The horror genre is having a moment right now, and Ari Aster's Hereditary seems to stand out as a game-changer for many fans of the genre. Aster is a relative newcomer to the world of scary features, but he employs seasoned Sixth Sense veteran Toni Collette as the star of the show. I recently had the chance to ask Collette how a film like Hereditary compares to something like M. Night Shyamalan's classic thriller, and she explained that they're similar in the sense that they both deal with the struggles of motherhood. Collette told me:
I guess there are some comparisons to The Sixth Sense in terms of being quite naturalistic and a kind of classic family drama where something else is introduced. I like the fact that I'm playing mothers in both films and particularly in this film there's such an expectation of what a mother should be like and this turns that entirely on its head, both with my character and my mother's character, which I'm not saying everyone's like this, but it is much more realistic. It's not always a rosy experience for women. It's a complicated time in one's life and a complicated role to assume with a lot of responsibility and too many expectations and it's such an individual experience.
One of the major elements of Hereditary that many audiences have begun to praise is the balance of authentic and relatable horror with an added supernatural element. It gives the film an extra layer of terror that not a lot of other horror movies manage to achieve, but Toni Collette already had plenty of experience with on The Sixth Sense. Moreover, she has a deep appreciation for the fact that her role as Annie Graham in Hereditary has allowed her to offer up a warts-and-all portrayal of motherhood -- one that includes the ugly side of it that doesn't always make it into films.
The Sixth Sense and Hereditary aren't the only horror movies that Toni Collette has starred in over the years, however. Elsewhere in our discussion about Hereditary, the actress addressed her roles in other films like 2015's Krampus and noted that, unlike the other two films, she has also had the opportunity to flex her campy muscles in the genre as well. Collette explained:
Krampus was more tongue-in-cheek and a little more camp in quality, but I don't watch horror films. I don't want to plant those images in my mind, but I have enjoyed making the few that I've had the opportunity to make.
Of course, if you want a closer look at CinemaBlend's chat with Toni Collette about her work on Hereditary, then you can take a look at a clip from the interview, below!