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Halloween Havoc : Season of the Witch

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I want to hate the Warlock movies because most of them are so bad, but Julian Sands always plays a great bad guy so I can't sustain my venom.. 

I think it his accent that does it.  I think that's why I also love it when David Warner and Hugo Weaving plays heavies..

The first movie was pretty awesome even with the uncomfortable bits going on.

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Warlock is one of my faves and I'm nearly positive it was my recommendation in the very first Halloween Havoc we ran on the old board. Or the old old board.

I forgot Julian Sands was in Arachnophobia and I expected him to be the Lord Master of the Spiders by the end.

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Yeah, forgot he killed a kid in that. And the medium was Mary Woronov so bonus points there. 

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23 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

Warlock is one of my faves and I'm nearly positive it was my recommendation in the very first Halloween Havoc we ran on the old board. Or the old old board.

I've been around long enough, but I didn't participate in the first two or three and I don't recall visiting the threads. But what can you do? The past few years the first couple have been lost to time like Ancient Knowledge and now all of the sudden people are remembering their films from the very first one. But the way I look at it, it's a new reviewer, so it's a new review. 

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There is not enough love for Richard Grant putting in work as the witch hunter, Giles Redferne.  He is such a great protagonist.

Even when the Warlock is casting a spell that will unmake creation, Redferne STILL does his level best to try and CAPTURE the Warlock rather than kill him so that the Warlock can face justice back in his own time.  What movie hero does that anymore?

Kassandra (Lori Singer) is the one who ends up killing the Warlock, not Giles, but it was for the good of mankind.

And yeah, I know it is a sign of the Warlock's evil, but killing the kid in order to create his flying potion took me out of it for a second.

And whether the producers of the Harry Potter films wish to admit it or not, the character of Lucius Malfoy is a tribute to the Warlock..

wm.bmp

 

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51 minutes ago, Execproducer said:

I've been around long enough, but I didn't participate in the first two or three and I don't recall visiting the threads. But what can you do? The past few years the first couple have been lost to time like Ancient Knowledge and now all of the sudden people are remembering their films from the very first one. But the way I look at it, it's a new reviewer, so it's a new review. 

I wasn't mentioning it as a complaint. It was more that I thought it was kewl that someone else 9 years later wanted to inflict it on someone. 

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It took me years to realize the guy from Warlock was also the ridiculous ass-weasel from Hudson Hawk.  I also still expect Julian Sands to do something terrible to someone in every movie he's in, even when his character is clearly just some dude.

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35 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

I wasn't mentioning it as a complaint. It was more that I thought it was kewl that someone else 9 years later wanted to inflict it on someone. 

And I wasn’t being defensive. Just saying it’s going to happen.

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Just above the cavern's mouth was a narrow ledge of rock running horizontally, and of a few inches in width. On this natural shelf, reflected in the water, I saw, hanging downwards, a decayed fragment of goat-skin, rotten with age, but which might have been bound round something, long years before. Upon this, as if escaped from its folds, rested a Head."  ("The Gorgon's Head")”
Gertrude Bacon, The Gentlewomen of Evil: An Anthology of Rare Supernatural Stories from the Pens of Victorian Ladies
 
Like so many unhappinesses, this one had begun with silence in the place of honest open talk.”
Ira Levin, Rosemary's Baby
 
Film: Hereditary
Chosen by: J.T.

My pick is the new joint, Hereditary.  

I really enjoyed it and it is a bit of a genre bender.  I'm interested to see if this movie will either completely enthrall someone or rub them the wrong way.

 

Reviewed by: Ultimo Necro

In the Necro household there are two types of horror film, those that I like and those that my wife likes. I prefer a more traditional slasher, high paced, high action, high gore, often high stupidity. My wife prefers slow burn psychological thriller style movies. It's not a genre I've really taken to over the years. While I could appreciate the artistic merits of Hitchcock and Kubrick and watched them once, I've hardly revisited any of their masterpieces, its just not my thing. If anything, I could have made her watch this movie and the review would be far better as she would understand the intricacies and nuances of this type of film way better than me!

