I think it’s good, healthy, and correct for critics to take movies personally*. Taking movies personally is how we end up with an ecosystem of diverse, non-homogenized criticism, where the discipline is fueled as much by knowledge and passion as by life experience; otherwise, everyone writing criticism ends up writing more or less the same thing over and over again, and no wonder criticism isn’t what it used to be in 2019.
This is my very clever way of excusing myself for again taking Hereditary down in a piece, this time focused around The Witch, recently given a 4K release. Note: I originally titled this piece “Blame It On The Witch.” I’m of the mind that this whole dumb “elevated horror” thing started around the time people saw The Witch at Sundance, realized horror could be art, then started in on performative genre advocacy**. Yadda yadda.
You can read the full piece over at The Hollywood Reporter.
*Not “personally” in the way of hot takes. Like, don’t go shitting on Game of Thrones because David Benioff’s dad is a former Goldman Sachs head. That’s the bad kind of “take things personally.”
**For better and worse. For better: Championing Get Out, which is partly why Get Out is an Oscar-nominated movie. For worse: Championing Ari Aster, a guy making horror movies who for whatever asinine reason does not call his horror movies horror movies. That’s demonstrably not good for horror.