It has been an amazing year for horror, with Get Out winning an Oscar and A Quiet Place turning into a massive hit for Paramount. Then there's Hereditary, which carved out a reputation for itself as a brutal throwback to films like The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby. I recently got a chance to ask star Toni Collette if there were any lessons the success of the film could impact upon film studios, and she explained that a lot of it boiled down to reminding these powers that be in Hollywood to not play it safe. Toni Collette explained:
Studios tend to play it safe so as to appeal to the masses. The irony is people want and respond to originality. The more chances taken to encourage the voices of truly original storytelling the better for everyone.
It's no secret that we live in an era where mass appeal is important. As many storytellers look to the small screen and blockbusters reign supreme on the big screen, it's important to get as many people into the seats as possible. However, that wasn't what A24 did when Ari Aster's Hereditary started rolling. The film was unapologetically unique, and as Toni Collette explained: that helped feed into its success.
It is also worth mentioning the fact that there's some quantifiable data to back up what Toni Collette had to say about bold, creative storytelling paying off. Hereditary was undeniably a polarizing film, earning a D+ on CinemaScore when it premiered for audiences, but it was also a significant box office success. In fact, the film has gone on to become A24's highest-grossing film to date. The film may have not been the most widely-accepted horror film of the year, but its financial success shows the clear advantages of embracing bold storytelling.
Of course, movies like Hereditary are precisely where this degree of storytelling can actually thrive. Horror is hot right now, and a bit part of that heat is the fact that smaller-scale horror movies can compete with significant tentpoles from the Marvel or Star Wars franchises, largely due to their relatively low financial overhead. With that strength in mind, we're left to wonder if inventive horror films like Hereditary could clear a way forward for artists and studios to continue breaking new ground in the realm of silver screen storytelling for years to come.
Hereditary will be available on Digital HD, 4K, DVD, and Blu-ray on September 4. Make sure to pick up a copy of the film when it hits shelves, and if you are looking for even more information about all of the other films that are set to premiere this year, then head over to CinemaBlend's comprehensive 2018 movie premiere guide.