• Aster has clearly studied masterpiece horror works from the past. Collette’s character seems inspired by (and it’s an equally great performance) Ellen Burstyn’s turn in The Exorcist, the entire occult read and crowning in the end is unmistakably Rosemary’s Baby and I saw the Milly Shapiro “Charlie” character in the orange sweatshirt went to Roeg’s don’t look now (trademark red slicker in that film but close enough)
  • Having said this- Aster has his own voice—and unlike the work of Polanski, Friedkin and Roeg—I see a little of Wes Anderson here in Aster’s work. He’s clearly obsessed with framing and symmetry. I greatly admire the connection with the diorama (obviously that’s Wes) and miniatures. It has real formal implications and connections (is this all artifice?, is it part of the greater statement of Collette’s powers? Her mother? Her family?)
  • Aster moves the camera and edits carefully—the blending of the diorama to life in one scene (I’ll look for more with my second viewing). There’s really zero interest in shock or surprise
  • It’s legit scary—but the film—like all great horror films—works without the horror. The domestic drama is excellent. Gabriel Byrne is woefully miscast—but Toni Collette more than makes up for it and Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro and Ann Dowd are strong in support. Collette’s highlight is the initial support group meeting monologue- quite stunning and she should be nominated
  • Collete (and Aster for that matter) play it straight. There’s no winking, self-defeating gimmickry—it’s told with a dedication to disturb—it’s detailed and intense (that car sequence)—I think Aster shows a bit more promise behind the camera than Robert Eggers in his equally dedicated horror The Witch from 2015
  • Recommend for now but close to that R/HR border