Why Hereditary Is Almost as Scary as My Classic Haunted House Sound Effects CD, ‘Creeps and Groans to Chill Your Bones’
Seen people leaving the movie theater in quiet shock lately? Either they’re going for seconds on Infinity War, or they just put themselves through Hereditary, the horrific feel-bad hit of the summer. It’s an intense experience that many are saying is our generation’s The Exorcist, and if you’re a horror fan, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Don’t believe us? Enjoy this exploration of what makes Hereditary so singularly terrifying, with some light spoilers ahead. You’ll see that it’s almost as scary as a certain classic haunted house sound effects CD you’ve undoubtedly listened to. Made by me. I’m as good a horror storyteller as Hereditary. Okay, let’s get into it!
Its exploration of family horrors
What’s more disturbing than any zombie, vampire, or psycho in a mask? It’s the unspoken, subconscious, insidious horrors lurking within any family unit. Hereditary does an excellent job with its domestic dramas, turning the screws before any traditional horror elements are even introduced. In many ways, this is not unlike “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones”, my independently-produced and distributed haunted house sound effects CD. On track 19, “Frankenstein And His Bride”, you can hear the quiet pains of marital lurking throughout the shadows of their groans. It makes for a richer, truer, much much spookier listen.
Its slow burn seeds which bloom in the second half
Hereditary knows the value of a good slow play. In its first half, things are just slightly off, rather than jumping into full-tilt terror right out the gate. Thus, when the film’s remarkably upsetting plot twist happens halfway through, it works because of the groundwork laid before. Similarly, in “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones” (heretofore referred to as “CAGTCYB”), the first two CDs are much slower and understated, until the shift in volume and intensity in the latter five CDs. Critics may say, “it’s because you accidentally bumped into the volume knob for the final CDs and didn’t know how to make it normal again.” These critics are, like Gabriel Byrne’s father in Hereditary, dead wrong (Also, I’ve changed my mind, I will be referring to it with the full, proper “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones” title from here on out).
Its sound design
Clicking. A simple noise that’s heard throughout the film. It starts innocently enough, but by the time it emanates from, let’s say “unusual sources”, it’s enough to send your whole body into shock. Hereditary crackles with surreal soundscapes like this, modifying and transforming the mundane until it’s basically unrecognizable. Also, and this should go without saying because “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones” is a haunted house sound effects CD and is thus only sound design, but the sound design in “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones” is pretty good too. There might not be any clicking, but there are three tracks of “cauldrons bubbling at different temperatures”, so, you know. Also pretty good.
Its surreal visual effects
The images captured in Hereditary are disquieting, harrowing, and often outright disgusting. They linger in the cavities of one’s brain long after they’ve been seen. They are a testament to the raw power of cinema, in all its beauty, artistry, and craft. “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones”… is a CD. Um… Uh… Oh, the cover! Yeah, the cover’s pretty spooky! It’s got a haunted house with music notes coming out of it! Heck yeah! Spooky stuff, baby!
The performance of lead actor Toni Collette
Hereditary is, first and foremost, a showcase for powerhouse actor Toni Collette. She knows her way around critically acclaimed genre fare, garnering an Oscar nomination for her understated work in The Sixth Sense. This role is much showier and centralized, and if Academy voters can look past the film’s unsavory elements, she’ll undoubtedly– Okay. Look. There’s no direct tie of this to my CD. The closest thing we have is a performance from my ex-common-law-wife Margaret as “Woman shouting at two ghosts.” And Margaret, God love her, is no Toni Friggin’ Collette.
If you listen to it closely, you can hear her say “Is this fine?” at the beginning and end of the take. And that was the best take! I suppose this speaks to something I’ve been dancing around: I know Hereditary is better than “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones”. Of course I know that. It’s a professional film backed by a studio, with resources and talent to spare. It’s just that sometimes an aspiring artist has to do what they have to do to promote their work. To live on the wings of their dreams. Hereditary may get all the acclaim. But thanks to opportunities like this, I pay my bills with my art. And dammit, that’s something. But, then again, you know what the two actually do have in common?
Oooooooooooh! Spooky-ooky! Buy my CD today! I only accept traveler’s checks!
Did Hereditary work for you? Were you gripping your armchair in horror? And do you have my mailing address to send your traveler’s check to buy “Creeps And Groans To Chill Your Bones”? Chat everything horror with me onTwitter! Boo!