“The Strange Thing About the Johnsons” (2011)

Ari Aster, who rose to prominence after directing Hereditary, is kind of messed up. And you need look no further than this bizarre and off-putting early short film. Taking an extremely difficult to discuss subject matter, and making it the center of your very first short film was a bold choice, especially when the film could’ve very easily veered into exploitative territory, but he passed with flying colors. This film is so uncomfortable and so disturbing, that it will make even the most calloused and hardened horror veterans shiver in fear. The film can’t completely shake off a rookie feel, including a handful of spots of bad acting, but this is an excellent first film for a very talented, and disturbingly unique, filmmaker.

Rating: 4.5/5

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