Movie Review: HEREDITARY (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

HEREDITARY was written and directed by Ari Aster and stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, newcomer Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne.

When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.

Hereditary starts off with this funeral and then focuses entirely on the unraveling of this unsuspecting family that slowly rots away from within. Annie (Toni Collette) has buried her mother who had some dark secrets and we quickly see that she’s not dealing with a full deck and has had a history with mental instability. There’s Annie’s husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) who is the anchor of the family that’s extremely patient when it comes to what he has to deal with. Their daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) was close to her grandmother and questions what’s going to happen to her now because they were so close. Charlie is a special case that doesn’t really fit in with everyone else. There’s an unsettling creepiness to the young girl that’s hard to forget and it’s one of the strong points of Hereditary. There’s also their son Peter (Alex Wolff) who’s just a normal teenager in the beginning that ends up going to a shocking transformation as the family history slowly reveals itself.

What happens is, another tragic event occurs that sets this family on a destructive collision course with pure evil as the old family secrets slowly surface. Annie slowly loses it and Steve tries to be as patient with her as he can while he deals with the entire breakdown. We learn a lot more about the fragile relationship between Annie and Peter that morphs into this uncomfortable mother-son tragedy. Without spoiling too much about what’s going on, let’s just say that Annie is left heartborken after this tragic event happens and ends up opening a door that allows this supernatural presence to enter. What we find out is that Annie’s family has an extremely dark past that her mother was involved with and now it’s been passed down to her and all it needed was a little kickstart. Once this kickstart is ignited, the disintigration of this poor family takes place that ultimately gives birth to an ancient evil – something you really don’t see coming.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The UHD disc is black and Blu-ray disc is blue and both feature the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this 4K Blu-ray release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Fans will be able to experience this movie like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) release. Experience four times the resolution of full HD with 4K along with Dolby Vision HDR, which brings entertainment to life through ultravivid picture quality.  When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker.

Bottom line is, over the past few years there’s been one movie that would stand out above the rest in the horror genre and this year it’s definitely Hereditary, a disturbing supernatural thriller that follows this grieving family’s descent and disintegration into darkness. I really liked the story that focuses on the self-destruction of this unsuspecting family that slowly introduces a haunting element. The cast delivered some powerful performances with their characters with the standouts being Toni Collette and young Milly Shapiro who really steals the show with her limited screen time. Ari Aster does a fantastic job with his directorial debut and captures these strong performances by this talented cast and the terrifying situations their characters are put in. Hereditary is an emotionally terrifying horror movie that features some uncomfortable and unthinkable scenes that’ll make your skin crawl. It’s like watching a 2-hour nightmare play out on screen with an insane finale that goes full-blown batshit crazy. Movie fanatics that have already upgraded their home entertainment centers (screens and players) to watch 4K movies are sure to enjoy the experience. Hereditary will be available on a 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital HD) on September 4th.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 127 Minutes

Rated: R

4K Format: Dolby Vision 2160P Ultra High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.00:1)

4K Audio Status: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.00:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include eight deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette that includes interviews with some of the cast and crew, a photo gallery and a digital copy of the movie.

  • Deleted Scenes (15:46)
  • “Cursed: The True Nature of Hereditary” Featurette (20:08)
  • “Evil in Miniature” Photo Gallery (00:21)
  • Digital HD Copy
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