Annie Graham (Collette), an artist who specializes in miniature dioramas, has just buried her mother. Grief fills the family home affecting Annie as well as her son Peter (Wolff) and daughter Charlie (Shapiro). When a second tragedy befalls the family, Annie seeks comfort in a support group where she meets the kindly Joan (Dowd). But Annie is deeply unsettled and her behavior becomes increasingly aberrant. And that support group may not be helping.
Aster’s first feature is a masterwork of quiet tension and mounting dread. Initially playing out like a domestic drama or a case study in grief, Aster builds the horror tropes with skill and restraint, never sinking to cheap tricks or overt gore. The performances are rich and convincing (Collette especially) with nods to classics of the genre. Still, this freak-out of a film is highly distinctive and effective on its own terms; it may in fact cause a few sleepless nights. Beware!