Hereditary Star Says Shooting the Horror Film "Messed With His Head"

hereditary 2018 alex wolff
(Photo: A24)

The most effective horror movies can stay with an audience for quite a long time after witnessing them, but with the cast and crew being the ones to conjure up unsettling events, it's often easier to leave those stories behind, though the intensity of shooting Hereditary left star Alex Wolff pretty unsettled for a long time after shooting wrapped. Fans of the film will surely remember that Wolff's character became the target of some of the most intense emotional turmoil, despite other characters facing more grievous physical fates, so it's easy to see how he could have had such a difficult time recuperating from conveying the narrative.

"I think it did mess with my head in the moment," Wolff shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "I think the whole movie was kind of difficult. It kind of stuck with me. I think that scene in particular definitely stuck with me at least for a few days. But I think that movie was like a constant attention-taker. I think it haunted me for a while."

The scene in question was a fatal car accident, which many horror fans would argue was the most shocking and disturbing moment of all of 2018. Despite the difficulty of shooting such a sequence, Wolff noted that the rest of the cast and crew didn't attempt to compensate by making the shooting environment too lighthearted.

"No, actually. That was not the case," Wolff responded when asked if the set was overtly playful that day. "For me, sometimes if they’re trying to make it too light, it’s kind of distracting. So, I sometimes have to just stay in the zone. I kind of just was wearing my headphones and trying to stay in the spirit of it. I think it’s sometimes too hard to completely jump in and out."

Hereditary helped put writer/director Ari Aster on the map as a burgeoning voice in horror, which he confirmed with last year's Midsommar. Despite these being acclaimed horror films, Wolff previously detailed how he was initially embarrassed to admit he was starring in a horror movie.

"In the beginning, when I first got the script, and I was going to do it, people would ask about it," Wolff detailed to ComicBook.com back in 2018. "I'd be with my mom and a couple friends or something, and my mom would be like, 'Can you tell them about the horror movie you're doing?' And I'd be like, 'No, no, no. It's not a horror movie. It's a complicated family drama. It kind of has some horror, but just a little bit. It's not a horror movie.' I would dance around horror for some reason, even though I was a huge horror fan. There was some shame. But now there's some kind of clout around horror. Horror is cool again."

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Wolff can next be seen in the film Castle in the Ground.

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