“Why did you try to kill me?”
Ari Aster’s feature-length directorial debut is one of the most unsettling film experiences I can recall enduring. Layered with haunting imagery and capped by brilliantly fraught, sorrowful performances (most notably from the towering Toni Collette), it left me with chills for nearly its entire runtime.
The set up is terrifying enough, with its lurking shadows and creeping tension, but it ramps up a notch when it passes the point of no return, a hideously vicious and brutally upsetting death scene. It’s a pure shot of terror-induced adrenaline from there on in. It’s only in the entirely unhinged final thirty minutes or so, where the quiet horror is set aside for a bonkers closing act, that the fear finally subsides to a more reasonable level. But there’s no doubting the film’s effectiveness when the sound of a child clicking her tongue alone has you jumping out of your skin. Potently horrible.
Rating (out of 5):