illustrate trauma’s effects on the Graham family. These flashbacks reveal the family’s history and how their traumatic experiences have impacted them.

Critical Reception

The film’s critical reception has been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising its exploration of complex family dynamics about trauma and loss. The film has been praised for its exploration of the tension between the personal and the hereditary and its exploration of the psychological implications of such ties. Audience reaction to the film has been overwhelmingly positive, with many citing the emotional depth and the strong performances as a significant factor in their appreciation of the film. Critics have praised the film’s ability to explore the psychological complexities of the family unit in an accessible manner, with many citing the cast’s performances as a major strength. The film has also been praised for its focus on the impact of trauma and its ability to explore the complexities of the family dynamic engagingly and powerfully.

Impact on the Horror Genre

By exploring the psychological implications of trauma and loss, Hereditary has impacted the horror genre. The film has become a benchmark for modern horror films with its fantastic visuals, slow-burning pacing, and eerie atmosphere. It delves deeply into the psychological trauma of the characters and, in doing so, transcends the typical jump-scare-based horror films. Hereditary has pushed the genre’s boundaries and shown that horror can be used to explore the darker aspects of life. Focusing on the psychological implications of loss and grief, the film has provided a unique perspective on the horror genre. It has given a platform for exploring themes of guilt and despair and the power of the supernatural. Hereditary has revolutionized the genre, and its influence can be seen in numerous modern horror films.

Final Thoughts

Through its exploration of psychological trauma and grief, Hereditary has revolutionized the horror genre and ushered in a new era of filmmaking. By being true to life and exploring family dynamics, Hereditary has created a unique and terrifying experience for its viewers. It is a film that is deeply unsettling and explores a range of emotions and feelings that are rarely seen in the horror genre. The film’s use of horror tropes such as jump scares, dark imagery, and eerie music builds tension and creates a sense of dread. The film also has a unique visual style that adds to the atmosphere. Long takes, and handheld shots give the film a more intimate feel and allows the audience to connect with the characters.

The film’s exploration of psychological trauma and grief has resonated with many viewers, making it one of the most successful horror films ever. Hereditary has been praised for its willingness to go beyond the typical horror tropes and create a unique and terrifying experience. The film has been credited with inspiring a new generation of horror filmmakers and has pushed the boundaries of what is acceptable in the horror genre. Hereditary has proven to be a groundbreaking work of art that will continue influencing the horror genre for years.


Hereditary (2018) is a complex horror film that both critics and fans have widely praised for its ability to invoke a deep emotional response from viewers. Its exploration of themes such as grief, guilt, and family dynamics offers a unique insight into the genre. The mix of psychological horror and supernatural elements has also had a notable impact on the horror genre. It has set a new standard for horror films and has inspired a new generation of filmmakers to create more ambitious works. Overall, Hereditary has been a remarkable success and has become an essential part of modern horror cinema.

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