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Official Discussion: Hereditary [SPOILERS}

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Summary:

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.

Director:

Ari Aster

Writers:

screenplay by Ari Aster

Cast:

  • Toni Collette as Annie Graham

  • Alex Wolff as Peter Graham

  • Milly Shapiro as Charlie Graham

  • Gabriel Byrne as Steve Graham

  • Ann Dowd as Joan


Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Metacritic: 87/100

After Credits Scene? No

14.8k comments
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3 points · 1 day agoGilded1 · edited 16 hours ago

It reminded me a lot of the shinning, both aesthetically and in how the whole film is ambiguous on whether what we’re seeing is real or whether it’s mental illness (although it’s obviously mental illness, not a single supernatural scene couldn’t be explained by a clue given earlier that’s linked with mental illness). As someone who experiences psychosis, I also really appreciated how it sorta captured perfectly what my paranoid psychotic episodes feel like. Although I do wish psychosis wouldn’t be linked to violence like it is in the film, because people who experience psychosis are less violent than normal people typically. But that aside, man. What a phenomenal film.

Edit: ty for the gold.

Hey I’m hoping someone can help me answer this Hereditary question because I’ve scoured the internet and no one is discussing it.

Somewhere in the first act, I believe it was during one of the establishing shots of the home, there was a really fast cut to an image before going back to the original shot. It was so fast that it reminded me of the famous Fight Club penis. Am I crazy or did anyone else notice something that??

3 points · 2 days ago · edited 7 hours ago

Does the dog have any significance in the movie? It felt strange where they had a scene of the dog greeting the dad at the door and then after that the dog was noticeably absent for the rest of the movie until he shows up again to bark in Peter's room and then get killed. But there were a lot of scenes between those two where there was enough of a commotion to warrant the dog barking at the very least. Let alone he would have at least barked at some of the cult members who were in or just outside the house.

I feel like scenes including the dog were cut in order to make the film shorter or flow better. I'm not sure though, I suppose we'll have to wait until the DVD comes out containing the deleted scenes.

We do see the dog in the very first scene when Steve walks into Peter's room. We also hear the dog barking outside when Annie is doing the seance. This is strange, as we see the dog's bed next to the stairs when Steve is chopping food for dinner--so why wouldn't the dog be sleeping inside at night? What's interesting is why the dog wouldn't bark when members of the cult come inside to spy on the family, without leaving a trace.

some dogs are just stupidly friendly. and it's not hard to drug a dog with doggy downers

Oh darn just one more thing then will work on long overdue sketches: gotta love how when Steve confronts Annie in her workshop when she's doing the car crash scene he walks out mad and you can see him tapping his head in the hallway like Annie's a nut. Not the most supportive shrink! Mad that she ignored him in bed!!

Ok just one more: it looks like Peter's school is the same setting for Annie's therapy group. We see this because we get an overhead shot when Peter is alone with his milk and chicken. The building behind him is the same when Annie is in her car getting out of the lot at her second attempt at group therapy.

I thought it was shit

It suuuuucked

I guess you are outnumbered in this

Also anyone figure out the significance of the lady in the red shirt and huge necklace pendant sitting to our right of Annie at the therapy session?

3 points · 4 days ago · edited 4 days ago

And the BIGGEST question that I have is what the heck is that teeny tiny door with a doorknob in the workshop?

Edit: right by where grandma shows up, early in the film.

3 points · 4 days ago · edited 4 days ago

A couple cool things and clarifications:

1). I originally thought all the naked people outside ( all around) were actually figurines. This is wrong. At least one is real on the top left as we see him move his arm and see him later in the treehouse.

2). Contrast. When the bird flutters in the cage at the end, the shadow reflects on the Paimon statue. It looks like the the same two creepy fingers that the teacher waves earlier for Peter to come in the classroom.

3). Crown in the treehouse. Contrast. I first thought the crown was in the treehouse at the beginning. Actually it looks like a bowl. When at a contrasting angle from the screen though it looks just like the crown.

I totally quit Reddit to work on the fan site but the movie is too good so I came back on to ask this: why is there no bathroom in the entire house?

same architect as the Brady house

Haha, you're a genius! I didn't realize that about the Brady house!

http://mentalfloss.com/article/64454/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-brady-bunch

Ok I’m sure somebody already answered this somewhere here. But I can’t figure out why the Father caught fire when the book was burned. Was it because he was the last to see the body in the attic? Also the card Annie reads from her mother indicates that she made some sort of deal with the mother to participate in the conjuring? Is that why she was a successful artist?

I had a hard time getting through this movie. I came here to read the end because it really upset me. I think I have a hard time watching boys going through stuff. I know this sounds crazy because I love horror movies and can watch things happen to girls woman men and not fall apart. But young men boys and animals really upset me! Maybe because I have brothers? I’m female and I have always been this way. But I’m going to sit through next 20 minutes and be brave. I really know this is a great film I wish I could watch it without falling apart. Plus the bird scene was rough.

Thank you for sharing. I love animals but in my mind the bird was dead already when Charlie found it so I was ok with that. Also to me the bird was only symbolic.

I had my eyes half opened. I couldn’t tell lol. I have a parrot so I was even more sensitive!

On IMDB it says you can see the shadow of Paimon near the end of the film is that true?? For people who have seen it multiple times.

there’s a scene in the movie where Annie is talking to Joan the first time she visits her house, and she picks something out of her teeth and looks at it, and the camera focuses on it as well as Joans face when she sees it. I was waiting for that to reappear or show some obvious significance, but I didn’t see anything. Does anyone know what it was or was supposed to mean?

I think it's hinted at somewhere in the movie that grandma fed the same leaves to Charlie as an infant. Not as tea necessarily, but perhaps along with her milk. The purpose of the herb is probably to make the one that it ingests it more susceptible to demonic influence. I think that theory was actually more or less confirmed by the writer/director in his AMA.

A top notch horror. The last 10 minutes was too good. Definitely 8.5/10

I think what sets this movie apart from other horror movies is the fact that this could actually happen!(the whole cult thing minus the demon). I think that's how any movie becomes a success. If people walk out of the theater thinking, "damn!, that could really happen", then chances are that the movie makers really knew what they were doing. They made the movie look so real, despite the appearance of supernatural phenomenon. To think that I thought the Conjuring had a really good story! It's good but nothing compared to how real this one felt.

At no point did I feel that anything in the movie could happen irl. Besides the freak accident...

Don't you think a group of crazies could try to take control of a vulnerable family?

No idea where you live but, no, not in the slightest.

has anyone noticed that it seems as though charlie is eating nuts throughout the entire movie before the party? her chocolate bar at the funeral was audibly crunchy, and then the scene when she was working with the bird head before going out with the bird head to see her grandmother before the party, it seemed as though she was eating peanut m&ms? they were distinctly larger than normal m&ms and also had a crunch, as did the chocolate bar during the scene where she cuts the bird head off. i thought at first that she was trying to die to be with her grandmother, but now i'm thinking maybe she knew what was up, and the anaphylactic shock she had at the party was planned (obviously, considering the symbol was on the telephone pole before the accident occured).

