Hereditary is director Ari Aster’s feature debut, and he started off with a literal bang. Early in the film the character the audience presumes will be a main character is suddenly — and gruesomely — beheaded in an extremely upsetting accident that leaves the Graham family suffocating in the wake of trauma. The trauma fractures the family unit, leaving them vulnerable for a demon king named Paimon.

After a failed engagement at a friend’s wedding, couple James and Kristen plan to spend the night at James’ isolated family summer home. Despite being exceptionally late, the doorbell rings shortly after their arrival, and a young girl asks for someone the couple is unfamiliar with (“Is Tamara home?”). Through a series of jump scares, the couple realizes that they are being stalked by three masked assailants with seemingly no purpose other than to terrorize them.