Had things panned out differently, Ari Aster’s blistering horror flick Hereditary would have spanned three hours in length. Three. Hours.
That’s according to the director himself, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the eve of Hereditary‘s UK release. Turns out almost 30 additional scenes were left out of the critically-acclaimed scarefest, ultimately bringing the film’s final runtime down to a much more reasonable 127 minutes – nearly 50 minutes shorter than the initial cut.
And frankly, that’s a blessing in disguise, given Hereditary is being hailed as one of those rare horror movies capable of sinking its claws into you and refusing to let go (our review), resulting in one of the most unsettling trips to the movies you’re likely to have for quite some time.
When asked about that three-hour, bum-numbing cut, though, Ari Aster told THR the following:
Nobody wants it to be a three-hour movie, especially the distributor. The most important thing was pacing and finding that rhythm. The movie tells you what it needs to be. This was the best version of the movie. But the part of you that mourns the missing scenes, tells you to announce that it was three-hours long.
In the original cut, and in the script, the audience was forced to really stew … The breakdown of communication was chronicled in more pummeling detail.
A two-hour runtime puts Hereditary in the same ballpark as Andy Muschietti’s It reboot, which was able to scare the pants off moviegoers with a deft mix of practical effects, shrill sound effects, and carefully calculated scares.
The same can also be said about Hereditary, though it’s fair to say that Ari Aster’s genre title is a much darker study of one particularly rotten family tree. Expect it to haunt UK theaters this Friday, June 15th.