It’s a horror staple to kill off the family dog: Does the intense new film “Hereditary” break or keep that tradition?
I’m not going to reveal the twists and turns of the plot, but read on for spoilers about the animals in the film. (You can also read my non-spoiler review at Forces of Geek.)
As seen in the trailer (at :55), 13-year-old Charlie (Milly Shapiro) is morbidly fascinated by a pigeon that has killed itself flying into the window of her school. After class, she approaches the dead bird, then takes a pair of scissors out of her pocket and … cuts off its head!
The actress told Vulture (in a interview that’s best read after you’ve seen the film) that scene was one of the toughest to film:
“For me the hardest was the pigeon head, because I am an animal lover. I love literally every animal. It was taxidermy and the taxidermy was really cool, but just having to cut the head off kind of freaked me out. But everyone was really nice, and they made sure that I felt okay doing it, so it was fine. While I was doing it I was kind of on edge, but I got over it very quickly. It is an amazing shot.”
As for the family dog (whose name we never learn): It’s also glimpsed in the trailer, clearly agitated over something it senses in the house.
Part of the tension for animal lovers watching this film is wondering if the dog will be okay.
SPOILER: It isn’t. Near the end of the film, we spy it off to the side, lying motionless in the yard. It’s never explained what happened to it. Although a lot of insanely horrific things happen in this movie, we are spared seeing anything awful happen to the family pet.