One of Hereditary’s scariest scenes haunts you to the attic… and beyond – /Film

First things first: I’m cheating a bit this week. This is technically a series of scenes, not one. But they all meet to create the big climax of the movie, so I think I can get away with it. And even if I can’t, I will anyway.

I love “Hereditary”. I love Collette’s performance; I love the very dark sense of humor in the movie; I love the way she keeps building towards this grand and terrifying ending. Peter wakes up and, in the darkness of his room, he doesn’t realize that his mother is there too, crawling on the walls like a spider. It’s a terrifying image that’s also grimly funny: we see Annie slinking into the shadows while Peter doesn’t notice. Eventually, however, he sees her, along with a group of naked cultists who are hanging around the house with big smiles on her faces.

Peter flees to the attic, locking himself in as floating Annie slams her head against the attic door, violently. Eventually, she will enter the attic (it’s not exactly clear how) and proceed to cut her head off with piano wire, just like she does. This is understandably too much for Peter, who throws himself out of the window. But there will be no relief for this poor boy, or at least for his body, which ends up possessed by a demon known as King Paimon. This was all part of a grand plan by a cult run by Peter’s grandmother: to find a male host for Paimon.

All of this unfolds at breakneck (or severed head) speed, building to a crescendo of madness and a genuinely mystifying series of scenes, not to mention the dark-as-heck finale, where evil triumphs, a la “Rosemary’s Baby.”

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