'Hereditary' star claims he could have 'PTSD' after filming the most terrifying horror movie of the year
Every year it seems there is one movie that is singled out as "the scariest horror movie of the year". It happened with The Witch, it happened with The Babadook and now it has happened with Hereditary. Most movies described this way (usually by a few critics and a big marketing push) are well-made, interesting movies, but often don't bring the jump scares in quite the same way as the genres most popular modern hits do.
If you're watching Hereditary, you're probably not going to be jumping out of your seat as often as you would with one of The Conjuring or Paranormal Activity movies - but you will be creeped out, and might just squeeze your partner's hand extra tight during certain scenes.
Alex Wolff, who plays the son in the movie, recently spoke to Vice about the movie, for which he spent a lot of time getting himself to a "volatile state" on set.
"It would seem obvious, but not in the realm of horror. I think a lot of times in the genre, the character development gets short stripped and everyone of course focuses on the scares, the blood and all the more obvious jump scare stuff. Instead, a film like this takes its time in developing the people, and more works as a family drama above just a horror movie"
Alex's character, Peter, goes through a hell of a lot during the course of the film. His experiences, both physically and mentally, are pretty traumatic - which certainly did a number on the actor when he got immersed in the role.
"It stuck with me while we were filming, and it stuck with me well after. When I started talking about it, all these flashes with all this disturbing sh*t I went through sorta came back in a flood.
"It kept me up at night to where I got into a habit of emotional masochism at that point of just trying to take in every negative feeling I could draw from. I forced it upon myself rather than the opposite of what you’d usually do in life, which is sit on the heater until it starts to burn and you jump up immediately. I had to do the exact opposite of that and absorb the pain and let it burn.
"It’s a reverse emotional thing. It’s hard to describe eloquently, it’s just a feeling. I don’t think you can go through something like this and not have some sort of PTSD afterwards."
In fact, the actor doesn't even remember some of the scenes, so when he came to watch the finished movie for the first time, he was a little confused. “I watched it the first time and I was like, holy sh*t, I don’t remember shooting that scene," he explained. "I’m not even kidding, I was like, what the fuck is going on? I don’t even remember that 100%, it’s strange how that could all work.”
Well, if you're feeling a little traumatised after seeing Hereditary - at least you weren't on set for it.