I feel like the crunching was the editors just adding to the sound effects. Sometimes the director will have them do that because it keeps the viewers attention, even in the smallest way possible :)

23 points · 8 days ago · edited 7 days ago

Ok so if Paimon on was put into Charlie’s body at a very young age, the real ghost of Charlie was who they summoned during the scene at the dining table.

It’s why Charlie seemed more alive in Annie’s body than she ever did before the car scene. She was a scared little girl. The Charlie we saw before that car scene was a misplaced demon.

Think the girl in Peter’s class is in the cult too. In the party scene, just before Peter and Charlie arrive, there’s one shot of the whole room where we can see the girl talking happily with a guy sitting next to her. But when Peter arrives, she looks so lonely and awkward...

1 point · 4 days ago · edited 4 days ago

But the thing is, is that she was totally playing the field. Saddest part maybe if this whole film is when Peter is taking a hit alone with a passed out girl to the left of him. You can see the African-American young man giving her a back massage in the background when Charlie walks in. Peter was out of her league.

Edit: and then she's not playing up to Peter when she's in the bong room. She says "your sister drew a picture of me and made me look retarded" or something.

I’ve seen the movie twice now, and I think I have all the details worked out. But one thing still doesn’t make sense to me: what is the significance of the shimmering light? I understand that when it enters Annie and Peter near the end of the film, it represents Paimon possessing their bodies. But what about the several times before? Peter encounters it multiple times at school without becoming possessed. And near the beginning, it lures Charlie out of the house where she witnesses an unexplained vision (?) of her grandmother sitting in a burning field (this instance is particularly confusing to me: if Paimon possesses Charlie from the beginning, how is she able to see this light?)

28 points · 10 days ago

What I understood it as was a light coming from outside of the room they’re in. Ok let me see if I can explain this. So in the movie, the mother, when working on the miniatures, wears these goggle lens glasses to magnify what she’s seeing. These glasses, when light passes through them cast a ray of light onto the miniatures. I saw it as someone was controlling them or making hem do things and that the family are just miniatures being controlled. Idk could sound really stupid but that’s what I got from it

Oh shit, that's a really cool interpretation.

12 points · 10 days ago

It’s make sense with the motif at the beginning of the family being all part of a miniature house.

Just watched it a second time. Absolutely disturbing and amazingly done film. I noticed a lot more details the second viewing, as others have suggested.

One thing I have not figured out: does anyone understand the reference or meaning to the fluid placed on the lips of the characters? Possibly something to do with prepping the body for the spirit?

  • Someone does it to grandmother during the funeral.

  • Annie has something from the mug when visiting Joan at her house.

  • Charlie possibly? on the chocolate bar?

  • Peter possibly? on his smoking bong/bowl (during when the cult person is watching him in his bedroom window, before the party)

  • Annie possibly? unknowingly transfers it to the husband during her farewell kiss, right before he is lit on fire.

I heard this was movie was really scary so I came in with high expectations. I would not have been able to imagine how fucked up this movie really is. Holy shit. Great movie.

12 points · 11 days ago

Loved the movie, but one thing really bothered me. Did anyone else notice the really bad ADR in the scene where Annie is talking at the grief counseling session? It was soooo hard to watch for me because the audio seemed like it didn’t match up with the visual.

2 points · 2 days ago · edited 2 days ago

I'm starting to wonder if the voices out of sync with the mouths in these scenes was done on purpose.

Edit: B/c the film is nominated for awards for best sound mixing and best sound editing. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7784604/awards?ref_=tt_awd

10 points · 9 days ago

I did not notice the ADR in the grief session (I have only seen the film once but will def watch it again and again) but I did notice a REALLY bad one; when Annie is leaving Joan’s house and Joan is trying to tell her about the seance spell she says “just make sure everyone is in the house” but her mouth said “just make sure everyone is in the room.” I guess they changed it to house in post because the first time Annie summons Charlie she is alone in a room while the other two are asleep in the house.

I definitely saw A/V out of sync a couple of times. Literally my only complaint about the movie though, I loved it.

2 points · 10 days ago

Yeah same here, definitely one of the best horror movies I’ve seen, just with that one minor issue.

8 points · 11 days ago

By far my favorite movie of the year. I wasn't able to fall asleep till about 6 am the first time I watched it because I just couldn't stop thinking about it. It's truly a horror masterpiece.

Hey guys

I'm not sure if this thread is still active but I saw this movie a month ago and it was traumatic enough for me to have to go back to therapy after driving myself crazy repeating scenes from the movie over and over in my head for days and nights. I know it probably sounds dramatic and excessive but part of the reason might be because one of the worst scenes in the movie is something I've actually been through (on a lighter scale) so that might be why it fucked me up more than it should?

Anyways I was hoping to find some comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one that was left emotionally scarred after watching it lol

Part of the reason why this film is so disconcerting is that the inside of the house never matches the outside, and even the upstairs never even matches the downstairs. The props and rooms themselves change too. Time is whacked. Its understandable.

When I was watching it all the time I didn't have nightmares. Then when I stopped watching they started. But now I live in a house with doors just like in the film with keys just like the ones that were used inside the house.

Not at all. This movie digs its fingers into your trauma. I honestly think people should approach it with caution because of how it deals with death and mental illness. I had a lot of trouble with it.

Glad you went and got help.

i actually love this movie for the same reasons. :)

Well, it’s incredibly well done. True horror. I don’t have a problem way it handles itself.

But if you’re concerned about issues in your past or your mental health, it may be a good idea to go into it forewarned.

My family has gone through a lot of emotional trauma, and I'm super close to my sibling and mom because of it. The movie fucked me up for days because I'm super sensitive towards family stuff, so I totally feel you!

7 points · 7 days ago

No I saw it last night and had to sleep with the light on and kept waking up throughout the night and kept my door locked. What really gets me is Annie's relationship with her son and the whole "you tried to kill me" bit. My mom suffers with bipolar disorder and ,well, she was very scary and kind of dangerous before she learned to manage it.

you're not alone in the slightest, friend. i was unable to sleep when i saw it and, thankfully, had a therapy appointment the next morning so i was able to talk it out. my brother was killed in a car accident in 2009, and a telephone pole pretty much went through his head, causing his face to literally come off. open casket viewing. so the scene where charlie dies in an incredibly similar way really caused PTSD flashbacks for me. i had a panic attack and had to hide under my shirt. immediately after, as annie finds the body, she screams and sobs hysterically, calling for charlie to come back. my stepfather's name is charlie, and after my brother was killed, he moved out periodically and separated from my mother. when annie is hysterically sobbing and calling for charlie, she sounded EXACTLY like my mother calling for my stepfather to come back. all of this happened between ages 11-13 for me, so you can imagine the trauma that ensued.

another great cause of intense flashbacks was the dinner scene when annie is screaming at peter. i have had almost the exact conversation/tone/scowl from my mother over the dinner table (minus the killing my sister part, but all of the blame/accountability part) multiple times.

the movie as a whole was very personally triggering for me, and i think that it is absolutely valid and acceptable for you to feel so uneasy after seeing it, especially if youve had similar experiences (without Paimon, obviously). i'm glad you sought therapy and i hope this is at least somewhat of a comfort in knowing you aren't alone!

