The director of Hereditary has revealed how he feels about audiences screaming and crying during screenings of his terrifying film.
Although many movies have been described ‘the scariest ever’, film critics as Sundance Film Festival earlier this year praised Hereditary saying ‘screams in the theatre were almost as frightening as what was on screen’ and calling it ‘pure emotional terrorism’, which is high praise indeed in the horror world.
And it isn’t just critics who think so. People have been taking to Twitter to share their thoughts on the film with many sharing their stories of screaming and crying throughout the film.
Watch the Hereditary trailer here:
German actor Tim Schilling tweeted:
Hereditary is the most terrified I have ever been watching a movie in I don’t know how long. I was literally crying because I was so scared and I never want to see or even talk about that movie again.
I liked this movie so much. Hereditary is pure torture.
Hereditary is the most terrified I have ever been watching a movie in I don’t know how long. I was literally crying because I was so scared and I never want to see or even talk about that movie again
— Tim Schilling (@timjschilling) June 9, 2018
Aimee was also terrified during the screening:
Side effects of watching Hereditary may include: shortness of breath, crying in fear, and uncontrollable gasping.
Side effects of watching hereditary may include: shortness of breath, crying in fear, and uncontrollable gasping
— Aimee Allen (@aimsterultra) June 15, 2018
Aaron even described how one man had to leave he was that scared:
YOU GUYS. If you can deal with horror, go see Hereditary.
A grown man literally ran out of our theatre screaming ‘oh hell no, f*ck this sh*t’.
That’s how you know it’s good.
YOU GUYS. If you can deal with horror, go see #Hereditary
A grown man literally ran out of our theater screaming “oh hell no fuck this shit!”
That’s how you know it’s good. @HereditaryMovie
— Aaron Wesselman (@aaron_wesselman) June 9, 2018
Steve shared her favourite audience reactions which naturally included screaming:
Favourite audience reactions to Hereditary; man quietly whispering ‘what is happening’, girl literally screaming and me going a full body giant leap out of my seat at one point.
Fave audience reactions to #hereditary:
-man quietly whispering “what…is…happening”
-girl literally screaming
-me, doing a full body giant leap out of my seat at one point
— steve carlsburg (@personalmaps) June 8, 2018
UNILAD caught up with the man responsible for Hereditary, writer and director Ari Aster, to ask him whether these extreme audience reactions means his mission has been accomplished.
Aster told us he was happily taken aback by the overwhelmingly positive reception:
Well in some ways I set out to make a film that was alienating and upsets people on a very deep level because I feel like if you are going to make a film about grief and trauma you should put the audience into as much of the positions of the characters as you can.
And if anything I have been surprised by how warmly it has been embraced and it seems to be satisfying people’s demands as far as the genre is concerned.
I think part of the beauty of what has happened with the film is that I didn’t really set out in a cynical way to produce this extremely potent work of horror.
I wanted to make a film about people who are suffering in a way that really honoured their feelings by ultimately being as big, as extreme and as grotesque as the feelings they are experiencing and the horror genre allowed me to a certain license there to do that without putting off 90 per cent of the audience as they are ultimately there for a film of extremes.
Since Aster’s goal was to both alienate and upset people, he certainly achieved it.
And with Hereditary being his feature-length directorial and screenwriting debut, we can’t wait to see where he goes next.
Hereditary is in cinemas now.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.