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A scary thing happened on the way to the Movie Forums - Horrorcrammers

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Re: Hereditary. I think it was very well made, and very scary...but I disliked it on a deeper level. The term I went with was "despair porn."*Just kind of wallowing in misery for its own sake
I can see where thatís coming from. One could even argue itís part of Asterís style (I actually had that feeling about Midsommar). But in Hereditary, the so-called misery is the result of recognisable, generally non-supernatural factors - death, funerals, regret and miscommunication, at least on the face of it. Itís not something like Martyrs, which generates Ďmiseryí in increasingly artificial ways.

I felt it had a great grasp of relationships, pretty atypical. There was also an article I read not long after it first came out that suggested it was one of several films to demonise creative women. It made a point about Annieís installations kind of programming the events. Iím definitely not sold on the feminist spin, but I do think it does a great job at showing how everyone (and everything) in the family prevents Annie from working. Itís something that definitely strikes a chord with creative people, not just women - and what I personally liked is that unlike Sinister or plenty of other films that use the preventing creator from creating trope, it doesnít provide an answer like Sinister does along the lines that if Annie stops creating, all will be fine.

So I think it tried to do something very different when it comes to that side of human psychology, and did pretty well. It feels like Iím going off on a tangent, but Iím not exactly, because I think the point Iím getting to is that this sense of absolute despair is deliberate. Itís something that creative people, especially women, feel when they acknowledge deep in themselves that family (cults, if weíre talking Hereditary) and other commitments will prevent them from attending to their vocation, and thereís nothing to be done about it. You feel totally overpowered by the kind of life Ďadminí that always comes into play when someone dies and there are arrangements to be made.

I donít think any other film, even The Shining, tapped into that, because Jack sabotages himself and nothing actually prevents him from working except his own inner demons & alcohol. Whereas Annie is totally trapped in a family she didnít even want (including kids). I think itís a very specific kind of despair of the people who feel their family Ďhappened to themí, instead of being a choice, to misquote Walter White.



That's all well and good (and some interesting undercurrents I hadn't considered), I'm more on about the execution. Some of the more disturbing elements did not, I think, really contribute to any of that depth. It feels like it obscures it. It kinda feels, to me, like there's a lot of thoughtful stuff here, but it's covered by this patina of shock so that it satisfies the people who just like that sort of thing and won't notice or care what's going on under the surface. Like the gross-out sugar to help the narrative medicine go down.
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That's all well and good (and some interesting undercurrents I hadn't considered), I'm more on about the execution. Some of the more disturbing elements did not, I think, really contribute to any of that depth. It feels like it obscures it. It kinda feels, to me, like there's a lot of thoughtful stuff here, but it's covered by this patina of shock so that it satisfies the people who just like that sort of thing and won't notice or care what's going on under the surface. Like the gross-out sugar to help the narrative medicine go down.
Yes, I think thatís fair enough. The cut off heads and a few stylistic choices were definitely a bit all over the place, and it got disjointed towards the end, so Iím with you on that.



I can elaborate more (and link to some older posts, though I don't wanna imply people can't discuss it anew here or anything) if necessary, though people can probably figure out what I'm on about. There's a personal button some of those scenes push, too, but it's also a pretty universal button about vulnerable or ignored people.

It's definitely a good movie, as a movie, and that just increases my frustration. I'd love to see Aster make films without that freak out edge to them, because there's so much to admire, so much skill, in all the other parts. But it's clearly just who he is, which means he'll probably never be for me. Just another of those guys I kind of admire from afar but also have to turn away from, and maybe read the occasional Wikipedia plot summary out of morbid curiosity just to make sure I shouldn't look back.



Original Hereditary Thread
I just came across the Hereditary thread. Thought that might be a shortcut for the new folks to learn how the regulars felt about it.
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Captain's Log



https://www.movieforums.com/communit...ad.php?t=54406
I just came across the Hereditary thread. Thought that might be a shortcut for the new folks to learn how the regulars felt about it.
Thanks, will read.



