Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hereditary is now trying to make you scared of all grandmas

The word on upcoming horror film Hereditary is that it’s one of the scariest movies in years. It’s making critics use descriptors like “traumatically terrifying.” It’s even freaking out Elijah Wood—and that guy spent years hanging out with Andy Serkis pretending to be a fantasy goblin in a mo-cap suit.


With all this buzz in place, it would be easy for producers A24 to leave well enough alone, preserve the sense of foreboding around the film’s release, and just not do any marketing. Instead, they’re leaning into a weirdly playful campaign. After leaving critics creepy little presents on their doorstep and launching an Etsy full of said creepy little presents, they’ve nowmoved on to a video highlighting “evil grandmas.”

Noting on Twitter that “it’s time to change the conversation around grandmas,” the clip features real-life grandmas either telling scary stories or kind of just being frightening in the way that everyone past the age of 65 is kind of frightening. Presented as a nested advertisement for an “Evil Grandmas: 2019 Calendar,” the video cuts between nicely dressed, wholesome women talking about scary stuff. One says “I saw Ghostbusters so I believe in ghosts a little bit” while another describes the true story of the time she saw a ghost: her great grandmother who visited her at night when she was a child. Intercut with all of this are close-ups of strong prescription grandma glasses, slow motion laughing grandmas, and a menacing grandma cutting into a pie. Spooky!

The whole thing’s a lot more playful than the movie itself, which, again, is apparently just gobsmackingly horrifying. But it does remind us that we’re more inclined to believe in the supernatural if a grandma is talking about it. After all, whose opinions on ghosts could be more trustworthy than a demographic that opens every spam email that crosses their path?

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.