The new thriller from the director of The Babadook is a whole different kind of horrifying
One thing I’ve learned in my years covering Sundance is that when a programmer gets up on stage and tells an audience that the movie they’re about to watch is “tough” or “not for the faint of heart,” you take them dead seriously. A few years ago, someone prefaced a screening of The Eyes Of My Mother, a spirited attempt to do a backwoods serial-killer yarn in the style of an Ingmar Bergman art movie, with one such disclaimer—and the steady exodus of disturbed moviegoers that followed confirmed that he wasn’t exaggerating. Likewise the introduction to Ari Aster’s blood-curdling Hereditary, which I caught at its second screening here in Park City last January, and which fully lived up to the words of caution offered at its onset. You can’t be too careful at a film festival—sage advice for attendees, taking chances on new movies that could fuck them up real good, but also for the organizers, who are smart to assume that the average festivalgoer has no idea what they’re getting themselves into.