It would seem the Hollywood tradition started in the 1980's of false reviews made by either non-existent people or people paid to write glowing assessments is alive and well.
That is my only way of explaining why this film is so highly regarded. I went to the user review area of IMDB just to see if I was missing something or if others thought this good looking, atmospheric, well acted two hour slog sucked as well. To my relief I found I was not alone.
What we have here is a case of style over substance. There is really nothing to "hang your hat on" with regards to what is happening to the family featured. When the reveals start coming they are either obvious or trite. The ending is complete crap, especially after the two hour journey to get to it.
The scariest scene happens early on and is not in any way supernatural. After, we just go on and on and round and round and can only assume the mother is mentally ill. That she is imagining everything that is "odd" or causing it herself. When that proves not to be the situation, the denouement we are given is, again, craptastic and straight out of any run of the mill Z grade made for VOD horror movie plot.
This has been compared to "The Exorcist" but do not let that fool you. This is no "Exorcist" or even anything close.
At best this is a film about a family dealing with mental illness. Only not!
While psychological horror movies seem to be a thing of the past, with movies of this nature cropping up once every little while, _Hereditary_ creeps along with the force of looming evil. This isn't an average Halloween, popcorn-at-the-theatre moviegoing experience. Instead, what we are presented with is palpable heaviness for the better half of two hours while tensions rise in a dwindling household and with some burgeoning Satanic undertones encapsulated in some of the darkest, most isolating atmosphere that contends with the likes of _The Witch_ and _Rosemary's Baby_.
Toni Collette plays Annie Graham, mother of two children - eldest son in high school, the youngest a girl possibly at the tail-end of middle school. With the recent death of her mother, Annie attempts again and again to reconcile with the misfortunes - to put it lightly - that befalls her family. Annie's psychological state dances between the forefront of the film, while the backdrop of lingering family turmoil boils to the top.
This is an unrelenting experiment in acceptance, both placed on the key figures in the film, as well as those watching. When watching, keep in mind the word "control" and discern whether Annie had any at all. This isn't a movie for anybody - I'd go far as to say that this movie isn't for the average moviegoer. There are certain plot points that don't make sense. But if you go into this knowing what the director was trying to do, which, in my opinion, was to make the viewer feel completely uncomfortable while paying homage to some great horror movies, then it will be a rewarding watch.