The Scariest Thing In Hereditary Wasn't What You Think


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Published: 1 month ago
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


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

1 month ago

There was a few when she was standing upside down waiting for her son, also the ending was pure terror as it summed everything that was happening to the son,at first I missed it, I rewatched it looking for the clues and it made total sense !

4 days ago

+Shannon Kyle That was so fucking terrible

6 days ago

+Joey Eulo Yeah that was traumatic and sad

6 days ago

When the mom was on his walk towards the end, when the mom seen her mom in the room after she passed, and the old naked guy in the closet at the end 😂😂

6 days ago

Peter seeing his reflection smile back at him. It is the only glimpse we have of the demon in the entire movie and the evil smile he makes is very unsettling.

6 days ago

Can people stop shitting on the background music? Just talk about the movie

28 minutes ago

This movie was a weird experience for me. I generally hate the hoards of paranormal movies that get shit out every year, but this one was definitely one of the better ones. All of the acting, camerawork, sound design, directing, and everything else was so great, but at the end of the day it's just another horror film about some ancient demon that wants to possess someone. I feel like the film would've worked better as more of a psychological horror film focusing more on the family's dysfunction and depression, like the Babadook, as opposed to just being about some random cult and a demon they're obsessed with. Just a personal preference I guess.

1 hour ago

Who was outside Peters window during his bong toke?

5 hours ago

Wow! 😳 I gotta watch it again !

11 hours ago

When you cant help but jaming to the background Music jk nice analysis

1 day ago

Isn't it pronounced pay-mon? In the movie it's pretty clearly pronounced pay-mon not pie-mon. Not hating, just curious...

1 day ago

I thought it was stupid....lol, best part is when Charlie got her head taken off by the telephone pole.

1 day ago

Right, lm 40 and educated and l clearly get everything there is to get in movies lol...not one analysis video has shown me something l didn't already grasp myself.
No the scariest thing is the fact that there are sects, and that magic and spirits are probably real. We've all had such experiences and encounters in our lives but we push them under the rug to become a conformist little sheep who believes "science"...

2 days ago

Ughhh great video but the background music is HORRIBLE!!

2 days ago

dances to the background music while learning about demons

2 days ago

"His mother's emotional abuse".... you said this multiple times. Like, this kid caused his sister to die then attempted to cover it up from what I remember.

2 days ago

+Frank Howard the video is trying to give context for Peter the point being he watches everyone he loves die horrible deaths he gave personal traumatic experiences and towards the end he's just given up he has no more strength no more will he throws himself out of the window as a last ditch effort and it's like that all weak and broken that the demon can enter him completing the ritual in a similar fashion his mother has to go through all that abuse and loose her mother brother and her favorite the daughter to be broken enough to invite the demon in the characters are very similar and parallel each other and that's why the ending is kind of a showdown between them when the mother is possessed their literally fighting their demons as the saying goes and he literally inherits the cure "trauma" after she kills herself

2 days ago

Imaginary EnemyI completely agree with you. My main purpose for making my statement is was to speak to the mother perspective. She was also being controlled by the cult, her daughter seemed to be one of the lights of her life (per their interactions), she was clearly mentally ill, and her son just killed her daughter plus her abusive mom just died. The video just made it seem like she was abusing him but idk.. I agree with you though. It’s not a contest. The cult and demon are to blame. I feel for the whole family, even though it’s not real.

2 days ago

+Frank Howard your last statement Is valid tho his mother was also mentally ill and traumatized they are a very toxic family she treated him so coldly because she inherited the trauma no one is at fault except the cult and crazy grandma everyone else is just reacting to their predestined fate

2 days ago

+Frank Howard see your not understanding the theme of the movie is trauma and trauma isn't a contest doesn't matter how bad others have had it if you go throw something and your unable to cope with it it causes trauma and with trauma comes dissociation which why he went to bed he was auto pilot mode his body literally couldn't even process what he did

2 days ago

Imaginary Enemy terrible to him or not, which I’ve seen parents treat kids worse. He caused his sisters death then went to bed... I mean, that’s fudged up regardless. Plus, the mom clearly had mental issues she was going through. Her son killed her daughter... she was going through trauma too. How was she suppose to react?

2 days ago

I only made it 15 mins
It was so boring

2 days ago

Scariest part of this movie was everyone who thinks this is the best horror movie ever made.

2 days ago

not a fan of your analysis

3 days ago

WHY?............you say OPENLYthat it left you feeling hopeless & empty.............then in the SAME breathe.......call it BRILLIANT and AWARD Worthy?!.....😦............when WAS watching the MOST Depressing result of satanic cults eventually being over powered by the VERY thing they "worship"...........a goood time?😲...........what happened to critically thinking?🐒.............rather watch something that Doesn't "take away"but rather add something.........good?😕

3 days ago

PIE MON

3 days ago

Pie-mon...

It's pronounced Peh-men. They even pronounce it several times in the movie as Peh-men.

3 days ago

I saw it twice. the scariest thing the first time I watched it was the imagery and music. second time the scariest thing was being able to look past that and watch the family fall apart in such a tragic and real way.

3 days ago

honestly the thing that made Hereditary so scary was its unforgettable pop-punk sick riffs

3 days ago

Best horror movie out there hands down. Very well made.

4 days ago

Paimon isnt even scary, he's cool once you enslave him and make him do your bidding.

4 days ago

the background music is way too fast and loud

4 days ago

I know this isn't going to come off very sophisticated but... Fuck this Movie

4 days ago

The mother when shit starts to go down is literally like my mom, me and my dad was appalled and kept talking about it after the movie, and I’m not joking

4 days ago

This was his DEBUT film? Christ, this guy has a career ahead of him. This film was a breath of fresh air. I love it when directors hide unsettling things in the background that nuzzle about in our blindspots

4 days ago

Born, deadass, 4:11 scared just from watching this video even with you commentating, that was a nope from me

5 days ago

I’m not a film enthusiast at all whatsoever but when I saw hereditary it stayed with me, I loved everything about it. It was disturbingly brilliant and beautifully tied together. It left me feeling uncomfortable and not a lot of horror movies make me feel like that cos’ a lot of them are mediocre predictable and boring. I also had to watch it a few more times to fully understand everything. also made me obsessively do research on king paimon lol. This movie is genuinely haunting, I’ll forever be passionate about it because ari aster is so brilliant for this he deserves so much recognition for this

5 days ago

Take a shot every time you hear "pie-mon"

5 days ago

Fantastic break down of this underrated film!

5 days ago