I am so sorry for your loss and hope you’re ok and good you have therapy. Sending you good thoughts ;)

Thank you so much for sharing this. I've tried to talk to a few people in my life about this but nobody really seems to take me seriously because "it's just a movie". Yes, I know it's just a movie and I never expected one to affect me this much. It was the car accident scene that I said I had flashbacks of as well. I was the driver, and how Peter reacted to it was so similar to how I reacted to what happened as well. That was mainly why it messed me up so bad. After the movie I had to drive home alone at night and literally I was frozen the whole time and driving at 50 mph lol....

I'm so sorry that you had to go through that and thanks again for taking the time to share it. I do feel abit better knowing I'm not alone in this. :)

The first act definitely got me, even though I've never done anything close to that. But I have a sister who is 6 years younger than me and could really relate to Peter and feel for Charlie. Definitely watching the end of that first act just stunned me and all I could think about was going to find my sister and giving her a hug.

I saw it over a month ago and I’m in the same boat. I almost had to leave after the first major scene. I’m a huge horror buff, so it’s really rare that things hit me like that. I think it’s the whole idea that it could so easily happen. Also, the scenes with Toni Collett on the damn ceiling. Hell to the nope. I wake up every now and then at night waiting to see either 1) her crawling on my ceiling 2) that paimon deity from the end or 3) that fucking smiling dude.

Very peculiar film. Well done, but disturbing as heck. I guess that’s how you can classify a good horror.

Saw it today for the first time. I'm kind of a sociopath when it comes to the suffering of fictional characters, but I can definitely see how this film would be pretty fucking harrowing for some people. The scene where Annie is begging for death comes to mind.

It's kind of neat to see how people react to this film, although I wouldn't wish for anyone to be emotionally scarred, so I hope the therapy paid off.

I'm kind of morbidly curious, which scene were you alluding to as 'one of the worst'? If you don't want to share that bit, I get it.

Hey thank you for the comment. I thought the car accident scene was the worst out of everything else in the movie, it was also the one I said I could relate to. The whole vibe and how Peter reacted to what happened made it alot worse too. I do have to say it was some of the best acting I've seen in quite a long time though.

Hope you're doing okay. I just saw the movie and it had many pretty disturbing scenes.

The scene where Annie is cutting her own head off is unforgettable. As soon as I think I’m over this movie, I think about that scene and get freaked out all over again. I haven’t had a movie disturb me like this in a long long time

As soon as I think I’m over this movie, I think about that scene and get freaked out all over again

Yup, as soon as I think i've gotten over the movie this happens as well...

maybe it was already discussed here but what was the motif/symbol carving on the wooden pole you see in one of the scenes?

also what were the names or words carved on things throughout the film?

2 points · 9 days ago

This symbol is symbol of King Paimon

The symbol on the wooden pole was the same one on the grandmas necklace, and I’m pretty sure the words were part of that “weird ancient language” that Joan told the mum about

watched the movie. some thoughts,

-obviously the whole car incident was incredibly shocking. Why did'nt the kid tell his mom or dad what happened before he went to bed or in the morning? I assume he was too traumatized/shook to do anything. The shot with the girls head on the road must be terrifying for the parents watching.

-at the end, they said they found the first male host. I cant say when the phenomenon started happening, but did it not occur once prior years or hundreds of years down the line of ancestry to possess a man?

-can someone explain the order of the body hopping? a lot of body switching happened at the same time in the movie. i think it started with Annie's mom with died, and her brother hanged himself, then the pigeon killed itself at the school window, then Charlie and so on.

-also what the was reason behind the deaths then coupled with beheading their heads? like the pigeon, Charlie, Annie etc?

-what happened with Joan at the end? was she a secret follower of pamon?

thanks

The director clearly cut out a lot of details after Charlie's death. Cops would have had to file a report, there would have been an investigation, etc.

I think it worked well, to just focus on the impact within the household.

Charlie cutting off the pigeon's head I took to be a prophecy of Charlie's own death.

Joan was the one leading the ritual worship at the end. You hear her voice, but you don't see her face again.

I only saw it once, so I may be missing details, but:

-obviously the whole car incident was incredibly shocking. Why did'nt the kid tell his mom or dad what happened before he went to bed or in the morning? I assume he was too traumatized/shook to do anything. The shot with the girls head on the road must be terrifying for the parents watching.

Yeah, basically.

-at the end, they said they found the first male host. I cant say when the phenomenon started happening, but did it not occur once prior years or hundreds of years down the line of ancestry to possess a man?

Was it the "first" male host? I don't recall. But I remember lots of talk about Paimon needing a perfect male body as a vessel. That's why all of the earlier male family members either weren't a fit, or killed themselves to avoid it entirely. I presumed the grandmother needed the line to be hereditary. But that was probably a thematic choice.

-can someone explain the order of the body hopping? a lot of body switching happened at the same time in the movie. i think it started with Annie's mom with died, and her brother hanged himself, then the pigeon killed itself at the school window, then Charlie and so on.

I'm convinced that the movie starts with Paimon inhabiting Charlie. The grandmother took strong interest in her after Annie sheltered Peter from her. Also remember Charlie was supposed to be a boy. Then Paimon finds his way into Annie after the séance, and then into Peter when she decapitates herself and he flings himself out of the attic. That weird light we see floating around at points is supposed to be Paimon, if I recall. I just don't remember exactly when it appears.

-also what the was reason behind the deaths then coupled with beheading their heads? like the pigeon, Charlie, Annie etc?

It appeared to be how Paimon transferred between bodies, but again, mostly seemed to serve as a metaphor for mental illness that ran in the family.

-what happened with Joan at the end? was she a secret follower of pamon?

She was definitely involved with the cult. All of her run-ins with Annie were completely planned, in order to set up everything that was needed for Paimon's return.

Loved this movie, but there's one thing I can't figure out: why did Steve burn up instead of Annie when they threw the book in the fire?

Answering my own question here, but the director said this in a variety interview re the scene:

that scene is meant to play as Annie’s big redemptive moment, she’s going to sacrifice herself for her son. It’s a beautiful gesture but part of the cruel logic of the film is it’s an empty gesture. Ultimately, it’s not her choice to make. She thinks there’s a design here and she can end things if she sacrifices herself. But there’s no design and there are no rules. There is a malicious logic at play.

Perhaps because he was a nonbeliever? And he wasnt part of the family. Well. Wasnt part of the bloodline. Extraneous.

Then why would Annie catch on fire in the first place?

