This supernatural horror film is written and directed by Ari Aster who is making his directorial debut. Starring Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Bryne, this premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of this year and then released nationwide last month.
After the death of her reclusive mother, Annie (Collette) explains at a support group that her and her mother’s relationship was not all that great and also the rest of her family suffered from mental illness which tragically led to their own deaths. Soon after the funeral, Annie begins notice some very usual events around her house such as apparitions, visions, nightmares and mysterious visitors. Throughout the rest of the film, Annie’s sanity begins to diminish while her teenage son (Wolff) begins his having his own encounters, her young daughter (Shapiro) is the outcast and her husband (Bryne) is trying to hold it all together. The mystery only gets strange as more encounter happen and even get worse until the end of film leaves you in a state of awe.
This was pretty intense movie from beginning to end. The way the movie was shot was also good and gave it a much more creepy vibe. The jump scares are pretty good rather false like in other movies however it does overshadow the tension built throughout the movie. Toni Collette is amazing in lead role and gives a great performance and that is what holds the movie together and carries you along. The range of emotions her character goes through all over the place but she pulls it off with such ease.
With all these great things about the movie, where the falls apart is the main story. It starts off like a typical supernatural movie but about half way through it becomes a bit cliché and then becomes predictable and by the end I was left disappointed. It turns from supernatural to horror to drama and back to supernatural which the story to be a bit convoluted. The final act of the movie was very predictable but still an eerie vibe with some haunting imagery.
Overall, this was solid horror movie with a strong lead performance, great camera work and moderate pacing. From a storyline aspect, it’s a slow burner, a creepy first half then a sloppy and predictable ending with a cliché twist. I will say, if I hadn’t said enough, Toni Collette’s performance should be taken into consideration by the Academy come award season.