Hereditary has been on my wife's watch list for some time. She doesn't really go out to see movies and will wait until they come round Netflix or Amazon Prime, so she still hasn't seen it. Although I had heard great things about it, it wasn't on my radar and was not something I was particularly interested in and unlikely I would get around to watching at all, I would have watched something stupid like The Meg instead. Now I've watched it before her I feel like I've gotten one up on her in some way as I very much enjoyed the movie and feel like it has set me up nicely for my annual season of the witch horror flick marathon.

I'll try and keep my review as spoiler free as possible as its still a relatively fresh film. The film follows a typical family following the loss of the matriarchal grandmother. Director Ari Aster's first few scenes are very Hitchcock like with the scale model houses and diorama's that the mother, played by Toni Colette, is constructing. Some of the scenes are shot and lit superbly, particularly early in the film. A big complaint of mine is horror films being lit very darkly which often works on the big screen but can be a massive pain in the butt when watching at home.

The film is very slow paced for the first hour, incredibly slow at times. If I had watched it with my wife I might have given up as it was so drawn out. As the film progresses though, the sadness of losing the grandmother is swiftly followed by further tragedy within the family. Toni Collette delivers a great performance, her grief being almost painful to watch at times. Anyone who has been through a loss will recognize the anguish she is going through and the slightly spacey, surreal feeling that it brings is communicated through her performance. She gives a great sense of unease at all times.

The youngest kid, Milly Shapiro can take an award for best creepy little bastard in a horror film for some time. She has a vacant thousand yard stare that will shiver your bones. Gabriel Byrne is stoic as the father. He gives a very understated performance as he deals with his wife's breakdown. Alex Wolff is also incredible as Peter. His vulnerability really shines in most of his scenes and is played with the right amount of weight given some of the insane things that happen to him throughout the course of the movie.

We often hear old time wrestlers stating “you got to work the hold brother”, and as stated earlier, this film certainly does that. Each scene lingers for that extra 10 seconds, particularly during the first hour. This often adds to the drama unfolding between the family members as each deals with grief and loss in their own way. Just leaving it hanging for the extra beat gives each scene an extra sense of foreboding.

Halfway through the film, the mother is helped by a friend giving her a way to deal with her loss. This coping mechanism, of sorts, is what spins the film 360 then 180 again. From this point on the film descends into what can only be described as utter fucking madness. Again, I want to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but I can only say go watch the film.

I'm not easily spooked, but the last 30 minutes really had me going, I watched the film alone at 8am on a rainy Saturday morning while my wife was at work. I forgot my cat was upstairs and I just about pooped my pants when he jumped off the bed during the last half hour. It's incredibly thrilling and very tense. The storytelling never leaves you confused and drops enough hints as you go without slapping you in the face. Its very well balanced in terms of pacing, the ending is also very satisfying as often in these types of films the viewer is left to make their own conclusion. In Hereditary the final scene pretty much spoonfeeds you a summary of what the hell just happened (Robbie Mireno, uummmaaaa), in its own evil way.

The deaths in the film are actually quite extreme considering the overall tone of the film and often come out of nowhere which I think is a great contrast. I think the slow paced, ultra realistic tone of the first half of the movie leads itself very well into the often insane goings on in the second half of the move.

I was very surprised to see this was the Directors first feature film, he really did a great job. He really explores families and their relationships, particularly in coping with loss. I think we have all seen a Mom or an Aunt break down following a death and the coping mechanisms they might use. We've all seen a stone faced father not showing much, if any, emotion. A younger sibling withdrawing into themselves, a teenage brother smoking a bowl. Its all behavior and archetypes we recognize in our every day lives. The last hour of the film though, holy smokes, I would not want any of that in my every day life!

I would recommend this film to anyone, even if slow paced psycho thrillers are maybe not your thing, stick around because its worth it. The story is great, the acting is fantastic, it's shot beautifully and it never feels dull. The last 5-10 minutes is as good as any horror film I've seen in recent times. If this film was released in the 1970's I think it would be talked about as a classic.

Happy Halloween.

Ultimo Necro.

 

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Ultimo Necro hits it on the head.  Hereditary is a very slow burn.  It takes a while for the creep to sink in but when it does, it stays with you for a while.

