Hereditary has proven to be a divisive film.
While movie critics immediately heaped praise on the supernatural horror, audiences were clearly left a little bamboozled by it. The disparity in these reactions is most apparent in their Rotten Tomatoes and CinemaScore percentages, as it has 91% from the former and just a D + on the latter.
But while the reaction to “Hereditary” is likely to be debated for weeks, months and probably even years to come, the film has already proven to be a hit for those that made it, as it has grossed $20.7 million at the box office despite costing just $10 million to make.
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I had the chance to speak to “Hereditary’s” writer and director Ari Aster just ahead of its release, and he was quick to insist that the real praise for the hysteria surrounding the film belongs to its distributor A24.
“It has been amazing to watch what A24 has done with the marketing campaign. They have really done right by the film and really been pushing it in the right way.”
“They talked to me before they even started working on the trailer. They asked me what I was looking for. What I didn’t want them to do. What I did want them to do.”
“I said, ‘We need to protect the twist that happens 30 minutes into the film.’ I always felt that if we were going to push a movie we should push Charlie as a sinister potentially evil girl and the grandmother’s shadow looming over the whole film. But that is already what A24 was thinking.”
After that point, Aster left A24 up to their own devices, as they constantly managed to surprise and impress him with their promotional plan for the film.
“Then they started to show me the trailers and posters and I was blown away, because they were so smart about it. Ultimately I wasn’t directly involved in it.”
“They would show it to me and I would be really happy. A lot of that comes from Graham [Retzik], the resident marketing genius at A24. But really everyone here is so savvy, and what they do with social media is brilliant. Because I don’t know what is happening in that realm.”
“I only got a Twitter for the movie. I was told to. But now it is fun. It is definitely fun watching the Tweets roll out after people see the film. Because it is that kind of film that provokes a response.”
You can form your own response to “Hereditary” now, as it is in cinemas across the US.