This week Brandon and Trajan look at the similarities between Hereditary and Upgrade as unusual horror films about control. They also consider the depth in TV when they were kids.
Amuse Bouche (Spoilers Ahead)
In both Hereditary and Upgrade, themes of control and grief surfaced. Both treat grief as a possible catalyst to making horrendous and irreversible mistakes. With grief in these films, characters are often stuck in the past before they experience trauma and even more so after. For Grey in Upgrade, he is staunchly against a "future" of complete technological permeation in society. For Ellen in Hereditary, she is fixated on her past mistakes and blaming herself for traumas. This self-blaming is also seen in Ellen after the death of her daughter and in Grey after the death of his wife. Grey's self-blame this leads him down a path of self-destructive violence, which he takes out on those he also blames. His one-man hunt of the men responsible for his wife's death is also egged on by STEM, the manipulative AI. Ellen, on the other hand, takes out her self-blame thorugh psychological violence. These psychological attacks are centered on her family and aided by Paimon. The self-blame of both characters slips them into being controlled by another entity. The slow deterioration of control of both, allows a powerful entity to enact a plan of violence easier. Paimon's gaining of Peter's body is only possible due to Ellen's self-blame and loss of control. STEM's gaining of Grey's body results directly from Grey having a mental snap. In both films, those who self-blame and lose control enable dark consequences.
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