Hereditary is one of the year’s scariest horror films, coming totally out of left field to make the indie scene proud. Writer/director Ari Aster created a haunted family drama with plenty of weirdness and an unrelenting pull you couldn’t look away from. And now you can keep it inside your home. Hooray!
The Blu-ray/DVD promised deleted scenes, a mini-documentary, and a photo gallery along with Aster’s terrifying directorial debut. So of course, we at SYFY WIRE had to dig in.
First up, the behind-the-scenes documentary. It’s actually more of a small interview series entitled Cursed: The True Nature of Hereditary, which focuses on Aster’s process creating the film and the influences behind it. The writer/director explained that The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and Carrie were the two scary films that Aster showed people before working with them. Since he was young, those two films had images that were so uncomfortable that they stuck with him through his professional career.
If carrying those images in your head sounds laborious, imagine making them a reality. The film’s house, which is a real house (on the outside), was completely rebuilt on soundstages so the team could get the expansive, imaginative shots they wanted. Every interior shot of the house in the film is inside a house the crew built — it was just cheaper than remodeling the real one. While this regular-sized house was being built, so was Toni Collette’s character’s miniature version.
Cursed also explained that the film’s production had planned for snowy weather but had to adapt and embrace the greenery in its locations, then noted that, while most of the actors had a fun time on set, snapping back and forth between takes, Alex Wolff was a method actor — totally immersed in his role until the final day of shooting.
The selected deleted scenes are a bit less exciting. There are a lot of them (though only about a third of the ones that apparently exist), and most focus on trimming sequences with Wolff’s character. Some involve him and Gabriel Byrne musing about love, some about the two discussing going to a therapist (which doesn’t go over well). There’re also extra funeral scenes and one where Milly Shapiro gives Wolff an out on bringing her to a high school party. The scariest one of the bunch is when Wolff can’t sleep and heads up to their dark treehouse — only to find his mom already asleep in there. He freaks out and falls down the ladder, but it’s still not quite spooky enough to justify its inclusion in the final cut.
Finally, the Evil in Miniature photo gallery shows the tiny versions of the film’s house, hospice, and preschool that Collette’s character created and ends on some of Shapiro’s creepy found and repurposed objects. Like mother, like daughter.
Hereditary’s home edition is currently available now.