Yesterday a few of our Cape Town and Johannesburg readers were treated to an early screening of Hereditary, a film that’s been dubbed by film critics as “the scariest film of the year”. Thanks to Empire Entertainment, we hosted a press screening of the film at Cavendish and Sandton Ster-Kinekor. “Is Hereditary genuinely that scary? Is the hype real? Is Hereditary worth watching?” These are a few of the questions answered by our film critics – you, the viewers.


As I always say, it’s always great watching a really great horror film like this with a large audience. Hearing and seeing people react to what’s happening on screen makes the experience more fun. Hereditary was a film that had many moments of shock and horror and it was easy to gather from the laughs, chuckles, screams and shrieks that the audience was having a good time.

Pretty much the most evil movie I’ve ever seen, albeit the laughing I did in between! “Cluck” will haunt me forever! – Bernice Harman

Interesting plot, coupled with a few gruesome scenes. The ending was quite unusual, left a viewer feeling like “everything may have worked out”. Not many scenes which frightened or scared viewer, rather made us feel uneasy. Enjoyed the experience and movie. – Jonathan Wernich

Hereditary is a masterfully crafted experience in tension horror unlike any other this year. The slow pace but constant dread builds throughout the film but, unlike other horrors, does not offer release by an inevitable climax, instead building upon it with growing fear by stacking more and more scenarios on top of what is expected. This is a welcome change as jump scares are not used to alleviate the tension. Instead, as the film progresses, your expectations as the viewer is torn asunder by sudden plot twists that leave you reeling, unsure of what to expect next. It is a welcome departure from so-called modern day horror as you never know what might be coming next. Intricately woven within a family drama are horrors beyond imagination, with a story within a tale that few will see coming, Hereditary is a true modern horror masterpiece. – Quentin Rood






Hereditary was by far the most disturbing movie I have ever watched. My heart was in my throat throughout the movie and it left me thinking and talking about it all night. – Letape Lezario

My heart rate went from 87bpm to 119bpm. The Director is creative and the storyline is for open-minded people. It has a cinema nouveau feeling to it and is not a usual Hollywood horror/thriller. Hereditary is long as the plot wants to keep the crowd in suspense but, on the negative side, it is slow. The humour, in the end, gives the movie a mocking side of what is perceived as spiritual. – Cristel Cloete

The film was excellent. I loved the tension as you wouldn’t expect the jump scares at random times. I like everything about it. It was different. The actors were perfect. I could never picture Toni Collette acting in such a role as you always see her in dramas and comedies. Overall, the movie was great. It’s in the same category as AntiChrist and The Shining. – Yuri Solomon

What a creepy movie! Would definitely recommend to anyone into scary movies. It was very entertaining – we were still chatting about it long after the bejeebers wore off. – Zynique Muller

Loved the movie. It was very captivating and played on my emotions. It was a piece of art. I was expecting a bit more as I didn’t think it was that scary compared to The Exorcist and The Conjuring. The end was a bit of an anticlimax and a tad confusing. Definitely in a class of its own. Will give it a 7 out of 10. – Lynne Stoffberg

I actually quite enjoyed the film. The ending was a little far-fetched, but the film had potential. Besides that, the evening was organized really well and I had a good night. – Dakota Guy

A few scares were effectively delivered through great acting and a storyline that I could easily follow. The ending, however, seemed rushed and didn’t exactly click into place with the rest of the movie. Overall a gripping experience – Dré

The shots were beautiful and equally unsettling. The film builds up tension with the use of each character’s struggle with grief, instead of using generic jump-scares. Definitely would watch it again. – Aaron Retief

This movie was so hyped up and my expectations were so high but it was a letdown. It sure wasn’t a horror movie as we know horror to be. I thought Toni Collette was very good in her role. – Beverley Swimmer

I would describe the movie as unsettling, disturbing and certainly not easy to watch. It was definitely compelling, but I am not sure I can say I enjoyed it! – Lila Bruk

I had high hopes for this movie particularly following having watched 3 trailers for the movie, and following the screening I left feeling underwhelmed following all the hype I had created for myself. Having said that, there is a lot I liked about it, having Iaughed sporadically and hysterically after the initial first +-30 minutes of the movie, which I felt was a bit long winded from the onset. Was I scared? Not really, was I enthralled to see how the rest of this psychological thriller played out? Yes! – Danielle Henry