He is also spot on when he says that Hereditary feels more like a Polanski-esque 1970's mind fuck chiller like The Tenant or Repulsion than it does a modern suspense / horror film.

My only criticism is that the story works so well when it covers the dysfunctional family issues that the supernatural elements that are supposed to be the main stage, actually feel more like a red herring. 

Hereditary explores the awful destructive power of unresolved grief to such a thorough degree that you're like HUH~? when the thing that you thought was side plot suddenly comes to the forefront as the story's prime mover. 

Other than that, I really really really love this movie.

I suggest watching it at least twice:  once to get spooked the fuck out and another time to really let the gravity of the story sink in.

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Maybe it's because I'm getting older and it gets a little harder to suspend disbelief, but sometimes one little thing will take me out of a movie and ruin it for me. The couple of minutes that followed the accident, with no apparent law enforcement involvement or consequences did that to me.

But then paint thinner story pulled me right back in!

There should be a ton of Oscar buzz around Toni Collette. Just fucking amazing. Been a fan since Muriel's Wedding.

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I will be upset if Toni Collette's performance in Hereditary isn't in Oscar talk for Best Actress, but I also get it that people tend not to get nominated for roles in scary movies unless it is an apology for pretentiousness year like when Silence of the Lambs ran away with everything

Collette is a force of nature in this movie and Gabriel Byrne is fucking king sized as the passive aggressive father that is so caught up in trying to be the pillar of strength and reason for his wife and kids that he doesn't realize he's just a bystander in denial that is helplessly watching his family disintegrate right before his very eyes.

The kids are also really good.  Shapiro's Charlie is otherworldly in appearance and action and I loved it that I really hated Charlie's older brother, Peter, played by super awesome Alex Wolff. 

As an adult I really thought that Peter was a whiny selfish asshole.... and  then I remembered that I acted almost exactly like that when I was a sixteen year old elder brother with two younger siblings....  Awkward..  Judge not lest ye be judged, right?

This is an AMAZING first effort for Ari Aster, but Oscar bait movies are looking pretty strong this year, so I am not sure if Ari will have a dog in the Best Director nomination fight.

I've seen weirder things happen in the Academy, though.  In a fair and proper world, Oscar buzz discussions would include this fine motion picture.

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Not to sidetrack, but I think that "Best Popular Movie" award that they scuttled COULD have been a spot for Hereditary or horror movies in general, if the idea for it was "great movies that wouldn't typically get a Best Picture nomination".  I was so interested to see what they were actually going to do with it.

2 hours ago, Execproducer said:

Maybe it's because I'm getting older and it gets a little harder to suspend disbelief, but sometimes one little thing will take me out of a movie and ruin it for me. The couple of minutes that followed the accident, with no apparent law enforcement involvement or consequences did that to me.

But then paint thinner story pulled me right back in!

This is funny because I was basically the exact opposite.  The paint thinner story is intense, but I couldn't buy that someone would tell it like that in that setting.  Then it ends like "So uh anyway, that was weird" and we see no reaction from the people hearing it.

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1 hour ago, S.K.o.S. said:

This is funny because I was basically the exact opposite.  The paint thinner story is intense, but I couldn't buy that someone would tell it like that in that setting.  Then it ends like "So uh anyway, that was weird" and we see no reaction from the people hearing it.

The only person that heard the story was Joan. Which is funny, because she actually does react.

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Hey, Ultimo!  

Have you seen the movie twice, yet?

Did the light bulb turn on when..

Spoiler

Paiman / Charlie's spirit entered Peter's body at the end of the movie? 

Did it suddenly dawn on you why Annie's mom doted on Charlie so much when she was a baby and did all of those weird things? 

Annie's miniatures of home life when her mother was alive and Charlie was an infant were the pictures that spoke a thousand words.  Subtle clues revealed in a not so subtle manner.  Everything you need to figure things out is right there in front of you

I thought Annie's mom was just a fucking batshit insane Type A+++++ control freak dishing out the usual mental cruelty when she did shit like offer her own breasts to feed Charlie as if to imply that mother's milk was not good enough (who does that?  really?), or stand in the bedroom doorway watching Anne and Charlie sleep as if to imply that Charlie was not safe in her own mother's care.

