- This film is chockfull of great performances. To start off Toni Collette here is just incredible. Collette here gives such an emotional torn performance. On paper her character can easily be very over-the-top, but Collette walks the tightrope very well. Collette here easily gives the best performance by an actress so far this year. Also can’t forget the performances of her children in the film. First off the performance here by Alex Wolff is easily the best work he’s done so far in his career. He takes every emotional hit and beautifully internalizes it, as his character holds it in until it blows. Also the performance here by Milly Shapiro is superb. Shapiro gives her character this very off kilter stature that brings a whole other level to the film.
- The direction here by Ari Aster is fantastic. For this to be his first feature is just hard to wrap your head around. To be frank this is one of the most chilling and haunting films I’ve ever seen. Aster creates an atmosphere here that will make you curl up in a ball at points. His use of holding certain shots is definitely something to talk about. There are multiple moments in this film where something seems to be in the corner of a room in the shadows. And Aster doesn’t go for a cheap jump scare, he just holds on it and lets the tension build. Which I have to say is very refreshing to see. Really throughout the film there nearly is always a sense of tension or anxiety. Ari Aster is yet another exciting new filmmaker to watch for.
- Ari Aster’s screenplay here brings some very exciting elements to the film. I’ve heard this film basically pitched as “Rosemary’s Baby” meets “Ordinary People”. Which I can definitely see where they get that. This film is not just scares. It is a study of a family’s grief and recovery, while also studying the lasting effects that your family leaves on you. And just like family, this film very much has a lasting effect. This is a film that I can definitely see myself going back and seeing in a couple days, because so far the staying power is immense.
- The score here by Colin Stetson is one of the most eerie scores I’ve ever heard. A score can be very vital for a horror film and here the execution is at the highest level.
- The cinematography here by Pawel Pogorzelski adds a lot to this film. His use of candle light and shadows in this film is staggering. The shadow use especially is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
- The editing in this film by Lucian Johnston and Jennifer Lame builds a lot of the scares in this film very well. The collaboration of their editing and Ari Aster’s direction builds this film at an amazing pace.
- The sound design in this film as well adds a lot to the emotion to the film. By far the mouth clicking in this film is easily something that will stay with you for a long time.
- There are a couple of small exposition dumps in the film. But I will say that these are very minor and I wasn’t very bothered with them at all. I can easily see them fading away with repeat viewings.