Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.
What Films Are Like Hereditary?
Directed by Ari Aster, Hereditary is arguably one of the best horror movies to come out in recent years. It’s a shame that this film didn’t garner as much attention and praise as the likes of It and Get Out.
I enjoyed watching the film, as the storyline really grips your attention as tensions among the family members rise, and you begin to imagine all of the sinister consequences in your own head. And yet, when the disaster strikes this poor family, you’re left dumbfounded. Just when you think the situation couldn’t get any worse, it does. What starts off as a family drama slowly transforms into a harrowing nightmare that haunts you for a long time.
Being a huge fan, I compiled a list of movies like Hereditary for you to consider.
Movies Similar to Hereditary
- The Witch
- The Badadook
- The Blackcoat's Daughter
- Rosemary's Baby
- The Others
- The Conjuring
- The Strange Thing About the Johnsons
- Hour of The Wolf
1. The Witch
The Witch takes audiences back to the era of black magic, possession, and witchcraft in 1630. When family members find themselves in the middle of otherworldly energies, they blame each other for the turmoil. Their youngest son mysteriously disappears, and the blame is put on their oldest daughter, leading them further down the path of chaos.
There aren’t a lot of jump scares, but the slow buildup of tension makes every scenario dreadful. The movie relies on the traditional method of slowly building up the mystery and then delivering a massive series of twists in a frightening fashion. The final moments of The Witch are overwhelming, even for the most hardcore fans of the horror genre.
For better or worse, this movie ends ambiguously, leaving the door open for a lot of possible explanations. Watch the movie with a friend, and see what you can make of it.
2. The Babadook
The story follows a single mother coping with the death of her husband. When her son claims monsters are lurking around every corner of the house, she doesn’t believe him at first. Soon, though, she realizes that there’s much more to his story than meets the eye.
The Babadook doesn’t focus on delivering cheap jump scares. Instead, it highlights the horrific things in life: loneliness, grief, and depression. The story focuses on these emotions, blending it with horror to make for a scary cocktail.
Essie Davis’s performance as a single, possibly-deluded mother was Oscar-worthy. She brought the plight of single motherhood to the silver screen effortlessly.
The Babadook was one of the best horror movies of 2014. It explores the realistic side of this genre, leaving the audience with a lot to contemplate upon.
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3. The Blackcoat’s Daughter
The story follows two young girls staying in an isolated prep school over a winter break. As they wait for their parents to come and pick them up, they inadvertently summon a demonic entity.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter doesn’t rely on traditional horror tropes to scare its audience. Despite the presence of all the horror elements, it cleverly builds up the dread and paranoia to the tipping point. It’s a one-of-a-kind horror movie where you have to pay attention to every little detail. If you miss out on them, all the gruesome murders and carnage occurring will mean nothing to you.
Without going into too much detail, the whole movie switches back and forth to two different timelines, eventually converging into an epic finale at the end. Surprisingly, the different timelines are not hinted at anywhere in this film. Again, you need to be attentive and fit all the pieces on your own.
Overall, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is an unsettling experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It probably won’t make you watch over your shoulders or shudder in fear, but this great admixture of horror and suspense will be in your mind for a while.
4. Rosemary’s Baby
This is what I call real horror. Mia Farrow’s portrayal of a paranoid, potentially deranged mother elicits sympathy and dread, at the same time. The story is about Rosemary and her husband, an everyday couple, who move into a new apartment to live a quiet and peaceful life. Instead, they find themselves surrounded by strange neighbors who might plan something sinister for their newborn. She delves deep into the mystery of the house and the people around her, which only makes matter worse.
It’s amazing how an over 50-year-old movie has stood the test of time and stayed relevant after all these years. Everything from acting to an expertly paced plotline is dramatically disturbing that can unhinge even the best of skeptics.
Although it’s based upon a novel of the same name, the movie takes a different route to the storytelling aspect, thanks to the expert direction by Robert Polanski, the name behind spellbinding movies like Chinatown and The Pianist. Even if you’ve read the book and already know how everything pans out, Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby will shock you, repeatedly.
5. The Others
When a widowed woman moves into a new house with her photosensitive children, strange events occur, leading her to believe that others are living among them. Her world turns upside down when she comes face to face with the twisted reality and acknowledges her past, remembering her dark past in the process.