Then I realized that the reason that Annie's mom was behaving that way was because THE EVIL BITCH KNEW THAT CHARLIE WAS PAIMAN'S VESSEL THE WHOLE FUCKING TIME~!

She was like Damien's guardian nanny in The Omen!  FUCK~!!

 

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1 hour ago, Execproducer said:

The only person that heard the story was Joan. Which is funny, because she actually does react.

Hmm, either I've got it mixed up with something else or I'm misremembering completely.  I'm thinking of when she was talking to the support group.

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48 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Hey, Ultimo!  

Have you seen the movie twice, yet?

Did the light bulb turn on when..

  Hide contents

Paiman / Charlie's spirit entered Peter's body at the end of the movie? 

Did it suddenly dawn on you why Annie's mom doted on Charlie so much when she was a baby and did all of those weird things? 

Annie's miniatures of home life when her mother was alive and Charlie was an infant were the pictures that spoke a thousand words.  Subtle clues revealed in a not so subtle manner.  Everything you need to figure things out is right there in front of you

I thought Annie's mom was just a fucking batshit insane Type A+++++ control freak dishing out the usual mental cruelty when she did shit like offer her own breasts to feed Charlie as if to imply that mother's milk was not good enough, or stand in the bedroom doorway watching Anne and Charlie sleep as if to imply that Charlie was not safe in her own mother's care.

Then I realized that the reason that Annie's mom was behaving that way was because THE EVIL BITCH KNEW THAT CHARLIE WAS PAIMAN'S VESSEL THE WHOLE FUCKING TIME~!

She was like Damien's guardian nanny in The Omen!  FUCK~!!

 

100%, Mrs Necro watched it with me on 2nd viewing. She didn’t enjoy it as much as me funnily enough.  So much Easter eggs on 2nd viewing.  The Grandma being showered in coins in one photo right after the book pages show “riches to the conjurer” was in-sane.

such a good flick

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6 hours ago, Execproducer said:

Maybe it's because I'm getting older and it gets a little harder to suspend disbelief, but sometimes one little thing will take me out of a movie and ruin it for me. The couple of minutes that followed the accident, with no apparent law enforcement involvement or consequences did that to me.

I didn't think it was terribly unrealistic.

Spoiler

Peter's a privileged kid with a renowned artist for a mother, so it is reasonable to assume that he might dodge serious punishment given that he's a minor AND it was just a terrible accident AND his famous (and possibly influential) parents would help bury the matter since Annie did not need bad publicity while she's getting ready for a major exhibit of her work.

Or as my lovable but racist mom put it.  "He's a white boy. He'll be just fine."

Peter is a boy without familial validation.  His mother and father are emotionally distant and call that adulthood while his grandmother dotes more on his younger sister than him.  He's obviously got a lot of unresolved I WAS HERE FIRST issues going on with his parents and his grandmother.

It's no surprise he's a horrible student.  If he makes good grades, who will shower him with praise and tell him how proud they are of him?  His mom?  She tried to fucking set him on fire as a child and blamed it on sleep walking.

Even after his irresponsible behavior results in his sister's death and he practically begs to be punished (or at least have his mom be upset with him), ANNIE JUST DROWNS HERSELF IN HER OWN GRIEF~!

At first, Annie is distraught over her daughter, but she doesn't get mad at Peter in the slightest or even acknowledge Peter's crime until he starts prodding her and the she snaps and makes it all about her own suffering.  She sorta treats Peter as if he was invisible because (PAINT THINNER~!) she probably wishes he wasn't around in the first place.

When Peter forces Annie to acknowledge his existence, it just makes things worse.

Annie doesn't really show any genuine joy in the company of her husband and son until the weird Charlie shit is introduced by untrustworthy support group lady.  EVEN IN DEATH, CHARLIE IS STILL THE FAVORITE CHILD~!

It is also chilling how much Annie adores Charlie.  Is it genuine love for her daughter or is it a competition where Annie is out to prove to that she is better than her mother at the fawning game?

Except Annie's mom is NOT fawning.   She is genuinely jubilant about Charlie's existence.....   Riches to the conjurer.

