By most accounts, this year's Sundance was a particularly low-key affair. Perhaps the fate of Patti Cake$, which Fox Searchlight Pictures bought out of the festival last year for $9.5 million and made $1.5 at the box office, served as a kind of cautionary tale. For one, both Amazon and Netflix, who led the pack last year in terms of purchases, walked away from this year's festival without buying a single film. This probably came as a relief to many a competitor, but maybe it was also a sign that, at least on paper, there weren't very many films at the festival whose box-office potential seemed promising.
One thing that almost everyone at Sundance could agree on was that Hereditary is a sensation. A24 purchased the film, which stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd, and Gabriel Byrne, ahead of the festival, and judging by its first trailer, a conscious effort is being made to position Ari Aster's feature-length directorial debut as less miminalist in the horror department than both The Witch and It Comes at Night.
Below is the official description of the film:
“When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.”
See below for the film's first theatrical trailer:
And see below for the film's theatrical poster:
A24 will release Hereditary on June 8, 2018.