I love how simple everything appears in the beginning. Just when you think you have wrapped your head around what is going on, an unexpected twist sweeps you away. The entire story is perched right on the edge of impending disaster. The way it changes the direction and pace on a dime is breathtaking. Brace yourself for a gasp-inducing twist, the best of its kind.
The lack of Hollywood-style over-the-top special effects doesn’t impede this gem of a movie. On the contrary, it proves that the lack of these only adds to the immersion.
Although The Others has the classic hooks of every horror movie—a haunted mansion, dark alleyways, and a few jump scares scattered throughout the film—it still retains enough originality to carve out its own distinct identity in the otherwise saturated genre.
6. The Conjuring
It just so happens that every time I watch a movie labeled “based upon a true story,” it becomes twice as scary. Directed by James Wan, the plot of this film revolves around a haunted farmhouse and its inhabitants. When two paranormal investigators look inside for a better understanding of this demonic presence and possibly help the family, they get drawn into the supernatural world.
Unlike Wan’s previous movies, The Conjuring takes a tame approach to scare the audience, finally getting rid of the “torture porn director” tag slapped upon him. If you’re coming on the heels of his previous movies (Saw series), getting used to his new lite-gore approach might feel vapid. All the buildup, however, is worth it, as it culminates into a terrifying conclusion.
This movie won’t make you jump, but will still terrify you to the core. While it doesn’t topple the likes of The Exorcist, the undisputed king of horror movies, it comes close to delivering the same harrowing nightmares and despair.
Going down to the basement won’t sound like the best of ideas now. Even the thought of it will terrify you.
7. The Strange Thing About the Johnsons
Ari Aster, the same person who directed Hereditary, has brought another one of his underrated masterpieces to the big screen that will unsettle you to the core. The mark it leaves on your conscience is permanent and can’t be undone. You’ve been warned.
It’s not your traditional horror movie. Come to think of it, it’s not even labeled as one. Yet, this short film's disturbing portrayal of incest will horrify and possibly disgust you, more than all the usual blood-splattering you’re used to seeing.
The Strange Thing About The Johnsons is a horror movie wrapped in the exterior of a satire movie. While it’s a must-watch film, part of me wishes I had never watched it. You, however, must! It will make you want to join a church, if you haven’t already, to wash away your sins.
Most people will think of this movie as an oddity, but abuse and incest in a family are not as uncommon as we’d like to believe. The acting and dialogue delivery can be subpar. However, if you’re too focused on perfection, you’ll miss the whole point of this short feature. Its intention is to open your eyes to all the unspeakable atrocities committed in the world. Enduring some cringe-worthy scenes in the process is well worth it. Thankfully, it’s only half an hour long. Try it yourself. Those 30 minutes will feel more like three hours though.
8. Hour of the Wolf
Hour of the Wolf is the story of an artist who visits a remote island with his wife to get away from everything for a while, only to be haunted by his past, as some of his suppressed memories surface one by one. As the paranoia intensifies, he starts believing that he’s being visited by a demon. Will he succumb to this demon or find a way out of his own demented head?
The problem with deep phycological movies like these is that you can’t take them at face value, ever. The symbolic value here matters more than the actual storytelling, so you really have to pay attention to every little thing that is happening on screen.
It’s a movie about two deeply troubled people, who love each other so much that one follows the other further down the path of mayhem. You can feel the pain, the plight, and the uneasiness exuding through the story throughout this movie, as it perfectly portrays the aftermath of troubled psyches in a relationship. It’s a brilliant personal masterpiece nobody should miss out on.
Being so unsettling with no special effects or gore is quite a feat. It’s one of those movies that’ll disturb you more after you’re done watching it, as you dwell on all the events that transpired in the movie.
© 2018 Rahul Pandey
Cristie kirby on June 12, 2019:
Ive seen all but 2 and they r all great! The best one beimg Hereditary and of course the witch. Wish they made more of this style movies. One thats not on the list thats similar and outstanding is SUSPIRIA.. sso sosooooo great. I cant find hour of the wolf on any of my movie channels or the thing anout the johnsons. If anyone knkws where i can see these id love to hear it. Thanx
Atul on April 22, 2019:
You missed the shining... one of the greatest psychological /horror movies.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on December 21, 2018:
The only one I've seen on this list is 'The Conjuring.' That was a good film. I wouldn't mind seeing 'Hour of the Wolf' too though.