There is so much going on in Hereditary.  It is an amazing movie.

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1 hour ago, J.T. said:

I didn't think it was terribly unrealistic.

  Reveal hidden contents

Peter's a privileged kid with a renowned artist for a mother, so it is reasonable to assume that he might dodge serious punishment given that he's a minor AND it was just a terrible accident AND his famous (and possibly influential) parents would help bury the matter since Annie did not need bad publicity while she's getting ready for a major exhibit of her work.

Or as my lovable but racist mom put it.  "He's a white boy. He'll be just fine."

Peter is a boy without parental validation.  His mother and father are emotionally distant and call that adulthood while his grandmother dotes more on his younger sister than him.  He's obviously got a lot of unresolved I WAS HERE FIRST issues going on with his parents and his grandmother.

It's no surprise he's a horrible student.  If he makes good grades, who will shower him with praise and tell him how proud they are of him?  His mom?  She tried to fucking set him on fire as a child and blamed it on sleep walking.

Even after his irresponsible behavior results in his sister's death and he practically begs to be punished (or at least have his mom be upset with him), ANNIE JUST DROWNS HERSELF IN HER OWN GRIEF~!

At first, Annie is distraught over her daughter, but she doesn't get mad at Peter in the slightest or even acknowledge Peter's crime until he starts prodding her and the she snaps and makes it all about her own suffering.  She sorta treats Peter as if he was invisible because (PAINT THINNER~!) she probably wishes he wasn't around in the first place.

When Peter forces Annie to acknowledge his existence, it just makes things worse.

Annie doesn't really show any genuine joy in the company of her husband and son until the weird Charlie shit is introduced by untrustworthy support group lady.  EVEN IN DEATH, CHARLIE IS STILL THE FAVORITE CHILD~!

It is also chilling how much Annie adores Charlie.  Is it genuine love for her daughter or is it a competition where Annie is out to prove to that she is better than her mother at the fawning game?

Except Annie's mom is NOT fawning.   She is genuinely jubilant about Charlie's existence.....   Riches to the conjurer.

There is so much going on in Hereditary.  It is an amazing movie.

Spoiler

Yeah, he probably is never ultimately doing time but ...he didn't report the accident. He calmly drove his sister's headless, bloody body home, then went to bed and left it for his mom to discover. He's getting arrested as soon as the authorities arrive and drug tested and then probably bailed out and it is easily months before there is any kind of resolution, privileged white kid or not.

But the fact that all of that was glossed over doesn't make it any less of an amazing movie.

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1 hour ago, S.K.o.S. said:

Hmm, either I've got it mixed up with something else or I'm misremembering completely.  I'm thinking of when she was talking to the support group.

No, it was during her one-on-one with Joan. But she definitely over shares, even in a support group setting. But that is kind of set-up by her eulogy for her mother.

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19 minutes ago, Execproducer said:
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Yeah, he probably is never ultimately doing time but ...he didn't report the accident. He calmly drove his sister's headless, bloody body home, then went to bed and left it for his mom to discover. He's getting arrested as soon as the authorities arrive and drug tested and then probably bailed out and it is easily months before there is any kind of resolution, privileged white kid or not.

But the fact that all of that was glossed over doesn't make it any less of an amazing movie.

Yes, but.

Spoiler

Peter is just a sixteen year old kid that just witnessed his sister being decapitated in a car that he was driving. 

He wasn't calm.  He was in shock.

When you're in the middle of a overwhelmingly traumatic experience, primal survival instinct kicks in.

What is a young teen boy's instinctual response when faced with trouble?  Rule Numero Uno is DO NOT GET CAUGHT~!

which he didn't at least not immediately.  Even if he didn't have famous parents, a reasonable person would chalk it up to a horrible accident and compassionate authorities hopefully would not charge the kid with his sister's murder. 

What legal punishment will rival his own guilt? None. 

He would have to live with that night for the rest of his life........  which in the grand scheme of things didn't last much longer, did it?

Funny thing about it is that even though Peter's irresponsible behavior is the most direct catalyst for Charlie's death, Peter probably blames his mother for the whole thing.

