It's tough to give an overview of the midnight movie that scared the collective pants off the festival this year. Director Ari Aster's feature debut sidles so slyly up to its nightmarish premise that for long stretches all you know is that something is going slowly and terribly wrong for the family at its center — a family grieving for, or at least making gestures toward grieving for, its difficult, late matriarch. Annie Graham (Toni Collette), an artist, tries to hide herself in her work, while husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne) attempts to be supportive, son Peter (Alex Wolff) just wants to be a normal teenager, and dreamy daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) seems stuck between worlds. Before it all goes to hell, Hereditary works just as well as a drama about people trying to pretend the growing fractures between them aren't there, and trying to will their dark history into the past. Every year, if we're lucky, some title comes along that spans both the horror and arthouse genres, and Hereditary is set to be 2018's answer to The Babadook, It Follows, and The Witch, combining awesomely disturbing imagery with unsettlingly thoughtful filmmaking. —A.W.
Distribution: Hereditary will open in theaters in wide release on June 8, from A24.