Hmm. Because the book didnt want to be burned? Idk i saw something else in here saying that Paimon was mischievous. So perhaps he was just fucking with her when it burned Steve. It’s my personal belief or whatever, in movies, that a demon can’t be outsmarted. They don’t follow rules. A character will think they have its rules figured out and then right when they think they’ve killed it the demon’s like “Ha! you fucking thought! I don’t have rules asshole!”

I like that explanation.

I agree! I took it as Paimon manipulating Annie according to his master plan, and the master plan of the cult. She thinks she is the connection with the notebook because she was the acting medium for Charlie's seance. Unfortunately for her, it seems it was just Paimon using his foresight to eventually trick Annie into setting her husband alight. That was her lowest point. Following Annie's possession, Paimon used her to tear down what was left of Peter. Peter, cornered by the cultists in the attic, witnessed the self-decapitation of his mother. This was Peter's lowest point, allowing Paimon an easy entry. The only exit for the son, conveniently, was the window. I'd imagine this was nothing more than a simple errand for a demon. Don't fuck with demons.

22 points · 12 days ago

I just watched this film, and it is subtle, but after Peter jumps out of the attic window, the camera from above lowers over Peter’s body. If you look carefully, you will see a shadow slide FROM his body before the ethereal light hovers over.

This is not a shadow cast from the mother’s headless body floating to the tree house. I am sure that is Peter’s spirit being forced out of its body so the possession can take place. After all, the cult is setting events in motion to weaken Peter. Being scared shitless and jumping out a window to end up dying is a very weak and vulnerable state even though it was not a premeditated suicide like Ellen’s son’s death was.

I am pretty sure that at some point prior to the film’s events starting, Ellen successfully forced Charlie’s spirit out of the body. Later during Annie’s seance somehow Annie was successfully possessed by the real Charlie due to the noticeable change in voice character and a surge of emotional energy not present in the “pre collision” Charlie. The real Charlie has been displaced and the seance happened to call to her successfully. If I am correct, Paimon is also known for causing “mischief”, so in a very demonic sense of humor it may have allowed this possession to happen for fun?

Again, that shadow was deep and smoky, not a light shadow that could be cast from the mother’s body floating away toward the treehouse.

Who is the woman that is behind the gated fence that Charlie is walking towards while holding the pigeon head ??? I believe this womans scene is briefly in the trailer too . . . . . .

14 points · 12 days ago

Pretty sure she's a member of the coven admiring their king from afar.

She was also naked in the attack, waving that same way at Peter i think right before he jumps out of the window?

Could have been, the only member of the coven that stood out to me besides Joan was the smiling guy from the funeral. Hard not to notice him, the rest just sort of looked the same to me, older white naked people.

Okay, I have read sooo many comments that sort of touched the question I have, but I didn't manage to find one that gives a good explanation.

Here goes; What is the reason for the grandmother's body to be at the attic? And beheaded? Joan says that when doing the seance, every family member has to be present in the house, which could explain grannies body at the attic, BUT why isn't Charlies body there then? I assumed at first that the family members have to be alive, but people here pointed out that it isn't mentioned as a requirement, which I confirmed when rewatching it. Fair enough. Granny attends. But then why doesn't Charlies dead body have to be there as well?

Really hope I can get an answer to this question, as my bf is content with "it's just there to freak out Annie" and I NEED IT TO MAKE MORE SENSE THAN THAT

Charlie’s head is there. Maybe that is enough of her body.

Charlies head is where exactly?

That weird life sized doll of Paimon with the halo crown. The head of the statue thing is Charlie's severed head.

I know that the head of the doll is Charlies head, but it isn't present in the house. I feel like that's a huge hole in the plot. Besides, her head wasn't in the tree house while the ritual was being performed.

And why am I being downvoted? I am just trying to make sense of the movie?

I think the treehouse is “part of the house”. I don’t think the family should literally be “in” the house, just in the teritory (so the house, the garden, the treehouse etc.).

But Charlies head still wasn't in the treehouse at the time of the ritual, so even with lose interpretation like that, it still doesn't make sense

1 point · 7 days ago

I think she technically doesn't need to be there because they were conjuring her spirit. I think Ellen's body was there because the wanted her there for the eventual summoning of Paimon

How do you know her head wasn’t there at the time of the ritual?

Same way you know it was; by assuming. Annie slept out there more than once and I think she would have been freaking out a lot sooner if she shared a blanket with her daughters decapitated head.

I think Charlie's body doesn't need to be there because the seance is to conjure her spirit and that the notebook quite fulfills that requirement.

If you are not satisfied yet with this logic, then we might take it to a different angle. Joanie could have been lying about the requirement and having all family members in a room altogether could have been just another scheme to make the ritual easier.

Was I the only one that noticed there was a surveillance camera in the hall way looking right at Joan's door step? When Annie was knocking on the door and left the camera pans up and shows the camera on the ceiling across the hall pointed right at it.

There's also what looks like could be a surveillance camera on the family house itself, top left side of the house, blue dot, when Peter comes home after the party.

13 points · 13 days ago · edited 13 days ago

This too! It was certainly a focal point, and seems very intentional.

The only thing I can think of is maybe some sort of positioning motif--the upper left/northwest. Then Annie is shown in the upper left corner of Peter's room and the living room. And Paimon is considered the northwest king. So maybe the camera was some weird metaphor for Paimon watching her, or starting to sink in, or something.

I'm completely talking out of my ass though. Maybe the cultists just observed her through it and that's how they knew when the time was near or something.

Yep. I also think since Joanie was an associate of Annie's mom she was probably the de facto cult leader. So they had her apartment watched at all times for her safety. She probably had all the cult materials in her place.

3 points · 13 days ago · edited 13 days ago

Finally saw this.

What the actual fuck.

Here I was thinking they were going to play the schizophrenia twist at the end, like play it straight. Amazing acting and soundtrack, realistic and rational characters, unnerving af, jesus. Walking out of the theater and driving back cool and collected and unaffected was difficult.

What was up with the writings on the walls? Why were Peter and Annie soaking wet during the nightmare? And the hands from the headboard: was that simply supposed to reflect Annie's art scene from earlier, or was there a deeper meaning there? Annie threw the sketchbook in the fire earlier and was set aflame; why did Steve catch fire when she tossed it in again? Was Granny Satan? She was referred to as Queen. I have so many questions.

Edit. Okay so some posts have discussed the writing, it could have been Grandma or the cultists (since they so easily moved about that house, they could have scribbled everywhere too).

2 points · 7 days ago

They were soaked in paint thinner; it was mentioned that in one of sleep-walking episodes she had soaked herself, Charlie and her son (I'm blanking on his name) in paint thinner and woke up right as she was lighting a match

14 points · 13 days ago

“Before we try to make sense of the ending, let’s just recap briefly what happened. Peter (Alex Wolff), now possessed by Paimon, one of the eight kings of hell, is worshipped by the cult of Paimon that his grandmother, declared “Queen Leigh” by the cult’s followers, formally led with Joan (Ann Dowd) as her top lieutenant. The decapitated bodies of Peter’s parents have been positioned into a worshipful position, and Peter, who is now addressed as Charlie (Milly Shapiro), because he also has his sister’s spirit, is told that the trinity (presumably the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) has been destroyed and that Paimon now reigns.”

