Watch the first trailer for Toni Collette's Sundance horror hit 'Hereditary'

Toni Collette in Hereditary (Photo: A24)

This year’s Sundance Film Festival has now come to a close, and as usual some of its selections are riding a wave of extremely enthusiastic buzz. That’s most true of Hereditary, a new horror film from writer-director Ari Aster that is being showered with more effusive praise than any genre film since Get Out. Variety’s Owen Gleiberman proclaimed it “the most exciting movie I’ve seen at Sundance this year,” while LADbible says “Prepare to Need a New Pair of Pants If You Watch Hereditary.” And while such over-the-top excitement about a scary Sundance movie has been proved excessive before, fans can now get a first look at the eagerly anticipated upcoming release, courtesy of its superb new trailer.

That maiden promo is a superior sort of tease, one that provides a general impression of the story without giving away most of its actual particulars. A story about the (often-corrosive) things we inherit from our parents, the plot focuses on Annie (Toni Collette), who’s preparing to bury her mother. That difficult process is compounded by the tense dynamics of her family, which includes her remote husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), her disaffected son Peter (Alex Wolff), and her odd daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). Annie spends quite a bit of her time making dollhouse scenes involving her own clan (present and past), and before long insanity (of a supernatural ghost-story sort?) begins creeping into her life, via a series of unholy incidents that, per the above clip, involve bugs covering bodies, individuals set aflame, specters lurking in doorways, and birds crashing into classroom windows — the last of which compels Charlie to decapitate the dead animal with a pair of scissors.

On the heels of its success with The Witch and Get Out, A24 looks like it has another breakout horror hit on its hands with Hereditary. The film opens June 8.

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