The film Hereditary shocked and thrilled audiences upon its release as one of the more unorthodox and gruesome horror films to grace the big screen. Written and directed by Ari Aster, this surreal and occult film finds a family trying to deal with the recent loss of the Graham family’s matriarch. With her passing, the daughter and grandchildren begin to learn more about their darker family history. They try to deny such relations and improve their family but such dark forces may be too difficult to escape as the family proceeds through some tough times, discovering they’re associated with supernatural and distributing entities.
There’s a lot to love about Hereditary. It touches on aspects of family nature as well as elements of torture and terror, where characters struggles to deal with loss in their own weird ways. The film also features a fantastic and notable performance by Toni Collette. With the film’s brutal mixture of death, torture, and all things supernatural and dark, one may want to seek out similar horror films with such a psychological and demonic bent. While there’s no shortage of horror films with a family being terrorized by supernatural forces, there are some that reflect this film better than others. With this in mind, here are 10 films that are quite similar to Hereditary that are worth your time.
As the follow-up to Hereditary, Ari Aster’s Midsommer deals with grief and cults once more but in a far different manner. Student Dani Ardor is finding her life hard to deal with after the death of her sister. This makes her boyfriend unsure about their relationship when she could be a downer on their trip to Sweden. But her mood will be the least of their problems when they discover the community they’re staying with in Sweden is far more sinister. What starts off as a peaceful trip of drugs and love transforms into one of human sacrifice, gore, orgies, and bitter contemplations. With leanings in folklore and surreal visions, this uneasy horror picture stars Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe, and Will Poulter.
Being a single mother can be tough but it’s even tougher when the monster of the Babadook comes into the home to complicate things further. Amelia Vanek finds herself struggling to raise her troublesome son Samuel who seems to have major issues at school and at home. Sleepless nights and grueling work hours make Amelia start to lose track of time and her sense of reality. Then she discovers the mysterious pop-up book for The Babadook that shows up on her shelf. The creepy story warns the family of a monster who will creep his way into the household and take your soul. The most terrifying aspect of all may not be that the monster is in the house but that Amelia herself is turning into the monster. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale), this psychological horror stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Daniel Henshall, and Barbara West.
Set in 1630s New England, The Witch tells the story of how one family on their own struggled to live a life on their own away from society. Managing a farm has its hardships but everything seems to be going okay. But then one of the children went missing. The other childrens start acting strange. A dark force of demonic magic lurks in the woods, seeking to tear the family apart and consume their essence. As the directorial debut by Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse), this intense period supernatural horror film slowly creeps under your skin with its horrifying depictions of torture, possession, and mysterious doings, while also questioning religious belief. The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, and Kate Dickie.
Two parents find themselves in an unorthodox and terrifying situation when their son has fallen into a coma. Their boy then becomes a vessel for which spirits from the astral dimension start to take hold and fight for control of his body. With nowhere else to turn, it’s up to Elise Rainier, a psychic, and her paranormal investigators, Specs and Tucker, to probe into the great beyond and defeat whatever evil threatens to take over such a child. Directed by James Wan (Aquaman, Furious 7), this supernatural horror stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Barbara Hershey. Insidious was such a hit for having a small budget that it led to the sequel of Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and the prequels of Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015) and Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
Based on the novel of the same title by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby tells the story of Rosemary Woodhouse, who moves to New York City with her husband Guy. They have a child on the way but Rosemary fears that her baby may be something more sinister. As she struggles with the pains of becoming a new mother, something dark lurks under the surface amid her neighbors who take note of her pregnancy. Could Rosemary’s offspring be of devilish descent? Written and directed by Roman Polanski (Repulsion), this occult horror film features notable performances by Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, and Ralph Bellamy.
Based on the novel by Stephen King, Carrie tells the story of an unfortunate teenager who finds herself tortured at both school and home. But Carrie also happens to harbor telekinetic powers that she can use to manipulate the world around her. And when she is finally pushed too far at a dance that ends with her covered in blood, that’s when her powers take on a dark nature as she seeks revenge on those who wronged her. Directed by Brian De Palma (Sisters, Dressed to Kill), the film stars Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, William Katt, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, Betty Buckley, P.J. Soles, and Piper Laurie. The film also received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (for Spacek) and Best Supporting Actress (for Laurie).
Ellison Oswalt is a husband, father, and true-crime author who is hoping to gain some new inspiration by making a move to a new town. It just so happens that the house he has moved into was home to a series of brutal and mysterious murders. Ellison makes this discovery when he peers into the attic to find a series of old movie filmstrips. Each film contains footage of the family who lived in the house being murdered by whoever is holding the camera. As Ellison continues to probe, he discovers that the dark force behind such events may be the occult monster of Bughuul. But the deeper Ellison investigates, the more troubled his family life becomes when his children start acting stranger and stranger. Directed by Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and co-written by C. Robert Cargill (Doctor Strange), this supernatural horror stars Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, and Clare Foley.
A young boy with autism struggles to communicate at both home and school. His parents grow frustrated with him and the students at school only pick on him constantly for his reliance on technology to speak for him. But his parents will have to put their differences in parenting aside when the boy happens upon a mysterious eBook application that has cursed the boy’s tablet. The book, entitled Misunderstood Monsters, tells the story of Larry, a monster who wants to make a friend. The further one reads from his book, the closer Larry comes to invading our reality through electronic devices. And once Larry gets into their world, he’s not an easy beast to spot or defeat. Directed by Jacob Chase, this psychological and supernatural horror film about autism and technology stars Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr., Azhy Robertson, and Winslow Fegley.
The Lodge (2019)
A family retreat to a winter lodge during Christmas takes a dark turn. A single father who has two kids has taken this opportunity to bring his girlfriend along to get to better know his family. But when dad is called away from the lodge, the girlfriend Grace is left in charge of looking after the kids. And the kids may be in more danger with her as dark elements of Grace’s past soon bubble up, transforming this holiday vacation into an intense nightmare. Directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (Goodnight Mommy), this psychological horror stars Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, and Richard Armitage.
Edna was always regarded as the matriarch of her family but she has only grown more demented with age as became elderly and widowed. When she goes missing, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam go looking for her. What they didn’t count on discovering was a dark presence that lingers over their house, a presence that has led to Edna becoming more deranged than she was before. Directed by Natalie Erika James, this eerie and psychological horror picture stars Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, and Bella Heathcote.