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This subtly creepy horror tale keeps the audience guessing exactly what lies behind the string of macabre occurrences besetting a middle-aged couple (Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne), their high schooler son (Alex Wolff) and 13-year-old daughter (Milly Shapiro). An unusual blend of intense family drama and a foray into the occult, writer-director Ari Aster's feature debut mostly pays patient viewers off with a resounding conclusion, and Collette is furiously intense throughout. But the gloomily atmospheric film, which initially goes easy on the gore, gets less restrained in that respect as it goes along.

Watch out for: Black magic and Satanist themes, gruesome events and images, drug use, glimpses of full male and female nudity in a nonsexual context, a few profanities, numerous rough and crude terms.

Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: R

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018