I enjoyed the first half. Seemed all very real. Towards the end, I got lost. It was still entertaining. – Jens

Overall, the movie was good. In terms of scare factor, I felt that the horror/thriller took too long to develop, however with that said the horror/thriller was really good. The only let down was the ending, it felt a bit lacklustre and afterthought-ish but it did tie things in very well giving us an understanding of who the grandmother was and her role in all of this. – Bhavesh Valodia

Catered for everything that is a trademark to a classic horror: well acted and a good few unsettling moments. However, I wouldn’t rate it as the scariest film and the ending turned it almost comical, in my opinion. – Christine

I really enjoyed the movie but the ending was odd which was a bit of a letdown. – Michelle Guy

I must say it was more than I expected. Suspense, thriller, horror and comedy at the same time. It’s was a scary funny.. Will watch it again. – Justin Pillay

The beginning of the movie was very long and dragged out. It was a very big let down as it wasn’t scary, until the few bits in the end. Which were more stupid than scary. Sorry, but my friend and myself didn’t enjoy it. – Sara Gray

It reminded me of “The Other Side Of The Door”. It was a bit slow and predictable. Definitely not rated as very scary. But the acting was up to scratch. – Vanesse Commin

The first hour of the movie was a bit slow, as nothing exciting happened. The last half an hour, had a little bit of suspense but was not that scary. – Charlene Smuts

The movie, I think, made the mistake of overselling itself. It just isn’t that scary. It’s beautifully shot and the acting from everyone was great. It’s not really a horror in the same vein as The Conjuring or Insidious, and those movies would be its natural competition, but more of a serious psychological thriller, very similar in feel to The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby. Not a bad thing really as both of those movies rewrote the genre text book. I don’t think Hereditary is a game changer like SAW or James Wan’s movies, but a good film. – Leon Liebenberg

Hereditary was different to what I expected. It had a few good scares but was more psychological in nature. – Eli Seidle

Hereditary is genuinely horrifying, truly deserving of all the positive reviews it has received so far! The movie was overall freaky, twisty and unsettling with few (but deserving) jump scares that sent us flying off our seats! – Jade Blom

It was insane! It made me feel weird and uncomfortable, but I could not stop watching. It’s more of a psychological horror film, its different than the usual horror film, and that’s what makes it a must see! – Miguel Abrahams

I would definitely recommend it. The movie was disturbing and sinister and kept you guessing. Hail Paimon. – Sylvia

Hereditary was unique in that it never went into predictable territory, and constantly surprised in the levels of shocking and disturbing imagery or suggestions that it depicts. The subtle touches were by far more chilling than any typical jump scare, and some of the scenes and editing choices have been burned into my mind. It was a great cinematic experience! – Nicolas Gonzalez

Overall the film was good. I did find the start slow. The middle was really good with some great scare moments. However, the ending was a bit of a letdown, with no real hit to it. – Charles Kayser

Total plot turnaround. Sadly great cast but not quite as per expectations and missed the mark for scary movie of the decade. Still enjoyed it. – Marc Shaw



The storyline was good, unfortunately, it was very drawn out. I found it very far-fetched at the end. I could not tie the characters together either. Lastly, the story was all over the place. – Patt

I thought it wasn’t very “scary” but definitely traumatic and so messed up! The actors were brilliant. – Kauthar Maj

The film was really entertaining – well made, well acted and definitely terrifying. After building a really great story about grief and its effect on a family, the film ended on a somewhat bizarre note, pretty much collapsing the deck of cards by inserting some blatantly evil messaging. – Tafadzwa Njovana

Hereditary heart rate

There was some great cinematography and effective jump scares. The movie knows how the build tension and delivery on the pregnant pauses. – Benedict Winkler

Hereditary releases in cinemas nationwide on the 15th June 2018.

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  1. antikbaka

    Drunk woman came in the begning of the movie, she started shouting and behaving like a swine she was…and it was the best moment during the whole film.

    Honestly, it looks like that a producer came in the middle of production and said: “where is the horror and action? I want blood, stanic cult, demons, more those Japanese crowling on walls…and don’t reshoot what was dont before, we are going to spend everything on marketing”

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