Welcome to the human race...
The latest round...

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) -


I noted this last year, but Craven is a director I respect more than I enjoy no matter how many chances I give to his most celebrated films, including this one. It's certainly a watchable piece of work (though I still think Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the challenge and the standard for this type of film), but Craven puts enough of his own spin on things by working to develop the villains of the piece as much as the nominal heroes.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006) -


You can really tell that this was made during the back half of the Dubya administration as it deftly transposes Vietnam-era anxieties into the War on Terror (though it's much more blatant in that regard as the family patriarch dismissively refers to his son-in-law as a Democrat at one point, and that's without getting into symbolism involving American flags or weapons of mass destruction). Still manages to justifiably up the brutality of its barbaric original by alternately following and deviating from the script to consistently engaging effect - I've already watched a couple of bad 21st-century remakes this month so I'm glad that one of them actually manages to be a lateral move from its predecessor.

Kingdom of the Spiders -


Shamelessly low-grade piece where William Shatner's rural vet learning about a massive spider invasion plaguing his small town. Good if you want a modest amount of B-movie fun, but nothing to recommend about it beyond that.

Rabid (1977) -


I like Cronenberg but I'll readily admit that his pre-Videodrome work is visibly rough compared to what came after - this is especially true of Rabid, which plays like a slight variation on his prior sex zombie film Shivers. Still, he's consistent enough that I'll readily watch even his lesser films and find something that's either horrifying or at least interesting (then again, any horror that revolves around a viral threat is scary by default these days).

Spider Baby -


Ah, '60s horror, where things were really starting to get weird. So it is with this tale of a trio of homicidally inbred siblings and their flustered caretaker that don't even try to be normal when they have guests over one day. So many shades of couldn't-make-this-today, plus it offers amusement and discomfort in roughly equal measure - enough so that I can't deny its status as a singularly off-putting horror.
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Iro is to reviews as Kubrick is to films.



The latest round...

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) -


I noted this last year, but Craven is a director I respect more than I enjoy no matter how many chances I give to his most celebrated films, including this one. It's certainly a watchable piece of work (though I still think Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the challenge and the standard for this type of film), but Craven puts enough of his own spin on things by working to develop the villains of the piece as much as the nominal heroes.

The Hills Have Eyes (2006) -


You can really tell that this was made during the back half of the Dubya administration as it deftly transposes Vietnam-era anxieties into the War on Terror (though it's much more blatant in that regard as the family patriarch dismissively refers to his son-in-law as a Democrat at one point, and that's without getting into symbolism involving American flags or weapons of mass destruction). Still manages to justifiably up the brutality of its barbaric original by alternately following and deviating from the script to consistently engaging effect - I've already watched a couple of bad 21st-century remakes this month so I'm glad that one of them actually manages to be a lateral move from its predecessor.

Kingdom of the Spiders -


Shamelessly low-grade piece where William Shatner's rural vet learning about a massive spider invasion plaguing his small town. Good if you want a modest amount of B-movie fun, but nothing to recommend about it beyond that.

Rabid (1977) -


I like Cronenberg but I'll readily admit that his pre-Videodrome work is visibly rough compared to what came after - this is especially true of Rabid, which plays like a slight variation on his prior sex zombie film Shivers. Still, he's consistent enough that I'll readily watch even his lesser films and find something that's either horrifying or at least interesting (then again, any horror that revolves around a viral threat is scary by default these days).

Spider Baby -


Ah, '60s horror, where things were really starting to get weird. So it is with this tale of a trio of homicidally inbred siblings and their flustered caretaker that don't even try to be normal when they have guests over one day. So many shades of couldn't-make-this-today, plus it offers amusement and discomfort in roughly equal measure - enough so that I can't deny its status as a singularly off-putting horror.
The Hill Have Eyes is easily Craven's best film. Yeah, I said it. Get out of my dreams, Kruger! You've been crumbsroomed!

