The director of new horror film Hereditary has revealed filming the movie was tense, tough and stressful.
Marking Ari Aster’s feature-length directorial and screenwriting debut, Hereditary follows Annie as she copes with the death of her mother Ellen from cancer.
Beginning to unravel terrible family secrets, Annie (played by Toni Collette) and her family soon find themselves attempting to outrun the horrific fate they appear to have inherited.
You can check out a trailer for the movie here to get a sneak peek of the horrors held within:
An emotional and unsettling film from start to finish, Aster recently revealed to UNILAD the pressures of the shoot.
He also explained how the tight schedule affected filming:
It wasn’t really a set where everybody was laughing. We all got along and it was fun at times but for me shooting a film is very stressful.
You only have so much time and shooting a film like this is very ambitious. The original cut was three hours, we had 156 scenes to shoot in about 30 days which means there are days where you are shooting like 10 scenes in 12 hours.
And so if anything you are just racing to get everything done and you are flying blind at a certain point and just leaning on your plans.
It’s fun because you are doing it and, especially if it’s your first film as it was for me, the payoff is very cathartic to finally be there doing it.
But it is not a creative time. Pre-production is the creative time when you build everything and envision it. When you are shooting you are executing it.
The stress is great and you know the joy comes in getting it. When you see it on the monitor and you realise you have it, you have a huge feeling of relief.
And then if you feel you didn’t get it the way you wanted it, that can stay with you for two days and it can really f*** up your momentum. You are doing this scene but you are stuck on that scene as you can’t move on.
He told UNILAD he was happily taken aback by the rousing reception Hereditary received from both audiences and critics.
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.
If I did this as a straight drama I would have put off so much of the audience. But with horror people are there almost like a dare – how scary is this going to be?
‘Big, extreme and grotesque’ certainly sums up Hereditary, so that’s mission accomplished for Aster.
Hereditary is terrifying cinema audiences 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.