I *was* going to do a whole post on why surprise-hit horror flick Hereditary got such a low (D+) CinemaScore rating…but this new promo from A24 has sort of “proactively” tackled the issue with an entirely different tone from their previous marketing.
Perhaps mass audiences, being told that Hereditary was “the new Exorcist,” got disappointed at the amount of…family drama in the film. So in this new promo clip, the spotlight is entirely on Toni Collette’s super-intense performance.
In essence…a lot of the most scary stuff in Hereditary is the family drama itself. The horror of a highly dysfunctional family. Watch the bit from the dinner table scene. Not just Collette’s rant, but just something as subtle as Gabriel Byrne’s facial expression.
I mean, just look at him:
Holy shit! It’s scarier than all the special effects you could throw at it, because it’s actually plausible real-life emotional horror.
That’s not to say that Hereditary has no show-stopping frights and gore in it. But I think the CinemaScore audience—based on the initial marketing—expected non-stop show-stopping frights and gore.
Whereas this film kinda “kills” you more slowly.