The 13th Floor

HEREDITARY Viewers at SXSW Wake Up to Scary Dolls at Their Doors

Ever since it first terrified audiences at Sundance, Ari Aster’s feature debut HEREDITARY has been one of the year’s most talked-about horror titles — and many advance viewers claim the movie has haunted their dreams long after the credits rolled. But for a dozen or so people who attended a midnight showing at South by Southwest, that lingering creepiness wasn’t the only thing that followed them home.

In a clever but unsettling promotional stunt, HEREDITARY distributor A24 left little “gifts” for certain attendees the day after the screening — items clearly inspired by the film’s spooky daughter Charlie (Millie Shapiro), as well as the micro-detailed dollhouse built by Charlie’s mother Annie (Toni Collette).

AV Club reports the extremely creepy hand-made dolls suddenly appeared on the hotel doorsteps of select SXSW guests who had seen the film the previous night, accompanied by cryptic hand-written notes from “Charlie.”


Among the lucky recipients was Barry Jenkins, Oscar-winning writer/director of MOONLIGHT, who tweeted a picture of his bizarre present.


A24 later revealed the entire set of 15 dolls on their own Twitter… and I’ll be damned if these things don’t look like junior art class projects from some twisted hell-dimension; many of them appear to be screaming in eternal agony, no doubt cursing the demons who gave them form.


Audience members still reeling from HEREDITARY-induced nightmares — not to mention SXSW party hangovers — might have freaked out to find the crazed gifts… but more than a few horror-loving folks are jealous for not receiving theirs.
But hey, I kinda want one too… don’t you?


Among those feeling a bit left out was Elijah Wood — who had only recently sung the film’s praises during a Q&A at the festival — and he made this clear on his own Twitter feed (although I’m sure by the time you read this, A24 has delivered him a nightmare-inducing doll of his very own).


HEREDITARY hits theaters nationwide on June 8. Here’s the official trailer:

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