The Scariest Thing In Hereditary Wasn't What You Think

  • Published: 24 April 2019
  • Writer-director Ari Aster's 2018 debut feature film Hereditary is the horror movie equivalent of a haymaker punch to the gut. Hereditary tells the story of a family plagued by generational curses as well as a demon cult, but, believe it or not, that really freaky cult isn't the scariest part of the movie. Be warned, however: major spoilers ahead.

    One of the most memorable scenes in Hereditary is the closing scene in the treehouse, in which Peter, now housing the demonic Paimon's soul, is crowned the King of Hell on Earth. For the kinds of viewers who didn't care for the movie, this ending came out of nowhere. But to viewers who paid close attention, who read the literal writing on the walls, this scene was the culmination of every single frame of the film up to that point. The closing scene is a testament to the secret machinations of the cult of Paimon.

    Throughout the whole film, the cult manipulates nearly every event: from the funeral, to Charlie's death, to Annie's desperate spiral into spiritualism, to Peter's utter mental and physical collapse. We even learn that the cult stretches back generations before the events of the film, leading to the deaths of Annie's father and brother and even the births of her children. From the shadows, they manipulate everything that befalls the Graham family until all that's left is Peter's broken shell with a demon filling. But why should we be afraid, apart from the film's shocking imagery? What's to fear? Demons aren't real, right?

    Wait… is Paimon real?

    Well, Paimon is as real as any demon is real, which depends on your personal worldview. But he's as real as any of those demons that were famously tamed by King Solomon. Paimon appears in the 16th-century grimoire known as The Lesser Key of Solomon, arguably the most influential work of demonology of all time.

    According to The Lesser Key, Paimon is a King of Hell who wears a crown and rides a camel, preceded by the sound of trumpets. If you invoke him, he can grant you knowledge of all arts and sciences and secret knowledge of the Earth, wind, and waters. Furthermore, he can grant you good familiars and dignities and lordships, as well as revealing hidden treasures.

    Writer-director Ari Aster goes to some pains to be accurate in his depiction of Paimon, though he embellishes in a few places. For example, the idea that Paimon requires a male host seems to be an original idea, though Paimon is sometimes described as having a woman's face, so gender issues are not out of nowhere. But is Paimon himself out of nowhere in the movie? What are signs of his presence?

    One of the biggest clues to Paimon's presence is his symbol which can be found lurking in many crucial scenes. Annie and her mother are both seen wearing necklaces with the seal of Paimon at the first funeral. Once Joan is revealed as a cult member, you can see Paimon's seal on her wall. Most significantly, though, you can see Paimon's seal carved on the utility pole where Charlie will later be decapitated, which reveals how even that shocking event was orchestrated by the cult of Paimon.

    #Hereditary #MoviesExplained

    Cultists everywhere | 0:22
    The Lesser Key | 1:23
    The devil is in the details | 2:22
    The invisible hand | 3:04
    Pay attention in class | 4:17
    A doll's house | 5:27
    Lamb to the slaughter | 6:37
    The illusion of control | 7:32
    The things we carry | 8:57
    No escape, no control | 9:41
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 1 210

  • Grunge
    Grunge   2 months back

    In your opinion, what was the scariest part of Hereditary?

    • Jonathan Encarnacion
      Jonathan Encarnacion  2 days back


    • xXPOISENX x
      xXPOISENX x  3 days back

      When the mum was banging her head on the f****** ceiling

    • y/n leaks
      y/n leaks  3 days back

      That mom stabbing herself lol

    • AmbyMT
      AmbyMT  4 days back

      when she sees her husband burning alive and her face transforms in a split second from complete shock and horror to straight indifference, that messed me up

    • Dez
      Dez  4 days back

      I think what scared me the most is that I just dodnt understand it. Lol I understood what was going on, but I didn't understand the nakedness, the sacraficing, the dieing and at the end of the movie I didnt know if he was still himself or if his body was now owned by this spirit.

  • Robynmollie
    Robynmollie  7 hours back

    Couldn't concentrate on the analysis because of the background music

    • TheeMilesMonk
      TheeMilesMonk  12 hours back

      Absolute worst music choice you could have ever used.

      • Fran Rod
        Fran Rod  16 hours back

        Don't let the tittle deceive you, this may might well be the best explanation to the movie out there. Good job.

        • Sara Schmidt
          Sara Schmidt  1 days back

          Worst movie EVER!! I hated the daughter. It was awful when she was decapitated but relieving at the same time

          • Mako07
            Mako07  1 days back

            Good breakdown 👍🏼

            • Ynaffit Elocin
              Ynaffit Elocin  1 days back

              Y'all cant just tune stuff out? It's already done. What is the point in complaining about something you cant change? Can't stand seeing something repetitively repeat. We get it! Ignore the music. Enjoy the breakdown.

              • Samuel Ridley
                Samuel Ridley  2 days back

                What's this music or song I'm loving it

                • nangamyatmon
                  nangamyatmon  2 days back

                  this movie could have been a very great family drama film but it was marketed as the scariest horror film.

