The late 2010s could appropriately be called, “The Age of A24,” with major critical acclaim following releases such as “The Lobster,” “Moonlight,” “Room” and “Lady Bird.” With the new trailer for one of the company’s first 2018 releases, “Hereditary,” it seems like the indie studio has no plans of slowing down.
One achievement is the trailer’s ability to convey just enough about the film’s plot to intrigue without giving anything away. Viewers finish the trailer with a gist of what the film is about –– a creepy family dealing with some less-than-ideal common behaviors –– but don’t have quite enough information to figure out how the film will play out.
Scored to sparse, dissonant strings and ominous plucking sounds, the trailer does a tremendous job of unsettling the viewer from the start and, for the rest of the runtime, drawing that tension to an unbearably chilling head. One of the most jarring elements of the trailer is the suddenness with which everything seems to be happening, seeing a shot of a house in the daytime suddenly pop into nighttime.
Perhaps the only concern that arises from the trailer for “Hereditary” is the possibility that it won’t be representative of the tone and pace of the film. The trailer for 2016’s “The Witch” comes to mind as an example of a trailer that portrayed the film as a terrifying thrill ride rather than the slow-burn atmospheric chiller it ended up being. “The Witch” was still a great film, although the disconnect between the film audiences was advertised and the film audiences saw likely hurt its overall reception. The trailer for “Hereditary” looks as if it could hit similar beats.