Hereditary: as good as it gets
Now that I've had a few days to process it, I feel confident in saying that Hereditary is the best horror movie I have ever seen. That automatically means it is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and whether it ultimately takes out top spot on my list will depend on repeat viewings over time.
The Shawshank Redemption will be tough to topple, but given that it is totally dissimilar in every way, the comparison is both impossible and irrelevant. This film is like nothing I've seen before. It flips horror film tropes on their heads, but not in a, "you didn't expect that, did you?" kind of way, but rather more like "isn't this much better?" From a technical perspective (speaking as a complete ignoramus on the subject), surely this film is near-perfect. Aster's directorial debut is a collection of chilling imagery, taut pacing and a pervasively unsettling tone. Minutes-long static shots become the most disturbing scenes of all because of what is just out of focus in the corner of the room. Is that what I think it is? Surely not. Oh no.
Colin Stetson's soundtrack also deserves adulation in its own right. It is ultimately sounds and textures that serve to highten or subvert everything you're seeing. In one particular scene, I couldn't decipher whether the gentle, barely-audible electronic pulse I was hearing was in my head or not.
The last 15 minutes of the movie is when you'll decide whether or not you loved it or hated it. It's not a twist if you've been paying attention. The insanity and surreal nature of the finale might initially read like a non sequitur, but actually, you've been staring at it the whole time.
This trailer is quite simply the best one that has ever been made, and its cleverness is only apparent after you've seen the movie. If watching it makes you excited about the film, then you need to see it. If it makes you go "nope," then don't let anyone talk you into it, because it's exactly as bad as it looks.
Make no mistake: the fact that Toni Collette didn't receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for this role is the biggest awards snub in my lifetime.