Hereditary – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Hereditary - International French Poster

Hereditary kind of snuck up on audiences during the summer. No one knew anything about it until it became one of the best horror films of the decade. Be that as it may, the film does start off slowly—especially if you’ve seen the film already. All of the story surprises are gone but the scares and creepiness are still there.

The film’s use of cinematography, darkness, and imagery to mess with your head is still an effective tactic, even if you know what’s coming. Your mind plays tricks on you and that’s why this film is still extremely scary. Not to mention, the sound design of the film just gets to you. It adds to the frightening world that Ari Aster created in Hereditary.

When the proverbial fecal matter hits the fan, the film’s tension just ramps up. Everything that you remember from the first time you’ve seen the film is still as disturbing as you remember. If you haven’t seen the film yet then you’re in for something really crazy.

Yet what really sells this film is Hereditary’s phenomenal cast. Toni Collette gives the film an Oscar-worthy performance. She shows a wide array of emotions and a physicality that’s so impressive to watch on screen. She really sells the frightening moments in the film.

Alex Wolff also gives a great performance as Annie’s son, Peter. His character goes through the emotional wringer and has the ability to effectively show all these emotions. He doesn’t shy away from the physicality of his role either.

Even Gabriel Byrne, who doesn’t have the juiciest role in the film, is still the anchor of normalcy in this film. Byrne knows that’s his job and does a good job playing a man with a growing level of frustration.

Overall, Hereditary is not only one of the best films of the summer but it’s one of the best films of the decade. Sure, the film doesn’t incite excitement as The Conjuring series, but the film is still an effective psychological horror film. Not to mention, that ending will still give you nightmares.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

Video
Hereditary - Milly Shapiro

Hereditary - Milly Shapiro and Toni Collette

Hereditary hits 4K Ultra HD with a Dolby Vision/HDR10 4K transfer and a 2.00:1 aspect ratio. The contrast for this film provides some depth to the picture. In other words, the video never looks flat at all. As a result, there is a good amount of shadow details in this video transfer. This is a great thing to see because the film loves to play with your head in dark scenes. However, there aren’t any crushed blacks because the black levels aren’t entirely deep black. Some areas are a really dark gray while other areas are a deep black.

Even though there aren’t a lot of bright scenes in this film, the brightness level is on-point as well. The bright areas are brilliant without any bloom in these areas at all. The saturation of the colors are vibrant and pop from the screen. Sure, there aren’t a lot of colors in the film but when there is color, they stand out.

Unfortunately, because the video is a 4K upscale, the detail clarity isn’t exactly the sharpest. There’s a slight softness to the edges. In addition, the film grain is barely visible in this video presentation. Overall, this is a great video presentation.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Audio
Hereditary - Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, and Alex Wolff

Hereditary hits 4K Ultra HD with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. As it is the case with most horror films, there is a good amount of immersion in this release. In fact, the audio mix did something that I’ve never heard before. At one point, the audio had the effect of being overhead even without the use of Atmos/DTS:X and overhead speakers. So you can imagine the type of atmospheric sound effects that you’ll get in this film. In addition, the creepy score by Colin Stetson fills up the entire soundstage as well.

However, the dialogue can be hard to hear at times. The dialogue that was clear as day in theaters is something that I can barely hear even at loud levels. There is a massive amount of LFE which adds some weight to the audio mix. So if you live in an apartment complex, you might want to turn down the bass on your subwoofer if you’re watching the film at really late hours. Overall, this is one hell of a creepy and frightening audio mix… As it should be.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Special Features
Hereditary - Toni Collette

Hereditary‘s 4K Ultra HD disc has the following special features:

  • Cursed: The True Nature of Hereditary
  • Selected Deleted Scenes
  • Evil In Miniature: Photo Gallery

As you can tell from the list above, there isn’t a lot of special features in this Blu-ray release. “Cursed” is a featurette that is informative but it does feel like multiple EPK featurettes stitched together. It doesn’t feel like much effort went into making “Cursed” feel unique and different.

All in all, there are eight deleted scenes on the Blu-ray. As you watch each scene, it’s easy to see why these scenes were cut from the final film. Unfortunately for Gabriel Byrne, most of these scenes involve his character. As for the miniature photo gallery, there are 21 close-up photographs of the various miniatures in the film. Nothing too exciting here.

Special Features Rating: 2/5 atoms


Overall, Hereditary is an incredibly shocking and terrifying horror film. That’s exactly why the film is one of the best horror films of the decade. Thankfully, the video and audio mix is able to replicate the scary audiovisual experience with this release. Unfortunately, the special features are severely limited with a small amount of average special features.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1344 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.