Hereditary premiered in theatres in 2018, and almost immediately became widely regarded as the scariest horror film ever made. Indeed, the Toni Collette-led picture cannot be called the eeriest ever because everyone has different phobias.
A horrific plot, excellent direction, and superb acting all contribute to the film's status as a classic of the horror genre. It also complicates things when attempting to recommend horror films like Hereditary.
We love horror because it's so versatile; it can be humorous and full of jump scares, or it can be thoughtful in a way that really gets under your skin. This trait unquestionably belongs in the second class, and it's hereditary.
The film's plot involves heavy topics including family strife, loss, and the inescapable presence of death. Collette is the film's driving force as a lady who suspects a sinister legacy runs in her family, and her growing paranoia, paired with Ari Aster's merciless filmmaking, makes for some intense drama. Here is the list of the top 10 movies like hereditary.
Despite Alex Garland's longstanding reputation as a writer & director of stunning & distinctive genre stories, this English folk horror film showed one of his oddest & least intricate works in Mankind. In the film, Rory Kinnear plays multiple male characters, all of whom pose a threat to a bereaved lady who has taken refuge in a remote house.
The film's refusal to fully explain or even admit its oddness forces the audience to draw their own conclusions and challenge the protagonist's perspective. Those who enjoy the obfuscation of Midsommar's concepts will enjoy Men.
9. The Empty Man
Empty Man, directed by David Prior, is in many respects a plain supernatural chiller wrapped in a standard detective mystery technique, but it also provides a far more in-depth look inside the mind of a nihilistic cult than is typical of either genre.
Like in The Wicker Man, the protagonist of The Empty Man is a detective who stumbles into a sinister cult while investigating the disappearance of a young woman. But, the film's plot takes a more dizzying turn, building a frightening lore about the film's titular entity.
8. Saint Maud
Saint Maud is great for fans of modern, female-led, independent horror. You won't exactly love this psychological horror flick, but you'll definitely be thrilled, revolted & perplexed by it. Both films were distributed by A24 & take a psychologically nuanced approach to the horror genre, with the former focusing on the protagonist's family history & the latter on the protagonist's own troubled psyche.
The film follows a nurse who becomes extremely religious after she is unable to save the life of a patient. In spite of this, her faith turns terrifying as she becomes fixated on rescuing Amanda's soul, a convalescing patient under her care. Saint Maud expertly combines philosophical musings on faith, trauma & death with jump scares & body horror. This film ranks among the best in the genre of religious horror.
Movies Like Hereditary…
Carrie, another classic horror film whose influence can be noticed in Hereditary, also merits a second look. Carrie, directed by Brian De Palma & based on Stephen King's 1974 novel of the same name, is another chilling look at puberty, family authority & bodily ties with the supernatural.
Carrie White is a high school student who has a hard time making friends & fitting in with her female peers. The telekinetic independence she seeks, however, comes at a high price as she learns more about her body & the relentless blood desire of the bullies & her mother's domineering influence.
6. The Babadook
A widow is coping with the loss of her husband while raising her son, who has violent outbursts & is difficult to handle. And then, to make matters worse, she unwittingly reads a mystery children's book that mysteriously appears on her doorstep, releasing the terrifying Mister Babadook upon her & her son. The ensuing picture is claustrophobic and terrifying because it depicts the worst dread of a mother.
5. Rosemary’s Baby
Aster has stated that the 1968 horror movie Rosemary's Baby had an influence on her new film, Hereditary. Despite being set in different eras, the two films share an undeniable tonal resonance. Guy & Rosemary Woodhouse are a young couple in Rosemary's Baby, written & directed by Roman Polanski, who has just moved into a new apartment & is planning to conceive a family.
When they arrive, they are welcomed by friendly, if curious, neighbors, but Rosemary begins to worry that they may not have her baby's best interests at heart. The film explores similar topics to Hereditary, such as paranoia, the occult & broken families. In addition, both films have oddly conclusive endings that will seem familiar to fans of the franchises.
4. It Follows
The plot of It Follows, about a curse that is passed on through sexual contact, doesn't make much sense. We guarantee, however, that this 2014 movie will strike a chord with you on a deep emotional level.
The movie's logic has a surreal character that makes it impossible to predict what will happen next. Watch helplessly as Jay is persistently pursued by a slow-moving but ever-present entity set on killing her if she doesn't share the curse with someone else.
Midsommar is Ari Aster's second feature film & it's likely that fans of his warped vision in Hereditary will also enjoy this one. This film is just as emotionally grim as Hereditary, despite its visual contrast with that picture.
The video makes observations on suicide, bad breakups, emotional empathy & the miseries of sadness via the lens of a group of friends who come to Sweden to have some fun while researching the cultural anthropology of midsummer celebrations. The intricate character interactions, philosophical questions & artfully constructed shots are all hallmarks of Aster's aesthetic.
2. The Witch
The Witch is set in 1630s New England & transports the reader to a time and place where any number of unfortunate events, such as a failed harvest or an unexpected death, could result in a woman being accused of witchcraft.
Thomasin is the protagonist, a young woman who fights against her own family to prove she hasn't given her soul to Satan when she is blamed for the disappearance of her younger brother. This film will undoubtedly keep you up at night with its spooky cinematography & pervasive atmosphere of dread.
1. Kill List
Similarly to how Ben Wheatley's Kill List also draws from specific sources in European culture for its cult and folk horror themes, Midsommar does the same. The film follows 2 assassins as they cross names off a list, with each murder growing progressively more horrifying as it becomes apparent that the protagonists are being kept in the dark about a larger scheme.
Fans of Midsommar's deft balancing act between those two traits will be pleased to know that Wheatley, like Ari Aster, is not the type of filmmaker to shy away from either prickly drama or horrific horror in his films. The film also features a heartbreaking conclusion that will stay with viewers long after the final credits have rolled, even if they're jaded horror film veterans.
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