Pigeon Head, Peter’s Suffocation & Other Details-hints Of The Horror Hereditary (2018). Hereditary: The Meaning Of The Film, The Explanation Of The Ending, Plot Analysis, The Essence Of The Thriller.
Genre: Horror, Drama, Detective
Year of production: 2018
Directed by: Ari Arister
Cast: Toni Colet, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd
Hereditary is a very atmospheric horror film directed by Ari Arister. The picture gives references to real satanic cults and rituals, so what is happening on the screen is truly mesmerizing and frightening. At the same time, for many viewers, the meaning of the film Hereditary remained incomprehensible. The events of the storyline really look somewhat chaotic, so it’s very difficult to figure out what’s what when you first view it. Let’s try to clarify the situation by analyzing the ending and the general idea of this creepy, but spectacular movie.
What is the movie about
To understand the hidden meaning of Hereditary, you have to go through the plot from the very beginning, so let’s start with a description. The content of the film begins with the funeral. Helen Lee, 78, has passed away. The woman was very difficult, she did not communicate with her daughter Annie Graham for a long time. Ann’s husband, Steve, apparently felt threatened by Helen, so he insisted that the family stop all communication with her grandmother. The only person who interacted with Granny was 13-year-old Charlie.
Annie Graham, played by Toni Colet. Frame from the film.
After the funeral, strange things begin to happen in the house. Steve is informed that his mother-in-law’s grave has been desecrated and the body has disappeared. The man decides to hide this fact from his wife. Annie herself enrolls in psychological support courses, and already at the first lesson she dumps all the ins and outs of her family.
Annie talks about the death of her father and the suicide of her brother, who committed suicide in his parents’ bedroom because his mother “put other people in it.” Here it turns out that all members of Annie’s family had one or another mental disorder.
The woman herself is engaged in miniature, works at home, prepares for the exhibition and suffers from sleepwalking. Once, out of control, she doused herself, her husband, and also her teenage son with turpentine in a dream, and only at the last moment managed to put out the lit match.
Events in Hereditary begin to develop with the fact that Peter asks his mother to go to a party with his friend. The woman insists that he take Charlie with him. At a party of teenagers, a 13-year-old girl is bored, and in order to keep her busy, and to retire with her girlfriend, Peter advises Charlie to try chocolate cake.
The dessert contains nuts, to which the girl is allergic. Charlie is out of breath and Peter takes her to the hospital. On the way, the girl opens the window and sticks her head out for a breath of fresh air. At this moment, Peter notices a deer lying on the road, and to avoid a collision, he twists the steering wheel. The car swerves to the side, and the girl hits her face on a road pole. She cuts off her head.
Peter returns home, but does not tell anyone about what happened. In the morning, Annie discovers her daughter’s headless body in the car.
The role of Steve Graham was played by Gabriel Byrne. Frame from the film.
The teenager is very worried about what happened, and feels the invisible presence of Charlie in the house. Annie meets Joan, one of the support group members, who leaves her phone number for her to talk to. Annie comes to visit Joan, and a couple of days later she meets her new friend at the supermarket. Joan says that she met mediums, and as a result of a séance, she was able to communicate with her deceased grandson.
She persuades Annie to try and invites her over. The spirit actually comes to the challenge, writing words on a slate board and moving an empty glass on the table. Annie is frightened by what she sees and tries to run away. Joan hands her the words of a spell that should help summon Charlie’s soul.
Annie is having nightmares and decides to try calling Charlie. She succeeds, and she persuades the whole family to take part in a séance. However, everything does not go according to plan. The spirit enters Annie’s body and she speaks with her daughter’s voice. This scares Peter. After the session, the teenager’s behavior changes. The guy is tormented by hallucinations, he suffers from asthma attacks, in the lessons Peter hits his face on the desk, breaking his nose.
Ann sees that the pen is drawing in Charlie’s notebook. She tries to stop it and throws the notebook into the burning fireplace. However, the sleeve of her clothing catches fire. When the woman pulls the notebook back, the fire on her sleeve goes out.
Among the things of the deceased mother, Annie finds occult books, which describe the ritual of summoning the demon Paimon, who is able to inhabit the bodies of men. This is one of the eight kings of Hell, who must bestow knowledge and power on his followers.
The role of Peter, Annie’s son, was played by Alex Wolfe. Frame from the film.
Annie goes up to the attic of the house, where she discovers the decapitated body of her mother. She tells her husband about everything and tries to convince him to burn Charlie’s notebook. Annie is sure that this will help rid their house of the otherworldly entity that has settled there. Steve refuses, then his wife snatches the notebook from his hands and throws it into the fire. Steve immediately catches fire and dies in the fire.