“Annie (Toni Collette) has spent her life trying to keep her mother’s influence away from the family, and especially the male members. She tried to abort Peter and she didn’t want her mother to even touch Peter. This harkens back to the “schizophrenia” suffered by Annie’s late brother who said that his mother was “trying to put people inside of him.” We later learn that Paimon needs a male host, hence why Annie was okay with her grandmother being close to Charlie.”

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/collider.com/hereditary-ending-explained/amp/

3 points · 13 days ago

Thank you for the response!

For the question about Granny, if this is tied to the bloodline, then was Grandma the "first" in the line? Was she also an "imperfect" host?Sorry for not wording this well.

I thought that was Grandma's body in worship pose, not the father??

She was living with them near the end. In that case, why bother with Charlie at all? Why not just try and possess Peter? If Charlie was possessed in the womb or as an infant, why not just break Peter at whatever age he is instead?

I'm not sure but what I have gathered is that since the granny was the Queen then she was probably the one who summoned Paimon. She then tried to give her husband's body for Paimon to possess which led to his husband being severely depressed thus ended up starved himself to death. ((I think he's making himself a broken vessel to force Paimon out))

Then when it's failed, she tried to put Paimon inside her son/Annie's brother (he said she tried putting people inside him) which led to his suicide.

I assumed she tried to use Peter, but Annie kept her away from him and in the end she gave her Charlie instead.

My interpretation of the movie, which seems to be different from the director's:

Schizophrenia runs in the family. Annie shows some symptoms, Charlie shows some with the bird's head, Peter is relatively stable. Seeing / somewhat causing Charlie's death causes Peter's mental collapse. Any supernatural effects during the seances are due to their hallucinations.

Joan is a well-meaning woman she meets at group. The seance in the apartment was a hallucination on Annie's part. She rented out the apartment and later became obsessed with the occult and with harming Peter, desperate to find some meaning in Charlie's death.

When Annie sees her photographs of Joan with her grandmother, this is her mental illness making connections that aren't there. She either sees the actual Joan with the face of the woman that knew her grandmother, or sees the pictures with the face of the Joan that she knows.

Annie kills Steven and herself. Peter completely loses it after seeing evidence of this, and loses control of his hallucinations in the treehouse.

One thing I liked about the movie is that this reading (hereditary mental health issues cause the chaos in the film) is at least partially supported, along with the cult or supernatural/demonic readings. I wish that the ending provided more meaning than the freakout/batshit /demon king thing. The movie forced me and the audience to cope with the death of a child and the fallout in a family; I think we deserve more than "oh yeah he goes crazy and it's demons."

maybe it is a psychotic break, maybe it really is all fake. maybe when steve finally says "i'm not doing this with you anymore," after stepping away from the fire, things do turn into a schizophrenic episode of some sort, and annie purposely kills steve, but it is disguised as what we got to see, with her throwing the book and him burning. after all, there was more than one occasion where we saw annie's interpretation and deemed it as reality until it was unveiled that it was in her head.

This was what i was hoping the movie would be during most of the second half, i was pretty disappointed at how straight it played the horror/demon/cult/ghost/generally supernatural stuff in the end.

It was just such a strong, disturbing movie in the beginning, all those scenes with charlies death and the effects of it felt so real, i thought the entire movie would have this realistic tone and deal with the horror in the emotional side of things. In my opinion nothing is scarier than something that could actually happen in real life, which is why the first half went under my skin so much. We all had a situation that was at least vaguely comparable, everyone fucked up once and was afraid to tell your parents, the movie just escalates this feeling into terrifying heights.

6 points · 13 days ago

Not sure why you got downvoted. My initial interpretation was very similar to yours. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

Thank you for saying so. :)

11 points · 13 days ago · edited 13 days ago

I don't think it can all be pushed aside as hallucinations. Peter doesn't hear anything about Paimon; he's completely oblivious to the whole cult side right up until the end. It doesn't really make sense that he'd be hallucinating that.

I think it mirrors mental health issues - and right up until the third act you're supposed to think that it might be a psychotic break, and when Steven finally snaps and accuses her of being behind it all (and she does sound like a lunatic by that point) you're supposed to suspect that he may be right, meaning the "betrayal" not only comes from Steven but also from the audience. And then she throws the book into the fire, shit gets crae and you think "oh, fuck, my mistake".

Rather than a film about a real issue filmed through a fantastic lens, I think it's a film about a fantastic subject that casts a skewed mirror onto real issues; how trauma is passed from damaged subject to damaged subject, how people depend on us, how sometimes that burden is too great and the dreadful result of what happens when we break under the load. And also on how "blame" falls in those circumstances, in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.

Maybe we all have our minor faults that sometimes act together in catastrophic harmony and in those circumstances is it all of our faults? Or nobody's? Or both and ultimately the responsibility is arbitrary? Apart from Steve. Steve has no faults. Steve is the slightly distant father we all deserve.

And because that's a really, really hard movie to sell, they told it through The Exorcist because they had some great ideas for creepy shots.

I like your take on it. I think the fact that it even makes us ask those questions is what makes it powerful and worthwhile, until the end (in my opinion). Maybe the fact that the end can't be interpreted neatly as psychosis is part of the reason I didn't like the ending.

I also find it interesting that the director said that the Paimon angle is the "right" one. I much prefer the David Lynch, "your interpretation is valid and brings as much to the film as anybody else's" approach. 🤷

3 points · 13 days ago

Mmm, ambiguity is very clever. Honestly I have no complaints about a lack of it though; it really limits what you can do. I can respect that Aster cleared it off the page after the book was burned so that he could just go properly mental.

And I suppose if you really wanted it, you could take that slack-jawed shot of Annie to mean a total mental break and everything after it was imagined. It's not just what the director puts in, it's what the audience takes out as well.

Just saw this movie again yesterday after seeing it mid-June. I *still* have a few questions lol.

  1. why did the grandma have to be beheaded and brought into the attic? Was it just the symbolism, since she was queen, that she had to have her head cut off due to tradition/rituals?

  2. what exactly happens in the seance scene with Annie, Peter and Steven? Like, when supposedly Charlie's spirit goes into Annie, and Annie starts saying things like "Mommy why is everyone scared? Mommy what's happening?" or whatever. Steven splashes Annie with water and Annie seemingly is knocked out of it. Wtf happened there? We know that Paimon enters Annie right after Steven immolates... right? So what was with that moment right after they summon Charlie?

  3. confused about the apparition of the grandma in the first act. Was that misdirection? Annie's imagination?