                  • sesh gremlin420
                    sesh gremlin420  2 days back

                    Man change that music ffs😂😂😂

                    • startrekalien
                      startrekalien  3 days back

                      So what was the scariest thing again? Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap and so on.

                      • Keaton David Banta
                        Keaton David Banta  3 days back

                        Watch the movie not only so you’re confident in what you’re talking about, but so you can pronounce the freaking name!

                        • I'm Baby
                          I'm Baby  3 days back

                          Why do people think this movie was scary? I just don’t see it. I thought it was well acted, but more than anything, I found it annoying and pretentious. Maybe it was because I already knew about Paimon/Demonology before, so it was kind of ehh... but mostly, I just thought it was a desperate reach for shock value that was completely unnecessary.

                          • NYCVIDEO
                            NYCVIDEO  3 days back

                            What an incredibly haunting film. So many moments. Seeing Ellen smiling in the darkened room and Annie floating behind Peter in his bedroom were freak out moments for me.

                            • TheRuthlessRed
                              TheRuthlessRed  3 days back

                              "If you invoke him, he can grant you knowledge and sciences, as well as secret knowledge of earth, wind and water."

                              Sounds like Hermaeus Mora.

                              • fatima espinoza
                                fatima espinoza  4 days back

                                suprised you didnt talk about the members of the cult being INSIDE the house through out the movie. theres even a shot outside of the house and you can just barely make out their figure in the trees. props to the actors that made the film something else.

                                • Le Stat
                                  Le Stat  4 days back

                                  Something for the dysfunctional people and cult victims to relate with

                                  • mrigue56
                                    mrigue56  4 days back

                                    The music made me nauseous throughout the entire movie

                                    • Cookie Waffle
                                      Cookie Waffle  4 days back

                                      I’m actually glad that part of the message was “Abuse has lasting horrible effects on a person” instead of “abuse makes you stronger later on.”

                                      Not everyone can grow from their abuse and the trauma can last well into adulthood without proper help.

                                      • Don't Hug Roy
                                        Don't Hug Roy  5 days back

                                        I laughed when the daughter's head hit the post and it fell off but my mom cried.

                                        • The Feeling Is Mutual
                                          The Feeling Is Mutual  5 days back

                                          Paimon needs to have that huge mole ripped off his face

                                          • Balam's Message
                                            Balam's Message  5 days back

                                            This was one of those movies that Freaked me out! I had to watch it twice to get it. I had to go read about the demon Pamon!

                                            • Zumba Ball
                                              Zumba Ball  5 days back

                                              I think the content of this video was probably good but hey how would I know with this background music

                                              • Alex Phillips
                                                Alex Phillips  6 days back

                                                When Peter had that seizure thing in the classroom, was his hand raised in the shape of Paimon's cane?

                                                • Mike Paul
                                                  Mike Paul  6 days back

                                                  Hereditary was good but it wasn’t scary.

                                                  • gil wood
                                                    gil wood  6 days back

                                                    Movies don't usually make me shout "HOLY S**T ...DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?" This movie was a freak out !

                                                    • Symes Alexander
                                                      Symes Alexander  6 days back

                                                      That movie was dope and epic .In my top 7 love it 😘😙😗😋😝😌

                                                      • Byouford
                                                        Byouford  7 days back

                                                        Piemon? Never heard of 'im. Paimon (Pay-mon)

                                                        • Robert Garcia
                                                          Robert Garcia  7 days back

                                                          But why the girl's face is all weird?

                                                          • Aimi Mori
                                                            Aimi Mori  1 weeks back

                                                            "Pie, mon?"

                                                            "No thanks, my Jamaican friend. "

                                                            • Tamas Egyed
                                                              Tamas Egyed  1 weeks back

                                                              Why can't reality be less scary? Give me demons over inherited genetics issues any day

                                                              • Naytron 9000
                                                                Naytron 9000  1 weeks back

                                                                im sorry but i laughed like a maniac when dude burst into flames screaming and she stood there like a deer in the headlights..

                                                                • Mario Munguia Jr.
                                                                  Mario Munguia Jr.  1 weeks back

                                                                  This is my favorite horror movie because it's genuinely disturbing and had me anxiously thinking about how the movie would end. Obviously I was shocked. So much better than any cheap jump scare flick that is easily forgettable featuring a cliche plot with cardboard characters.

                                                                  • President Moore
                                                                    President Moore  1 weeks back

                                                                    A lot of the film wasn't "scary"..but instead gave me a more uncomfortable feeling. In a good kinda way though. Like the part where the son drove home with his decapitated sister, and we waited for the mom to find her lifeless body...and that scream...goodness....that scream. Made you feel sooo uncomfortable as a viewer. Such a great film.

                                                                    • Victoria Sultana
                                                                      Victoria Sultana  1 weeks back

                                                                      Horror genre tropes don’t scare me. Watching a mother mourn the horrible and disturbing death of her daughter scares me. I found that to be so terrifying in this movie. I picked up on all her emotions and it deeply impacted me.