Awakened Peter wanders around the house, and stumbles upon a dead father. Then, escaping from a mother who has become obsessed, the guy locks himself in the attic. Here he sees Annie sawing off her own head. Then Peter sees the ghosts of all the dead relatives, and fleeing from them, is thrown out the window.
Waking up in a flower bed, he sees the spirit of his mother ascending into a tree house. He follows him, and here he becomes a participant in the ritual. there are candles on the floor, kneeling cultists, the decapitated bodies of Helen and Ann. Joan places a crown on Peter’s head, proclaiming him to be Paimon. End.
The ending of Hereditary is explained quite simply, but for this it is important to follow the details that Archie Arister offers throughout the story. The “official” clue is that Helen Lee was the head or member of a religious cult that worshiped Paimon. It was the main purpose of her life. However, the woman could not call on her master.
Frame from the film.
She tried to instill a demon in the body of her son – Annie’s brother. However, the guy could not stand such tests, and committed suicide. The only person the woman interacted with was Charlie, so the interpretation of the film makes it clear that Lee instilled Paimon in her granddaughter’s body. Here we can assume that the clatter of the tongue is the “branded” chip of the demon. Charlie is the only one who misses her grandmother. In addition, the girl has a clear passion for decapitation, which is also part of the ritual.
However, even without a detailed analysis of the film, it is clear that Paimon needs a male body, so you need to move the demon into the only suitable man – Peter. This is done by Joan. She is also a member of the cult and a close friend of Helen. She slips Annie the words to summon the demon, and she herself summons evil to her house.
Charlie’s spirit enters Peter’s body. This is the simplest explanation for the guy’s changed behavior.
At school, he encounters suffocation, which his sister suffered from. This nuance draws a parallel with the fact that Charlie used to be the container for the demon. Moreover, Peter sees his own changed reflection in the lesson. Perhaps these are hallucinations, but most likely, references to an already changed consciousness.
On the street, a guy watches Joan in the distance, who screams “I’m casting you out.” Given that we are talking about an active participant in a religious cult, it is hard to believe that she exorcises a demon. Most likely, Joan is trying to exorcise the soul of Peter himself in order to prepare a container for Paimon.
The meaning of the ending of the film Hereditary is that the ritual was a complete success. Paimon possesses Peter after he is thrown out the attic window in the finale. This is clearly seen on the footage: the body of the lying guy is covered with a clot of energy. After that, the only thing left to do is to make the guy the “King of Hell”. For this, a crown is placed on his head. In general, at the end of the film, the “signature” click of the tongue is greatly lacking, which would become a very epic point.
The meaning of the film
If the explanation of the ending of the film Hereditary, which follows from the plot, is quite logical, then the general meaning may be somewhat different. In particular, the picture can be characterized with one phrase – blessed are those who believe.
Here we are clearly talking about a religious cult that goes to the intended goal. Summon Paimon, who definitely needs a male body. It can be assumed that Helen initially cooked her husband for this, but he starved himself to death during a depression. Then the son was supposed to become a receptacle, but he, unable to withstand the rituals, committed suicide.
Grandma didn’t talk to Peter, otherwise he would have been guaranteed to be the next receptacle. However, other questions arise here. For example, judging by the book, a demon can only occupy a male body. That is why Ellen tried so hard to infuse Paimon into her son. From this we can conclude that Charlie was not possessed, although this follows from the storyline.
At the same time, one should not forget that the entire Graham family suffered from mental disorders. You can also remember that decapitation is not mentioned anywhere for summoning a demon, but this topic pops up literally everywhere in the film.
For example, a dove head in a crown in a girl’s notebook. It can be noted that in this family, everyone on the maternal side has a certain gift that allows them to communicate with the other world. When these facts are put together, the picture of the film changes drastically.
Frame from the film.
In particular, with the powers of Joanna and magic spells, the cult members could well instill the spirit of Charlie in Peter, and calling Paimon is just a pipe dream of the sectarians. Too many facts point to this explanation of the ending. For example, the coronation takes place in the treehouse that Charlie loved so much during her lifetime. And the ceremony itself looks too puppet for one of the kings of Hell. You can also pay attention to the blank look of the crowned Peter, strongly reminiscent of Charlie’s facial expression.
However, which ending of Hereditary is more real is up to the audience to decide. Ari Astaire is too extraordinary a director to give the viewer an unambiguous interpretation of the plot.