I'm sure I have more questions but that's enough for now! Thanks in advance for your clarifications. Bummed I missed the AMA with Ari Aster but reading through it, I didn't see answers to my above questions.

  1. Because Paimon had to be summoned using the grandmother's bloodline, the presence of her body was required at the final ritual. The cult members dug up her body, cut off her head, and brought her to the attic.

  2. The seance is basically a red herring - the viewer is led to believe that Charlie's spirit is being summoned. In actuality, Joan tells Annie to do the "seance" because the incantations she tells Annie to recite are actually intended to release Paimon upon the household. The incantations actually use summoning terms like "liftoach pandemonium" (basically translates to "unleash hell") and the other things that Joan wrote on the walls of Charlie's bedroom. "Charlie" possesses Annie because Charlie was really just Paimon all along - her body was female and thus an imperfect host, but her deformity, strange behavior, ability to see things (the cult members burning bodies in the field), and her creation of little figures that mirror the inverted Christ statue at the end of the film all lead us to believe that Charlie was possessed by the demon since birth (her grandmother's influence). Therefore it really isn't Charlie's spirit being channeled through Annie but Paimon's - Annie acts as a gateway for Paimon to enter the house, at which point the demon possesses the family members in turn and things really go to shit. This is the same reason that Peter is referred to as Charlie during the ceremony at the end of the film. Peter as he existed is dead from his fall out the window, but his body now belongs to Paimon (when the creepy blue light enters him) - so therefore in a sense he's also Charlie, since her spirit and the demon's were one.

  3. If you dig a little into the history of Paimon's mythology (found in a book called The Lesser Keys of Solomon), one of his supernatural abilities allows him to conjure visions of the deceased. So in addition to being a creepy misdirection, Ari Aster also made this scene a neat foreshadowing of the film's true nature.

Yeah I figured that grandma had to be present because even Joan says that everyone in the family had to be there. I guess my question was more about why she had to be beheaded.

Also, totally get that the seance is a red herring and that “Charlie” was really Paimon all along. My question here is, it seems that Paimon only goes into Annie right after Steven immolates. You even see the blue light to indicate that, plus Annie’s creepy abrupt change in expression. So what’s with Charlie’s voice coming from Annie? I guess it’s just Paimon shenanigans?

Very cool about the visions of the deceased. Did not know that, and it’s a cool little layer.

My guess is that when they do the seance, Peter is overcome with grief and guilt. A smart move for Paimon would be to further his "mindfucking" by possessing Annie as Charlie to further weaken Peter through mental manipulation. As Steven says later, Peter is (understandably) freaked out after the seance and thinks a vengeful demon is following him. Paranoia makes you incredibly vulnerable, so it would make sense for Paimon to want to freak him out.

According to mythology, Paimon also required heads as sacrifices to summon him. My guess is that he needed the heads of the entire bloodline - he got the grandma’s, the mom’s, Charlie’s, and even Peter’s symbolically when he received the crown (Paimon was “laying claim” to his head). So the beheading is very consistent with the way Paimon is realized in the real world.

I think that Paimon enters the household during the seance, through the weakest member - which happens to be Annie due to her tragic emotional state. I guess the case could me made that from that point until the end she is possessed by Paimon and only goes berserk after “accidentally” killing her husband. It’s also possible that Paimon leaves her after the seance and re-enters here once Steve dies.

3 points · 13 days ago

There's a line in the grandmother's books that says that Paimon targets the weakest person, and there's an immediate shot after Steve's immolation in which she just looks... braindead. I think that once Steven is killed she just loses the will to live and becomes a vulnerable host. Either that or Paimon was in the book and it's all a bit Chamber of Secrets.

41 points · 14 days ago · edited 14 days ago

Just saw this for the second time and noticed so many details I missed the first time. e.g. When the family are arguing at the dinner table there's a piano in the background. Later on towards the end, when Peter wakes up with his broken nose and goes downstairs looking for his parents, the piano is overturned. I assumed Annie did it but couldn't work out why. Then later when she's sawing her head off, I realised she must be using a string from the piano. Brutal.

12 points · 13 days ago

There is also the sound of the piano falling down with a thud and random tones in the scenes prior to that.

4 points · 13 days ago · edited 13 days ago

Is that when Peter's walking around the house in the dark looking for his parents? I did hear a weird loud noise but couldn't figure out what it was! Thanks!

I haven't seen this anywhere else but did anyone notice Joanie's apartment building is very slightly askew? In the hallway the hanging lights hang off centre. In her apartment the flames rise off centre. I feel like the film is full of little things like that

YES!!!!

Hmm I'll have to look for that next time I watch it. I agree, so many cool little details throughout the movie that just add to the sense of wrongness and disquiet.

19 points · 15 days ago

I feel like I'm in the minority when I say that I think this was a bad movie. It felt as if the writer/director wasn't able to properly resolve the story or bring it back home and in the end he went for a simple cop-out with Joan "explaining" the film with a few lines.

You could get the film without the monologue at the end though I agree the speech was bad. As I understand it, the original ending was different with Peter gouging out his eyes and without the monologue. Then again, people love Psycho and they often forget that it ends with one of the most ham-fisted expository monologues of all time.

As far as I know the original ending didn't do well in the test screenings which is why they went with this ending.

What I meant with the monologue at the end "explaining" the movie is that, for me it felt as if the writer/director used that as a way to "put a lid" on the film. Throughout the movie he kept on adding to the chaos of what was going on, building up and up and when it was time to take it home, he didn't knew how to properly resolve it.

I've seen people compare this movie to Mother! regarding the way that it makes you feel with all that's going on but Aronofsky knew how to properly "put the lid" on his movie. While Hereditary might be an entertaining film, it is nowhere near Mother!

The movie had potential but I felt that the writer/director didn't knew how to deal or correctly manage the supernatural aspect of the story. Stuff like the blue light felt like cheap storytelling devices.

I mostly agree. I just think he didn't need to do much at the end. If they just got rid of the monologue, I would have been fine with the film. You know a demon is in the boy's body. The name and profession of the demon isn't all that important. All that I might have done is have the boy/demon not responding to "Paimon" and they say "you've gotten used to 'Charlie', but you're 'Paimon. You're home now." Done. If they wanted to do something about who Paimon was, that should have been in the pages Annie found. Even without those, just cutting off the end monologue would work though.

Yes, Hereditary is far better than mother

I meant it the other way around. Mother! is superior to Hereditary.

Loved mother! (Was my second favorite film last year) but imho Hereditary is way more cohesive and technically brilliant. It feels like incredibly tight and unrelenting, whereas I think mother! suffered from some pacing issues and the sporadic nature of Aronofsky’s writing process

Yes, we are in a minority. Those drunk on the koolaid seem incapable to see how illogical the movie is.

17 points · 13 days ago

C'mon, that's a little dismissive. You don't have to like it, but that doesn't dismiss that there's a lot that other people like.