The remake is one of the few somewhat decent remakes of 70's horror classics. Arguably the best one. But that still really isn't saying much, I'm sure.

Kingdom of Spiders is bad. My six year old self disagrees with this statement, but the 21 year old self who rewatched it is stronger, and so his argument stands.

Rabid is easily one of my least favorite Cronenberg's even though I generally prefer his earlier, more primitive stuff. I think I even prefer his drag racing movie to Rabid, if I'm being particularly controversial. Which I am, because its morning and I haven't had any coffee. Not that I drink coffee. Coffee is gross.

Spider Baby is delightful, as long as we accept bad taste as ever being a delight. Which I definitely do, and so I'm already beginning to feel giddy and dizzy just thinking about this movie. Quick, pass the smelling salts. I'm about to fall into a Jill Banner reverie, yet again. Gone too soon, my fair spider child.




Night of the Bloody Apes (Cardona, 1969)
That's one I've been wanting to see for years based on the title, but it never really occurred to me what it might be about. What you've described here does not match my vision of what a night of bloody apes might look like.



Original Hereditary Thread
I just came across the Hereditary thread. Thought that might be a shortcut for the new folks to learn how the regulars felt about it.
Hah, didn't even remember that I wrote a long nitpicking post about the film. I suppose the disappointment made me rant.
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That's one I've been wanting to see for years based on the title, but it never really occurred to me what it might be about. What you've described here does not match my vision of what a night of bloody apes might look like.
I was hoping it was about a zookeeper at the London Zoo who accidentally locks himself inside the primate exhibit and has to endure an entire evening of their howls, taunts and poo-flinging until maintenance can unlock the door the next morning. When it's all over, he utters the titular line "well, I never want to have another night of the bloody apes ever again."



minds his own damn business
I can see where thatís coming from. One could even argue itís part of Asterís style (I actually had that feeling about Midsommar).
I think the intro section of Midsommer is particularly gratuitous. I don't see any loss to the film had this information been conveyed in exposition, directly from Pugh, and I don't think the explicit (and elaborate) shot really adds anything to the thrust of the narrative. It seems to me like wallowing in morbidity for its own sake. Edgelord bull****.
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minds his own damn business
I'm a complicated guy.



I think the intro section of Midsommer is particularly gratuitous. I don't see any loss to the film had this information been conveyed in exposition, directly from Pugh, and I don't think the explicit (and elaborate) shot really adds anything to the thrust of the narrative. It seems to me like wallowing in morbidity for its own sake. Edgelord bull****.
I felt the opening section in Midsommar was effective in its own way, but it would have been better suited for a psychological drama which could spend the rest of its running time exploring how the tragedy is affecting Dani. So I wish he kept the sister killing the parents and herself as the only Ďextremeí part. As it progressed, I found the suicide of the elders with the close-up of their crushed skulls more out of place. Iíve seen my share of extreme horror, but this just didnít feel like it belonged other than to shock the protagonists and the audience who were supposed to relate to them because their values were recognisable and Ďnormalí. I do agree that the first half was misery porn. Midsommar to me was much more disappointing, actually.



A system of cells interlinked
Re: Hereditary

I fall on the side of the argument that that film is clearly well made, as well as being effective in its ability to disarm and shock, but I haven't found myself wanting to revisit it since my first viewing. I thought the final scenes were weak and really, just didn't find it very entertaining. The same can be said for the same director's Midsommer, even if I found that to be slightly more entertaining overall.

AgrippinaX mentioned Martyrs. Neither Hereditary nor Midsommer put me off on anything near the level that Martyrs did. Martyrs is some seriously harsh ****, IMO. I definitely never want to watch that film again, while I will probably check out both Hereditary and Midsommer again at some point. I haven't been exposed to much of the French extreme genre, but if Martyrs is a prime example, I am all done watching any more of that niche subgenre.
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"Thereís absolutely no doubt you can be slightly better tomorrow than you are today." - JBP



Re: Hereditary

I fall on the side of the argument that that film is clearly well made, as well as being effective in its ability to disarm and shock, but I haven't found myself wanting to revisit it since my first viewing. I thought the final scenes were weak and really, just didn't find it very entertaining. The same can be said for the same director's Midsommer, even if I found that to be slightly more entertaining overall.

