As is the custom with film reporting and publishing today, the release of ‘Hereditary’ and its subsequent success with multiple outlets stating it as the scariest horror film of 2018, the eager beavers immediately had the ever so resilient question hanging over the release of every successful film nowadays: will the film see a sequel? While we will be examining the answer to that in detail over the next few minutes, you probably already know that we won’t. The situation wasn’t too different a year ago, and it isn’t changed much today, when even Aster’s second feature film opened to much critical aplomb.
In fact, tugging on that thread is what may yield more fruitful results than discussing a direct sequel to ‘Hereditary’. If you are still looking or hopeful for one, I am happy to report that you may already have seen the closest to a sequel to ‘Hereditary’ as we are going to get, in Ari Aster’s own latest summer offering about a group of friends, principal among them Dani Aster who has recently suffered a terrifying family loss, travelling to Sweden for a folk festival occurring once every 90 years on the summer solstice only to find themselves amidst cultists who seek them as sacrifices for their ritual. That’s right, ‘Midsommar’ is the thematic and spiritual sequel to ‘Hereditary’ that you never knew about, and Ari Aster himself vetted it.
‘Hereditary’ focussed on the Graham family and their haunting by a supernatural entity that follows the family after the death of the matriarch’s secretive mother, only to realise that the threat was passed down generations. The film mixed traditional elements of domestic familial dramas and strained relationships with traditional elements, and the product is as much a hair raising drama as much as it is a psychological horror film, displaying a level of craft by Aster that is rare for these movies.
While Aster followed the success of the film with ‘Midsommar’, the internet and Aster combined to give birth to a theory stating more than subtle linkages between the director’s previous work, ‘Hereditary’ and his latest one, with many even claiming that ‘Midsommar’ could be termed like a spiritual sequel or successor to ‘Hereditary’, as I have stated before.
Of course, there are no common characters or intertwining story threads, but the thematic core of both the films, also including some stylistic choices, remains essentially the same. Both films masquerade as terrifying horror flicks, albeit under this guise, one is a family drama, and the other, a messed up relationship drama. “There’s no Paimon involved. But I would say that the film is something of a companion to ‘Hereditary,’ although the similarities didn’t really occur to me until we were on set. And thematic ties became apparent to me. But nothing so overt as Paimon worshipping”, said Aster.
Having said that, I do realise that I have given a rather twisted answer to the primary question that brought us here. If it still isn’t clear, Aster too has tersely stated that Hereditary won’t have a direct sequel or companion film. It is pretty obvious that a director two films old, even if a force to reckon with, would focus more on finding and honing his craft rather than setting up franchises, which is what Aster too has stated.
While spiritual and thematic successors like ‘Midsommar’ are a different question altogether that may itself stretch up to an infinitum of films, since they owe the spirit or theme to a directorial nuance or style. We can only be thankful if Aster can continue making these down the line, but ‘Hereditary’ not having a direct sequel shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise even if you were expecting it.
Firstly, even from the outset, following an initial release at Sundance and a limited release in US, followed by wide releases and audience turning up once the extremely positive reviews started coming in, ‘Hereditary’ is hardly the kind of film that would have a sequel. Secondly, its parent company, A24, specifically only produces indie films, and two of Aster’s short silent films from AFI were the reason A24 lifted Aster for ‘Hereditary’. They haven’t produced a sequel to any of their films till date, and that truth would hardly seem to change for ‘Hereditary’, even if it became their highest grossing film worldwide.
So, if you came to this article in the hope of finding out ‘Hereditary’ 2 release date or trailer, we are sorry to disappoint you.
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