The Scariest Thing In Hereditary Wasn't What You Think

  • Published: 24 April 2019
  • 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
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Comments • 1 728

  • Grunge
    Grunge   5 months back

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

    • Mystic Santa
      Mystic Santa  15 hours back

      Kenbea Walker when Peter wakes up and you can see him mm in the corner watching him, and then scurrying behind him when he looks away

    • Parodies Nuts
      Parodies Nuts  1 days back

      1. The whole scene of Charlie's throat closing up at the party/in the car and her death, and the following scenes of Peter in shock, leaving her to be found by her mother. That whole sequence disturbed me deeply.

      2. The head banging on the attic/neck sawing scene

      3. The dinner table scene

    • Luke Diedrick
      Luke Diedrick  4 days back

      The naked people

    • emi1yh3n
      emi1yh3n  1 weeks back

      Grunge Annie’s sleepwalking and dreams, and Charlies weird behavior

    • Ayla Westfall
      Ayla Westfall  2 weeks back

      Watching a family spiral into insanity in their grief

  • 1 Bad Jesus
    1 Bad Jesus  1 days back

    UNFORTUNATELY ..I had to turn OFF this amazing analysis due to anoying music choice. Dear Lord..who edited this?!?

    • Twoshupirates
      Twoshupirates  2 days back

      Stop giving scripts to people who haven’t seen it. It isn’t “pie” mon

      • Zehan Faturrahman
        Zehan Faturrahman  2 days back

        It's not that deep bro~

        • Joseph Finn
          Joseph Finn  2 days back

          yeah i still don’t understand why the dad had to die

          • amm1270
            amm1270  3 days back

            I'm still waiting for the scary part of the movie. It sucked

            • Kyler Connell
              Kyler Connell  4 days back

              Thanks for the breakdown I'll have to watch it again soon. Great movie! Looking forward to Ari's next film.

              • Jimmy Bonez
                Jimmy Bonez  5 days back

                The clucking was scary as fuck

                • red or blue pill
                  red or blue pill  5 days back

                  Who would win in a fist fight the demon from the nun, or the demon from hereditary???

                  • PDX LockPicker
                    PDX LockPicker  6 days back


                    • Jimmy Bonez
                      Jimmy Bonez  5 days back

                      the clucking was scary as all hell

                  • Dawud AbdYAHU Bn-YasharAL

                    Annie didn't choose the Thug-life....the Thug-life chose her!

                    • Marcus Martinez
                      Marcus Martinez  6 days back

                      Stop calling him “Pie-Mon”, it’s making me think he’s a Digimon :(

                      • Arius Quaries
                        Arius Quaries  6 days back

                        You mispronounce the damn name Paimon it’s literally says PAI NOT PIE WTF MY GUY but this was a good video

                        • Luis Lizard
                          Luis Lizard  1 weeks back

                          This movie is not scary is just stupid ffs
                          Society ....

                          • BuckfastConsumer
                            BuckfastConsumer  1 weeks back

                            whole movie is an occult piece the guys name ari aster (demon asteroth) and jewish kaballa as fuck

                            • BuckfastConsumer
                              BuckfastConsumer  1 weeks back

                              this movie did real conjuring as the paimon symbol os real aswell

                              • Bimmerbabe
                                Bimmerbabe  1 weeks back

                                I am trying to figure out what I missed cause based on these comments I expected to be spooked. Instead I was put to sleep

                                • i use my brother for ramen

                                  honestly i love the drawings and peters very very visible moles on the pics

                                  • paschen2219
                                    paschen2219  2 weeks back

                                    The scariest part about Hereditary was that people actually enjoyed i past 30 minutes.

                                    • David Lorell
                                      David Lorell  2 weeks back

                                      *_Great review_*

                                      • Jeff Sharp
                                        Jeff Sharp  2 weeks back

                                        access hollywood stock music about the king of hell in this vid is amazing

                                        • BredMoncher
                                          BredMoncher  2 weeks back

                                          The scariest thing in hereditary is literally what you think it is

                                          • S H
                                            S H  2 weeks back

                                            OMG that is up there with the worst films I have ever seen!

                                            • OK LOL
                                              OK LOL  2 weeks back

                                              I watched this movie with my girlfriend that gets terrified from horror movies, she talked a lot throughout the movie and we laughed a lot at this movie. But the next day I was still talking about this movie and decided to watch it again.. assuming I didn't fully understand this movie in it's entirety. I missed A LOT watching it for the first time but now I understand how genius this movie actually is and how much thought and effort went into it.

                                              • Arthur Dealy
                                                Arthur Dealy  3 weeks back

                                                Charlie get her head taken off and seeing peters reaction and the imaging what was going to happen next and how the family would find out was incredibly shocking

                                                • TEO.V.23
                                                  TEO.V.23  3 weeks back

                                                  He keeps saying piemon... IT'S FUCKING PRONOUNCED PAY-MEN

                                                  • Kassandra Dimopoulou- Modinos

                                                    The background music of the video is annoying

                                                    • Volire
                                                      Volire  3 weeks back

                                                      I hate the bit where the mom chases Peter into the attic and smacks her head into the door lmao

                                                      • Casey Hempel
                                                        Casey Hempel  3 weeks back

                                                        the music helped me be able to sleep as i am watching this in bed

                                                        • Sarah S
                                                          Sarah S  3 weeks back

                                                          thanks i hate it you are the best

                                                          • Luke A
                                                            Luke A  3 weeks back

                                                            What's piemon? Your sick

                                                            • Jason Leo
                                                              Jason Leo  3 weeks back

                                                              Save yourself ten minutes of crap the answer is apparently we are destined to become our parents can't see how that is more scary than all the nuts shit that was in that great movie

                                                              • Jason Leo
                                                                Jason Leo  3 weeks back

                                                                So what was the scariest thing because I got lost by the guy chatting crap for ten minutes. By the end I had no idea what his point was.