AgrippinaX mentioned Martyrs. Neither Hereditary nor Midsommer put me off on anything near the level that Martyrs did. Martyrs is some seriously harsh ****, IMO. I definitely never want to watch that film again, while I will probably check out both Hereditary and Midsommer again at some point. I haven't been exposed to much of the French extreme genre, but if Martyrs is a prime example, I am all done watching any more of that niche subgenre.
I haven't seen all of the French Extreme films, but there is one on the 'milder' side ("Calvaire") that I would consider an essential horror film of the last twenty or so years.

As for Martyrs, I'm a fan, but have felt no real great need to revisit it. One of the elements in it that has always lingered with me was not so much the violence, but how one of the only acts of kindness in the film becomes one of the most unbearable moments of the film. It's almost as if the movie perverts the way your view it to see everything as ugly and hopeless. And I am a champion of any film that gets into my brain and tinkers with it, whether it be for good or nefarious purposes.



Are you trying to lure us anti-Hereditaries out in the open for some inherently evil plot?
Not at all. But we'd just appreciate it if you'd
WARNING: spoilers below
lean your heads out this window for a minute


The term I went with was "despair porn." Just kind of wallowing in misery for its own sake.
I felt that there was intent behind pretty much every moment in the film. And to be more specific, that the
WARNING: spoilers below
supernatural/evil forces working against them basically take everything hard about their lives--Charlie's otherness/allergies, Annie's alienation from her family, the son's desire to belong and later his guilt and trauma--and amped it up to a literally unbearable level. The horror and trauma makes the family more vulnerable, makes them easy to manipulate. Everything simmering internally within the family is ruthlessly boiled over. Flaws that in an ordinary world would just generate melodrama now literally become a matter of life or death.


I felt it had a great grasp of relationships, pretty atypical. There was also an article I read not long after it first came out that suggested it was one of several films to demonise creative women.
That's an interesting concept (and I strongly agree with you that the film's strength is its understanding and portrayal of relationships and family dynamics). I don't think that I felt that Annie was demonized or was "the bad guy" of the film. She endured an unhealthy upbringing, seriously unresolved issues with her parents, traumatic loss, and more. Then she has good reason to believe that
WARNING: spoilers below
her dead child--the source of so much guilt--is speaking to her from beyond the grave.
.

I could see Annie's mistakes as they happened, but I understood why she was making them. I felt that equal blame fell on the husband, whose role as ineffective peace-maker prevented him from doing hardly anything to protect his son.

It kinda feels, to me, like there's a lot of thoughtful stuff here, but it's covered by this patina of shock so that it satisfies the people who just like that sort of thing and won't notice or care what's going on under the surface. Like the gross-out sugar to help the narrative medicine go down.
I'm not sure that the film works without those shocking moments, because it is exactly that "extra" element of being shocked and overwhelmed that undoes the family. They are being intentionally broken by external forces and do not realize it. In fact, they are given horror after horror and led to believe that they are entirely to blame.

Has anyone besides me seen the Soska sisters'
No thanks.

remake
No thanks.

In seriousness, I read one pretty meh review (I think it scored the film like a C-). I just do not dig the Soska sisters. I'd have to hear pretty high praise to get me interested.



Spider Baby is delightful, as long as we accept bad taste as ever being a delight. Which I definitely do, and so I'm already beginning to feel giddy and dizzy just thinking about this movie. Quick, pass the smelling salts. I'm about to fall into a Jill Banner reverie, yet again. Gone too soon, my fair spider child.
I liked this. It's goofy and funny and kind of salacious.