                                                                      • Shweta Somwanshi
                                                                        Shweta Somwanshi  1 weeks back

                                                                        Okay this what you all missed. The reason why this movie is so brilliant is because they have showcased what a troubled mother-daughter relationship actually looks like. The grandmother in the movie is clearly a narcissistic psychopath who is a member of a cult and someone who manipulates anyone to get her own way. She also got close to the granddaughter because of the sole purpose of using her to awaken Paimon. The reason why this movie is a classic is because they've literally shown what the adult daughters of narcissistic mothers behave when they start their own families, a topic not usually touched by many filmmakers. Anne Graham, the daughter of the narcissist mother is so protective about her children that she doesn't let her own Narcissistic mother get near her first born son but eventually is so guilt ridden about her own role as a daughter and is manipulated by her mother that she let's Charlie(second born girl child) stay with her own mother for awhile. That's how Charlie develops allergies for nuts because her grandmother never let Annie feed her as a baby, she fed the baby herself. Even though Charlie didn't understand when she was a baby that she was being harmed by her grandmother, there is scene where Charlie is walking towards her grandma's grave and later telling her mother how she wants her grandma, showing clear signs of Stockholm syndrome in children. There is part in the movie where Annie(The mother), when she goes to one of the twelve steps program meeting, she says stuff like she has taken the blame on herself for everything. And she clarifies at the end that she only wants what is good for her family. Which is exactly what daughters of Narcissistic mothers feel all the time, a desperate need to prove that they do not have cruel intentions like that of their own mother. Then again there is a scene where they're having dinner and Anne's son (Peter) asks her to release herself from the anger that she is carrying and Anne says at the end of the argument, screaming out her lungs, ".. because nobody admits doing anything wrong in this family", meaning how she still hasn't recieved any closure from her mother who made her go through horrifying trauma as a child but never even once was guilty for the things she did to her family.
                                                                        Which is also why Anne doesn't cry or feel sad and is left confused after her mother's funeral and that's where she asks her husband, "Should I be more sad?",which is so goddamn relatable because as an abused person I am supposed to celebrate my abuser's death/misfortune but I can't because I have to present this facade of sorrow for the world because this abuser is my mother and I am supposed to feel sad.

                                                                        Another trait of an unloved/neglected child is how they crave warmth and also why abandoned children, when they become an adult, try to compensate the warmth they didn't recieve as a child by staying in hot shower for a longer period of time, where as in the movie we see Annie sleeping in another treehouse or attic where there is strong heater and how the camera is subtly moving to show the audience that fan is switched off.
                                                                        This is just brilliant.

                                                                        • kade reese
                                                                          kade reese  1 weeks back

                                                                          The scene where the mother is banging her head on the attic door was definitely terrifying, also when she was in the corner of the room multiple times staring at Peter.

                                                                          • unrhu
                                                                            unrhu  1 weeks back

                                                                            Best explanation and break down of the movie

                                                                            • Fe Fe
                                                                              Fe Fe  1 weeks back

                                                                              OMG. That was a good explanation of the movie. Thank you so much.

                                                                              • Camille Duyap
                                                                                Camille Duyap  1 weeks back

                                                                                I love horror movie since I was a little girl and I think Hereditary is one of the most scary movie I ever watched. It's in my top 5.

                                                                                • Odai for 3
                                                                                  Odai for 3  1 weeks back

                                                                                  One of the scariest movies of all time, cant wait for bis second film midsommer

                                                                                  • Giovanni Gonzalez Alvarez

                                                                                    The movie wasn’t scary..

                                                                                    • test channel 01
                                                                                      test channel 01  1 weeks back

                                                                                      the comments on this movie are scarier than the movie itself. I didn't when it came out because the comments on every single video of it made it sound terrifying.
                                                                                      The movie is ok. It's around the same "scary level" of The Witch (which isn't scary also).

                                                                                      • FLdancer00
                                                                                        FLdancer00  1 weeks back

                                                                                        I was one of those disappointed people. When you have videos like this, yeah it's easy to say the writing was everywhere. But that ending was a surprise for me. There was no way I would've guessed intergenerational demon + cult was the answer. How am supposed to know that was Paimon's symbol on everyone's necklace??

                                                                                        • FLdancer00
                                                                                          FLdancer00  1 weeks back

                                                                                          "If you invoke Paimon he'll give you knowledge, lordship and treasure. . . ."
                                                                                          Yeah, but what's the downside????

                                                                                        • Evan174
                                                                                          Evan174  1 weeks back

                                                                                          Did everyone forget the scene where the mom was crawling on the wall ?!

                                                                                          • Ritercrazy
                                                                                            Ritercrazy  1 weeks back

                                                                                            No trauma helps people.

                                                                                            • Jessica Rogel
                                                                                              Jessica Rogel  1 weeks back

                                                                                              This movie is so creepy!!!😬😱