This morning I saw Hereditary, starring Toni Collette and Ann Dowd.
Annie (Collette) is a daughter, grieving the loss of her not-so-wonderful mother when her whole world seems to fall apart. Consumed with tragedy, she turns to a support group for those who have lost loved ones and meets Joan (Dowd), a kind woman who is experiencing a similar pain.
Annie hides this support group—and her friendship with Joan—from her family and tells them she's going to the movies instead. They're all processing their pain differently, but her husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) does his best to move on in the most normal way possible, hiding the desecration of her mother's grave from her and urging their son Peter (Alex Wolff) to arrange for college testing.
What seems like a normal American family trying to navigate the fog of grief the best way they know how soon turns into a paranormal dance with something dark that Annie has unknowingly invited into their home.
Once she realizes it could be dangerous, it could be too late and we watch as the rest of the film unfolds into a mix of gotcha scares, creepy shadow shots and (somewhat) unexpected outcomes.
Why should you see this film? Toni Collette is a force. She's indifferent, grief-stricken, furious, depressed, deflated, defeated and terrified .. then back again. It's not all written in her lines, but it's seen in her face, over and over. Her performance rises above the majority of horror performances simply because it's so multi-dimensional. She's a mom and a wife and a daughter and a friend and a freak ... all at the same time.
Is that all? Not necessarily. If you like trying to solve puzzles, you may enjoy the layers being peeled back here as the story progresses.
The ending, though? A bit conventional for a film that up until that point didn't subscribe to any horror templates.