                                                                • Watashi Wa Noodle
                                                                  Watashi Wa Noodle  3 weeks back

                                                                  I’m glad I don’t have a good memory, because I can’t remember most of the disturbing imagery. I do remember being very terrified from watching it though. I recommend it if you like being scared

                                                                  • mae
                                                                    mae  3 weeks back

                                                                    the scariest part would be when the mom start crawling around peter's room and on the ceiling. when peter went into the attic, his mom started to bang her head and god, i was terrified!

                                                                    • Drey W
                                                                      Drey W  3 weeks back

                                                                      This movie is easily a top 3 horror flick

                                                                      • 72dew
                                                                        72dew  3 weeks back

                                                                        Paimon in 2019: *Requires a they/them host

                                                                        • ♐BRILL 39327
                                                                          ♐BRILL 39327  4 weeks back

                                                                          This was a surprisingly good breakdown. Nice job

                                                                          • Ardi Suppiah
                                                                            Ardi Suppiah  4 weeks back

                                                                            Valak is also one of the demons in the Lesser Key of Solomon

                                                                            • Azrul Hafiz
                                                                              Azrul Hafiz  4 weeks back

                                                                              The most shocking thing is that the cultist have been with them the entire time

                                                                              • Darker Lenz
                                                                                Darker Lenz  4 weeks back

                                                                                So this was a good synopsis, and it identified the themes very well... but the link to the title wasn't that strong. Viewers know what scared them more than you do comrade; to say otherwise is not a good move. Fear is a very subjective element. But good explanation though. I hope you do a video on Midsommar - just maybe don't give it a better click title...

                                                                                • Crushes you between my world destroying thighs.mp4

                                                                                  Major spoilers

                                                                                  A HEAD

                                                                                  • Kp
                                                                                    Kp  4 weeks back

                                                                                    Most horror films never seem to cross the line of destroying the sanctity of family love, safety and loyalty and this film did that, which was most disturbing of all. The resentment bred by tragedy hit very close to home for me, the psychological horror of absolute grief and guilt was palpable in a disturbingly realistic way and it really promoted a feeling of helplessness to the point of being downright depressing. Not a pleasant film but definitely an impactful one

                                                                                    • manic tone
                                                                                      manic tone  4 weeks back

                                                                                      Peter's horrible fake crying scenes ruined the whole movie.

                                                                                      • Chris F.
                                                                                        Chris F.  4 weeks back

                                                                                        Ok it really bothers me how the guy talking in the video keeps saying Paimons name pronouncing it Pie-Mon ( making it sound like he’s talking about a Digimon lol ) is anyone else noticing this???

                                                                                        • Conflict Magazine
                                                                                          Conflict Magazine  4 weeks back

                                                                                          This film suffers from a problem that many films suffer from...the film has to be watchable once and be enjoyed...then it pays dividends on repeat views.

                                                                                          Expecting people to catch all this information the first time is impossible and for a one view film I strongly disliked this film, so much so that it made my worst of the year list.

                                                                                          The other end of the spectrum is the film that is enjoyable once but has no repeat value.

                                                                                          Mixing these two things together properly creates a film that pays off for one time viewers and multiple viewings alike. For me the film Annihilation does this perfectly. You can watch it once and come out stunned and you can watch it multiple times and get new information with each viewing.

                                                                                          Maybe it is a matter of personal taste or story or even genre but it does make for interesting film making.

                                                                                          As for scariest part of the film? People liking the film enough to get all the information it offers on repeat viewings.

                                                                                          • Illuminocalypse
                                                                                            Illuminocalypse  4 weeks back

                                                                                            1:32 Hah I actually have that same printing of the Goetia. When watching this movie for the first time I immediately recognized the name Paimon and when I referenced the entry for him in the book, I was pretty impressed with how closely the cult's actions in the movie match up to the parameters for summoning him as listed in the book. Good attention to detail.
                                                                                            I mean, the filmmakers' decision to use a demon from a real-world mythological source (as opposed to just making one up) just serves to make an already jarringly realistic movie that much MORE immersive! Anyone watching this movie who also happened to know anything about Goetic magic would've heard the name Paimon and immediately piece together what was about to happen to poor Peter... I think his fate is the most horrific of all - by the end of the movie, his body is possessed by Paimon, but Peter HIMSELF is NOT dead - far from it, his consciousness is now relegated to passively observing whatever actions Paimon takes with his body, still just as aware as ever but unable to take any control whatsoever. He's now a silently screaming prisoner of his own body. No doubt, too, Paimon will also keep Peter as a source of amusement and find myriad ways of tormenting him while he's locked in the brain-equivalent of a soundproofed padded cell... for the rest of his body's natural life. After that, Paimon will abandon it for a new one, leaving Peter's broken and traumatized consciousness alone to slowly fade away, still silently screaming from the mind-cell.

                                                                                            • t4705mb6
                                                                                              t4705mb6  4 weeks back

                                                                                              Fortunately, like 15% of humans, my "world view" is ... reality.