Hereditary was the must-see horror movie of the summer in 2018. It launched director Ari Aster into the limelight. Next up, we'll see his horror legacy continue with the already-critically-acclaimed follow-up film, Midsommar. The appeal of Hereditary is in its slow-burn and creeping storyline.
When the shocks come, they're brutal and completely unexpected. It's unlike any horror film you've seen before and the entire story is anchored by Toni Collette in one of her best roles. But if you watched Hereditary and got a taste for its unique brand of disturbing storytelling, then we've got a few other horror films that you should check out.
10 Goodnight Mommy
A key plot point in Hereditary is Annie's escalating failure to grasp her own identity. She has violent nightmares involving murdering her own children and she increasingly feels isolated from her family when she begins to feel Charlie's presence around the home.
The idea of a mother being torn between multiple identities is similar to that explored in Goodnight Mommy, where two twin boys are disturbed to find their mother acting differently after she has facial reconstruction surgery. The movie was well-received by critics for its usage of complete silence for long stretches of time and its artful direction.
If the witchy elements of Hereditary are what appeal to you, then a film like Suspiria is right up your alley. There are two versions of Suspiria, the original movie and the recent 2018 remake starring Dakota Johnson. Either film will suffice, as they follow a similar plot line. Suspiria is about a strange dance academy that follows rules of occultism to worship ancient maternal deities.
Both films are full of horrific body horror, which Hereditary is now famous for. Even the ending scenes of the movies are somewhat similar, although the 2018 Suspiria has the most grotesque and bloody ending of all three movies.
8 Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby is one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. The film's legacy can be felt in many modern horror films today, and that includes Hereditary. This is the perfect movie to watch after Hereditary if you haven't already seen it because Hereditary itself borrows elements from the older film.
Rosemary's Baby follows Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow), a young woman who moves to a building in New York with a reputation for strange activity. Rosemary soon becomes pregnant and her neighbors take a weighted interest in her unborn child. Only when it's too late does she discover the truth behind the conception of her baby.
7 The Exorcist
As a classic film inspired by a real-life case of possession, The Exorcist is iconic. When it first debuted in theaters, it was so scary that audiences were handed out barf bags. To this day, the scenes of Reagan spewing pea soup, walking backward down the stairs, and jerking around on her bed are terrifying.
The Exorcist can be felt in most modern-day films involving possessions of any kind. Its influence is intense and far-reaching. Hereditary borrows from the mother of all possession movies quite heavily, and to fully understand Hereditary, it is recommended you check out the original Exorcist.
6 The Others
The Others is a classic haunted house story about a woman named Grace (played by Nicole Kidman) who must keep her children sheltered indoors at all times due to their rare photosensitivity disease. Her kids claim they have begun to see ghosts in the house and Grace becomes more and more emotionally fraught as the film continues.
Given the themes of motherhood in Hereditary, it's not hard to see why The Others is in a similar vein, although not quite as disturbing. This movie is a masterclass in building suspense. It's not easy to make a film that takes place predominantly in the daylight so frightening.
5 The Babadook
Crafted by a first-time director, Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is a gorgeous horror film with an integral metaphor about motherhood and depression embedded in its dark heart. The film follows a single mother who must contend with her increasingly frenetic son, who has become haunted by a ghastly creature known as the Babadook.
His fear appears to manifest in the real world from a creepy storybook. The Babadook is truly bone-chilling and original. It's not like any other creature feature or monster film you might have seen in the past, which makes it all the more compelling and still downright nerve-wracking.
4 The Witch
The Witch is the puritanical stuff of nightmares. This is arguably the film that started the current craze of "prestige" horror films. The Witch baffled many casual audience goers at the time it came out because it was far from what they anticipated. But from Black Philip to its shocking ending scene, The Witch is a true horror film through and through.
Its horror leans more on the sense of dread and suspense, which is something Hereditary has in droves. They're both very atmospheric, and again, if you like anything that involves dark magic or witchcraft, then this is certainly a film that can't be missed.
3 The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
If what you're after is a film as original as Hereditary, yet still disturbing enough to make your stomach feel unsettled afterward, then look no further than the Yorgos Lanthimos' movie The Killing of a Sacred Deer. In fact, most of Lanthimos' films will fill the spot left by Hereditary.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell as a couple. Their lives are turned upside down when a strange teenager named Martin begins to insinuate himself into their lives. When his agenda against Farrell's character, a renowned cardiovascular surgeon, becomes clear, you'll realize the brutal psychological terror to be found.
Jordan Peele's latest movie, Us, is his follow-up to the Academy Award-winning film, Get Out. Peele has become renowned for creating terrifying horror films with acute social commentary. Us follows a similar fashion to Get Out with a more outwardly chilling plot idea.
What if you woke up one night to see identical versions of you and your family lurking outside your window? Even worse, what if they intended on murdering you? Us has been praised as the best horror film of 2019 thus far, and Lupita Nyong'o has even been getting some Oscar buzz. Like Hereditary, Us has a twisted storyline and shocking twists.
This is the most obvious choice for fans of Hereditary because Midsommar is the follow-up film from Ari Aster, the man behind Hereditary. His twisted mind is responsible for creating both of these bone-chilling tales. Midsommar has received unanimous critical praise and is being heralded as one of the most bonkers, twisted, and disturbingly horrific horror movies of the year, maybe even of all time.
The movie focuses on a young couple who travel to Sweden in order to take place in their midsummer solstice festival. What begins as a jovial celebration of life quickly turns into something far more sinister when they discover the festival's true agenda.