Lol or maybe those of us who enjoyed the movie did so despite noticing its flaws. Great cinematography, sound design, acting, and generally good pacing, I thought. I didn't like the cop-out explanation either, and I still have several questions about unexplained elements of the plot (which I am actually about to post in a comment here), but overall I had a great time.

I didn't like Joan's little explanation at the end but I firmly believe that Aster had that ending set in stone since the beginning of production. There's too much attention to detail that foreshadows it for it to be something he just slapped on due to time constraints.

I definitely don't think you're supposed to feel Joan explained the film with those lines.

Does anybody have a picture of the mother in the corner (like spiderman) when Peter wakes up?

3 points · 13 days ago

I almost walked out at this part

Took me a while but here you go

HAHAHA you got me. damn

A couple things I noticed during the movie.

  1. One of the miniatures shows what appears to be a model of what I assumed to be Charlie being breast fed by a figurine that looked like Ellen. This is a probably a mental reference of Anne’s to when she mentions that her mother insisted that she be the one who feed her.

  2. I can’t remember if I imagined it or not, but I could swear that horns were playing in the final treehouse seen when Paimon inhabits Peter, I did some reading up on Paimon and its stated that he is depicted as being followed by a band of men playing horns/trumpets.

  3. Charlie is traditionally a male name, while never mentioned, I would be that this comes from some doing of Ellen’s, being as Paimon desired a male form to inhabit, and Ellen wanted Charlie to be a boy.

  4. In the scene where Joan tells Anne about the seance, I believe she says that everyone needs to be involved in the ritual for it to work, but later in the movie Anne has already conjured the spirit of Charlie before and gets both Steve and Peter involved, this seems like it could have been a nod that you don’t need everyone for it to work, but they likely had to be involved to be tied to the book.

  5. Joan tells Anne that her son and grandson both died in violent accidents, with her being a cultist herself, it’s possible that these were tied to summoning Paimon in some way, like sacrificing loved ones.

6 points · 13 days ago

To point 4. I think Joan said that they all needed to be in the house for it to work. Not necessarily involved with the ritual.

Yeah, I think that was changed after initial filming because there’s a clear bit of ADR where the audio is “everyone needs to be in the house” but Joan’s mouth looks to be saying “room.”

4 points · 13 days ago

Hah, thanks, I just commented that. Glad to know I wasn't losing it!

Given how well put together the film is, it unfortunately sticks out. It's not a huge deal but I guarantee Aster was hitting himself when he realized they needed to dub that line.

Great points.

4. She said everyone needed to be in the house, not necessarily part of it. When Joan said “they need to be in the house” her mouth said “room” so they must have changed it in editing. I agree with the tied to the book thing, very interesting.

The 16yo som killed himself and blames his mom for trying to put people inside him, which of course in the horror narrative is literally what she was trying to do. Allegorically its blaming his mom for his inheritance of illness.

Listening to the soundtrack right now, horns actually show up pretty often in the soundtrack.

Adding on to your 3rd point, the scene where Annie is digging through her mother’s things, (cult photo album) she picks up a mat that says “Charles” and “Peter,” which the grandma had made for them.

Could be wrong but I thought Charles was Annie's father's name

3 points · 15 days agoGilded1

I thought so too, but her fathers name was Martin Leigh, his anagram is;

~ Malign Threi [threi is old saxon for 3].

Ellen Tapper Leigh anagram is;

~ I Peter, Hell Angel

Charlie Graham anagram is;

~ Hail Rage. March

if you add Paimon;

~ Hail Paimon! Rage, March

Peter Graham anagram is;

~ The Maga Perr (punch *MAGA* into google and read the urban dictionary term, it's not trump related, same for *PERR*,, it's very fitting for Peters character change)

Steven Graham anagram is;

~ He Grants Mave

Charles Leigh anagram is;

~ His Grace. Hell

if you add Paimon

~ His Grace Paimon. Hell

7 points · 13 days ago

His Grace Paimon. Hell

His postal address!

668, the neighbor of the beast

Charles was Annie's brother's name.

Annie’s father? Hmmm, I don’t recall his name ever being mentioned? But that could be a possibility. I think the fact that it was specifically placed next to Peter’s mat was to show the extent to which Ellen treated Charlie like a boy, hence “Charles.”

The reason I say that is because when I saw it the second time I remember seeing a Charles mentioned in the opening obituary and I was confused but didn't have enough time to see who it was

11 points · 16 days ago · edited 16 days ago

Omg, I have so many questions. I have three things that I feel like I can't find the significance of or can't figure out?

  1. Has anyone talked about how Annie, at her mother's funeral, is wearing the cult symbol on her necklace?

  2. Has anyone figured out the significance of the scene where Annie is talking to Joan in Joan's apartment, and Annie is drinking tea or coffee, and there is a close up shot of Annie taking a bit of something off her tongue. Then there is a close up shot of her finger with the bit of something on it? I have seen the movie twice, and maybe I'm clueless but, I cant figure out why the director put slight emphasis on this? What am I missing?

  3. What was actually in the road that Peter swerved around? I thought it was a dog at first, then maybe a deer? Idk.

Definitely a great movie, and definitely worth watching more than once to piece things together

If you've ever seen Rosemary's Baby, think about the substance in the tea as basically the same thing as the Tannis root - its a physical thing that allows spiritual influences a foothold.

1 point · 6 days ago

There is soooooo much Rosemary's Baby influence all over this film. The film nerd in me seeing all these influences stopped me from being too scared when watching ; )

Re: your second question - I had the same thought! I just saw something in the AMA that Ari Aster did this for a reason. Aster didn't provide this answer himself, but here is a link to the answer.

i guess Ari said that the movie was supposed to be 3 hours long, because the scene when Annie see the notebook writing by itself and it shows Peter with crossed eyes we never understand why the eyes were crossed, and i heard that there was another alternative ending

3 points · 13 days ago

I think crossed eyes is a common symbol for death?

3 points · 12 days ago

If I remember correctly, the original ending saw Peter gouging his eyes out but it wasn't received well with test audiences so it was changed. I guess the crosses were supposed to foreshadow this but when they changed the ending they just kept it because, like you say, they could also just represent death. The eye gouging thing kind of works better though, as obviously Peter doesn't die.

4 points · 12 days ago

Ahhhh. I woulda liked to have seen some eye gougin'.

Maybe we'll get a three-hour-long director's cut.

  1. She mentions the necklace to her husband towards the end, saying it was a gift from her mother.

  2. I noticed that too, also in the dream sequence where she goes to Peter's room and he's got ants all over him, it seemed like she was being controlled when she said she didn't want to have had him. Not sure why, but at the moment I thought that had something to do with they being controlled by the miniatures like the trailer suggested, turns out it was only misdirection.

  3. I thought it was a dog too, but I'm not sure. Probably something to do with the cult, as there was a mark of their symbol on the pole.

I just saw it with my brother and didnt pay much attention to the thing in the road but my brother suggested that maybe it was Ellen’s body.

