Grandparents can be a blessing. Or a literal curse.
Our new movie Hereditary opens with Annie Graham, played by a next-level Toni Collette, laying her mother to rest. Leigh Graham was a complicated woman, to say the least, and a conduit of pure evil who cursed her surviving family, to say the most.
In addition to being scary as hell, Hereditary is changing the conversation around grandparents. As the progenitors of our bloodlines, what if grandparents are the hidden catalysts behind every bad thing in our lives? What if our collective personal demons are really just the fruits of seeds planted well before our time? Are all grandparents evil?
To answer these hard-hitting questions, we surveyed the A24 grandparents at large and scored them with decapitated pigeon heads. (Thanks, Charlie.)
1. Danny's Grandma from Lady Bird
- Lives in Lady Bird’s favorite house in all of East Sacramento.
- Invites Lady Bird to her Thanksgiving and, additionally, seems genuinely excited to meet her.
- Loves Lady Bird’s dress.
- Makes Lady Bird fold napkins for the whole table.
- Unironically displays a Reagan “America” poster on the wall.
Just like Lady Bird, we love Grandma O’Neill’s blue house in the Fab 40s. If only we loved the woman who occupied it even half as much.
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2. Jancey's Grandma from The Florida Project
- Taking care of her grandchildren until her daughter gets her life on track.
- Bums Hailee a cigarette and generally keeps a calm demeanor even after being rained on by Moonee and Scooty’s spit.
- Warms up to Hailee at the mention of weed.
- Welcomes Hailee and Moonee into her home when they’re stuck between motel rooms (and shares her Cheesies).
- Initially calls Scooty “Scoot,” and he seems to take offense.
- “Hey guys, you’re having too much fun, and it’s supposed to be work.” Is Grandma Stacy endorsing alienated labor practices?
Honestly, lots of love for Grandma Stacy. She shouldn’t be on this list.
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3. Agapia Nikas from Good Time
- Presumably had to put up with Connie Nikas for an indeterminate amount of time, which couldn’t have been easy.
- Took out a restraining order against Connie, her own grandson.
- Agapia’s only line in the film: “I don’t want to call him, I don’t want to talk to him.” Brutal.
- Blames Connie for an altercation with Nick that left her with a broken arm— allegedly.
- Started yelling at Nick and then “pushed him” and “threw things at him” while he was “just trying to eat his food.” (According to Nick.)
Hard to say when everything’s hearsay or speculation, but Grandma Nikas’s appearance on Time Warner Cable News, NY 1, left a lot to be desired. Here’s what we know for sure: Agapia is angry, litigious, and not here for anybody’s bullshit.
4 of 5 pigeon heads
4. Grandpa Bud from It Comes At Night
- Graciously shares his spacious, secluded home with his family—all during an apocalypse.
- Keeps a long hallway full of family photos and memorabilia, which suggests a loving side.
- Seems to have a strong relationship with his daughter, Sarah, and his grandson, Travis, as evidenced by their sobs when they’re forced to light his corpse on fire.
- Bud has a penchant for horrific art pieces.
- His hallway full of family photos and memorabilia is terrifying and suspiciously underlit. (Seriously, there’s no evidence of a single light fixture.)
- Falls ill to a mysterious illness that forces his own family to kill him. Uncertain who to blame here.
- Seems hellbent on destroying his grandson’s psyche. Frequently appears in Travis’s nightmares—screaming, oozing black liquid, sitting only on the very edge of beds.
For all we know, Bud was a perfect grandfather prior to the collapse of civilization. But somewhere around Travis’s fifth or sixth nightmare—and with Bud’s inhuman shrieks still rocking our inner eardrums—we had to draw the line.
4 of 5 pigeon heads
5. Grandma Gigi from Krisha
- Gigi is deeply beloved by her entire gigantic family.
- More or less seems to remember everyone by face, even if she has evident favorites.
- Gigi has hugs and kisses for her entire gigantic family (exhausting), and calls most of them “beautiful.”
- Loves babies.
- Coordinates her wheelchair blanket with her dress.
- “She’s the real beauty of the group, but don’t tell ‘em I said so,” Gigi stage-whispers to Athena, in front of everyone. Shade?
- Notices an upset Krisha and loudly declares, “She seems upset,” which could be construed as insensitive.
- Doesn’t remember her daughter Krisha, arguably setting off a disastrous chain of events that completely tank the family’s Thanksgiving.
The path to hell is paved with good intentions. Sorry, Gigi, you seem like a lovely lady but unfortunately for Krisha, you’re also a sentient trigger on wheels.
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6. Jack's Maternal Grandfather from Room
- Grandpa Robert elicits one of the movie’s first deep-sob moments when he fights his way through hospital security to finally see his daughter, Joy, while insisting that he couldn’t wait any longer.
- He’s a solid hugger, going full-arm wrap and no back-taps. Strong form.
- Married Joan Allen’s character, and she’s great.
- Grandpa Robert follows up his emotional reunion with Joy by flat-out refusing to acknowledge his new grandson, Jack.
- Following a tearful dinner confrontation with Joy, Grandpa Robert responds by just completely ghosting the whole family.
- He literally disappears from the movie and is upstaged by surrogate Grandpa Leo, missing major deep-sob moments like when Jack finally meets a dog.
Even undead Grandpa Bud had the wherewithal to stay in his grandson’s life. Congratulations, Grandpa Robert— it takes a truly bad grandparent to make us all sob and then disappear completely before we’re even done with act two. All the decapitated pigeon heads for you.
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