"If she hadn't made me take her along in the first place....."

Ironically, if she hadn't been killed by the car crash, she probably would've died as a result of going into anaphylactic shock due to her allergic reaction...  which might have been harder to explain than the car crash and an even more damning result of Peter's lackadaisical attitude toward his sister's well being.

 

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14 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Yes, but.

  Reveal hidden contents

Peter is just a sixteen year old kid that just witnessed his sister being decapitated.  He wasn't calm.  He was in shock.

When you're in the middle of a overwhelmingly traumatic experience, primal survival instinct kicks in.

What is a young teen boy's instinctual response when faced with trouble?  Rule Numero Uno is DO NOT GET CAUGHT~!

which he didn't at least not immediately.  Even if he didn't have famous parents, a reasonable person would chalk it up to a horrible accident and compassionate authorities hopefully would not charge the kid with his sister's murder. 

What legal punishment will rival his own guilt? None.

Funny thing about it is that even though Peter's irresponsible behavior is the most direct catalyst for Charlie's death, Peter probably blames his mother for the whole thing.

"If she hadn't made me take her along in the first place....."

 

Spoiler

No, he just caused his sister being decapitated, accident or Satanic design. All of those reasons you listed will keep him from doing time for driving impaired, leaving an accident, etc.  None of those reasons are preventing an arrest.

But hey, I love this movie too! It was just a thing that stuck in my craw for a few minutes until Toni Collette blew me away.

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22 minutes ago, Execproducer said:
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No, he just caused his sister being decapitated, accident or Satanic design. All of those reasons you listed will keep him from doing time for driving impaired, leaving an accident, etc.  None of those reasons are preventing an arrest.

 

And that is true, but remember:

Spoiler

It is in the best interest of the Paiman cult that nothing happens to Peter since he is their demonic meal ticket.

Paiman cannot fulfill their drams of dominion if Peter is doing time for Murder Two.  I have since assumed that some of the naked cultists were important people in the community that protected Charlie and Peter until it was time for the soul transference.

The ending of the movie showed that just about everyone was in on the Paiman joke except for Annie and her family

Charlie being killed is serendipity and fits into their plans as Paiman cannot send his essence to Peter while Charlie is still alive.  The biggest plot hole for me is notion of what would've happened of Peter had died in the car accident instead of Charlie?  If Peter had died, who would've been Paiman's preferred surrogate? 

Certainly not Annie's husband.  Paiman enjoys inhabiting young male bodies, not old ones.

And if both had survived, how were they going to get Paiman into Peter without drawing attention to themselves?  Charlie has to die before the circle is complete, so how long were they willing to wait them out?  

Paiman takes matters into his own hands and possesses Annie in the third act in order to claim Peter's body, but what could he have done if he were still stuck inside Charlie's body?

The middle and third act of Hereditary are filled with too many malevolently fulfilled conveniences for my liking.  It is a Satanic deus ex machina.

 

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13 minutes ago, J.T. said:

And that is true, but remember:

  Hide contents 

It is in the best interest of the Paiman cult that nothing happens to Peter.

Paiman cannot fulfill their drams of dominion if Peter is doing time for Murder Two.  I have since assumed that some of the naked cultists were important people in the community that protected Charlie and Peter until it was time for the soul transference.

Charlie being killed is serendipity and fits into their plans as Paiman cannot send his essence to Peter while Charlie is still alive.  The biggest plot hole for me is what would've happened of Peter had died in the car accident instead of Charlie?

And if both had survived, how were they going to get Paiman into Peter without drawing attention to themselves?  Charlie has to die before the circle is complete, so how long were they willing to wait them out?

 

Spoiler

But we don't know any of that at the point of the accident. Also, my theory is that Queen Leigh is a bit of a feminist that chose the grand-daughter over the grand-son and performed all of the necessary rituals that summoned Paiman into Charlie in the first place, which her own cult ultimately rejected and Charlies death was a supernatural corrective. Joan flat out says that the girl vessal was rejected in favor of Peter. 

And again, I love this film.

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All this talk about how great Toni Collette is makes me wonder if I stepped into an alternate reality where the last 20 years didn't happen.

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