The scene where she tells him those things is done as a horror worst case dream and something actually mentally ill parents who cant control their emotions say to their children and are horrified at themselves for.

4 points · 16 days ago

During the sleepwalking scene, was there some sort of effect used to make Annie's movement seem especially smooth?

As she got up from bed and walked to Peter's room, it seemed like she was shot at a higher fps or something.

11 points · 17 days ago · edited 15 days ago

After scanning all the top comments, i'm happy to say I noticed something that I didn't see in there.

One thing that stuck with me in this movie is that it almost always showed someone's reaction to something horrifying before the audience does. I'm also going to go ahead and post all the notes I took on my phone when I was getting worked into a frenzy during the climax.

Hereditary:

  • showing reactions to things before showing things

  • sudden transitions (day to night, being doused in paint thinner, waking up)

  • unreliable protagonists

  • King Paimon and connection with grandma/Joan

  • Red light (top of light) is green at the end

  • triangles: symbol of the cult, then proclaimed to be rejected by Joan

  • Joan's mirrors: does Leigh appear in them in the split second after Annie moves away from the one she appeared in?

  • strange words throughout house

  • harp symbol: shown throughout film (including on a light pole when Peter and Charley are driving to the party, possibly the one that killed Charley later)

  • decapitation as a motif (bird, Charley, Annie)

  • light "wave" reoccurring as connection to supernatural

  • tongue clicking mark of Charley

  • cult connection

  • guilt versus grief

  • bowing position: important at the very end of the movie, Annie's body does it while initially grieving over Charley and at the end when Charley's decapitated head is at the altar/effigy

  • Queen Leigh

  • grooming: "I was a tomboy too."

  • 8 kings of Hell

  • Northwest

  • male versus female body (Charley's mind/soul in Peter's body)

  • rejection of trinity for Paimon

  • burning of book initially harms Annie, but then kills the dad when burned again

  • use of miniatures throughout: Annie's artwork, beginning of film, and at the very end. Significance?

  • obituary at beginning

  • was Charley's death arranged?

  • Annie's family: father starved to death, brother hanged self, both blamed on mental illness

  • Annie's dream sequence features her and Peter doused in paint thinner, both catching on fire at the end of the dream, referring to Annie doing the same thing in real life while sleep walking to herself, Charley, and Peter. Later in the film, Steve, the only person not doused in paint thinner, burns Alice after Annie throws Charlie's book on the fire

  • any possible connections to The Blackcoat's Daughter?

Annie knew the only way to save Peter was to kill him, which is allegorical to the only way to save a child from a mental illness you dont want them to experience but can't stop.

Rejection of the trinity refers to the holy trinity from the Bible (God)

Also, while I am here, another detail I noticed.

They say Paimon is the Northwest king, and, at the end of the movie, Annie is at the northwest (upper left) corner of the screen in the shots where she is hanging from the ceiling

See I thought that too, but then again the cult uses triangles in it's rituals. Maybe they're rejecting the use of those triangles in favor of Paimon?

Hmm I honestly don't think that's a factor but that's what is great about the movie. It's vague on a lot of details and you can make up a lot of your own assumptions!

Was the original sleepwalking incident (i.e. years earlier) with the paint thinner a manifestation of the grandmother's powers ?

Ah - thank you !

16 points · 17 days ago

I thought it was their mother subconsciously trying to destroy the children that Ellen wanted to use

When Annie is banging her head/body on the attic door, is she floating and doing it herself or were one of the naked white painted people banging her against it? I swear I saw the latter.

12 points · 17 days ago

I thought she was floating. But not gonna lie, wasn't watching too directly at that point lol

I did NOT like that imagery. Good God. Easily the thing that freaked me out the most. Ugghh still makes me cringe.

Me neither! Geez! It started to zoom in closer too!

In/after the accident scene I was 100% sure that the girl was unconscious or badly injured at worst and would maybe spend the rest of the movie in a coma, cue creepy possession stuff. Then they cut to the head and my honest to God first thought was "I'm walking out on this, I can't watch this any further". The whole movie made me so uncomfortable that I was relieved when the end sequence kicked off.

One of the few movies where I'm glad I got to see it, but also glad that I never have to see it again.

I had an idea she was dead when he pulled back onto the road, but seeing him walk into the house alone was a pretty powerful image. I was so surprised though; like someone else said based on the trailer I did not see that happening, at least so early in the movie.

I was under the impression that Charlie was the main character from the trailers. Then that happens and I was like "oh my god" I felt sick (more than once. Both times I saw it)

Kinda like Ned Stark. You think they're the main character then BOOM decapitated.

This still hurts

Same! Once that scene happened the whole movie had me uneasy!

Not gonna lie I watched the second half of this movie squinting my eyes.

First major scare was when Annie saw her mother in her workshop, usually I don't like seeing horror movies in a cinema because jump scares tend to get me. This scene made me realise early that hereditary's scare tactics were way more effective than jump scares.

The scene that's gonna stick with me without a doubt is Charlie's death. Child deaths in movies are always pretty fucked, but this hit me way harder than anything in last years It. The suddenness of it, while knowing exactly what was about to happen, Peter's immediate catatonic reaction, the dread of knowing her parents would discover what had happened the next day and the sickening hyperrealistic scenes after they did - and to top it off - the sudden and grotesque image of the severed head looking you right in the eye from the middle of the road.

Yep, this movie has left me feeling pretty uneasy.

3 points · 12 days ago

I actually did end up leaving the cinema, right at the part where Annie is screaming in the bedroom after discovering it. I ended up having a massive panic attack, I really can't stand that specific kind of death, or any violence towards children so it really got me.

Did you go back in? I don't suffer from anxiety but that bit nearly made leave too.

I actually didn't see the grandma in the workshop (I missed so many things and I'm not sure I'm up to watching it again), but the expression on Annie's face told me enough.

Excellent acting by Toni Collette in the whole movie. I love her.

It was so unexpected. All the promotional material was so focused around Charlie that you just wouldn't expect something like that to happen to her.

Really interesting bait and switch.

Charlie's death was the part for me where I damn near grabbed my sister and told her we're leaving the theatre, it left me so unsettled. I didn't think it was a bad movie but at that point I realised it's going to scar me for life. I'm glad I stayed though, best horror movie I've seen in ages.

I think this might be one of the best horror films I have ever seen, in part due to the immense degree of undertones and subtle messages that just keep on coming. One thing I thought that was interesting that hasn't been mentioned is that in 'mythology' Paimon is said to have an effeminate facial appearance, which I think largely explains the reasoning behind the convoluted plot to take Paimon from Charlie into Peter, and not just summon him into Peter from the get go (when Ellen entered there lives at a later date). Also, something that really struck me about this film was just how uncomfortable I felt the entire time. Even before I realised Joan was a cultist, her body language and manipulative behaviour really bothered me. When she is talking to Annie in the parking lot and she constantly grabs her arms and turns her towards her in this erratic and over the top manner...creepy

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