Hereditary has received a surprisingly low D+ CinemaScore, even as the new film has received many positive reviews from critics. The film, which opened in theaters on June 8, currently ranks at an extremely high 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus among critics is that the film is a unique and effective horror film. However, audiences think the film is a dud.
Hereditary is directed and written by Ari Aster. It stars Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne. The film, which was one of the more anticipated horror films of the year, deals with a family that discovers horrifying secrets about their ancestry after their matriarch passes away. Hereditary, which also deals with themes concerning mental illness, is often very graphic.
After its theatrical debut this weekend, Hereditary sits at a D+ grade from CinemaScore, narrowly beating out the C- rating received by Hotel Artemis and falling way behind the B+ rating of Ocean's 8 - both of which also released on June 8. The audience rating is shocking for many, especially since the film is expected to make a solid debut at the box office.
However, it remains to be seen how long Hereditary will hold. A CinemaScore rating often determines how well a film will do at the box office and is determined exclusively through audiences who are surveyed around the United States during a film's opening weekend. It's rare for a CinemaScore rating to be much lower than a collection of reviews from critics. Another recent example is the 2017 horror film, It Comes At Night, which scored a D from CinemaScore despite near-perfect reviews from critics. The movie made $6 million its opening release weekend, but dropped off sharply afterwards.
When the huge discrepancy happens, it goes to show just how much of a difference there can be between film critics and general moviegoers - and that notion doesn't just apply to genre films but to massive blockbusters as well. But, usually, a CinemaScore doesn't drop as low as it has for Hereditary.
It's important to note that both Hereditary and It Comes At Night are horror films. So, the question is, why are these types of films finding different audiences in critics and general moviegoers? It's possible that moviegoers expect more from horror films than critics might, but that could just be one of many reasons for the stark differences in opinion. In any case, it's still quite possible that Hereditary will find a big audience once it's released on home video.