Why Is the Movie Hereditary So Scary?

If you’re a horror movie fan, you’ve probably heard of “Hereditary.” This 2018 film, directed by Ari Aster, has been making waves in the horror industry due to its bone-chilling storyline and fantastic acting.

But what exactly makes this movie so scary? Let’s explore.

The Plot

First and foremost, “Hereditary” is a movie that deals with grief and the effects it can have on a family. The film follows the Graham family as they cope with the loss of their matriarch, Ellen.

Annie (played by Toni Collette), Ellen’s daughter, is an artist who uses her work as a form of therapy. Her husband, Steve (played by Gabriel Byrne), is supportive but also struggling to come to terms with the loss.

As the family tries to move on from their tragedy, strange occurrences begin to happen. Annie starts seeing visions of her mother and begins to uncover dark secrets about her family’s past. Meanwhile, her teenage son Peter (played by Alex Wolff) becomes increasingly disturbed and starts experiencing terrifying nightmares.

The Atmosphere

One of the main reasons why “Hereditary” is so scary is because of its atmosphere. The film has a constant sense of dread that builds up throughout its runtime. From the eerie music to the unsettling camera work, everything about this movie is designed to make you feel uneasy.

Aster also does an excellent job of using sound design to create tension. For example, there are several scenes where we hear a clicking sound that becomes more and more intense as the scene progresses. This sound becomes synonymous with fear as we start associating it with impending danger.

The Acting

Another reason why “Hereditary” is so effective is because of its fantastic acting. Toni Collette delivers a powerhouse performance as Annie, perfectly capturing her character’s descent into madness. Alex Wolff is also excellent as Peter, managing to convey a sense of terror without ever going over the top.

But perhaps the most impressive performance in the film comes from Milly Shapiro, who plays Charlie, Annie’s daughter. Shapiro manages to be simultaneously creepy and sympathetic, making her character’s fate all the more devastating.

The Themes

Finally, “Hereditary” is a movie that deals with some heavy themes. The film explores the idea of inherited trauma and how it can affect generations of a family. It also delves into the concept of fate and whether or not we have control over our own lives.

These themes add an extra layer of depth to the movie and make it more than just your average horror flick. “Hereditary” is a film that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.


In conclusion, “Hereditary” is a movie that succeeds on multiple levels. Its story is both terrifying and emotionally resonant, its atmosphere is unsettling, its acting is fantastic, and its themes are thought-provoking.

If you’re a horror fan looking for something that will truly scare you, “Hereditary” is definitely worth a watch. Just be prepared to sleep with the lights on afterwards.