So I know the movie Hereditary gets a lot of hate because King Paimon is made the bad guy. These feelings are valid and understandable, but that’s not really what I’m here to talk about today.
So I decided to get off my lazy ass and watch the thing on Amazon Video and I noticed that there’s actually a lot more thought put into King Paimon’s presentation than I thought.
Bear with me for a bit as I show you how. (TLDR at the bottom 'cause it’s long)
WARNING: Contains massive spoilers. I highly recommend watching it if you’re into scary movies. There are no jump scares, but the acting, sound design and cinematography are phenomenal and definitely worth watching.
Also, disturbing imagery inbound. Because horror movie.
Let’s start with the small stuff.
In the opening scene, we see a funeral service going on for the main protagonist’s mother, who is wearing a particularly familiar pendant in her coffin. It’s also made of gold, which is associated with King Paimon.
The same pendant is also worn by the main protagonist herself.
Speaking of yellow, the movie makes generous use of yellow lighting. While this could be a coincidence, I just wanted to point that out.
Anyway, shortly after, we see the family going about their every day lives.
The mother is a miniaturist.
The son is a musician, as evidenced by the guitar and the keyboard.
And the daughter likes to make dolls out of literally anything she can find, as well as draw.
The father is later revealed to be a psychiatrist
And the grandmother was said to do embroidery.
POP QUIZ: What is King Paimon frequently associated with? That’s right. The arts and sciences. Drawing, music, acting (will touch on this one soon); you name it, he’s got it. He also works on psychology, much like psychiatrists do. Psychology also plays a huge role in the movie in general. This all ties into how the family’s fates are intertwined with King Paimon’s.
Moving on, we get to witness the death of the daughter via roadside beheading.
Here, have a picture and suffer with me.
From there, the movies practically obsesses over disembodied heads. I know this is supposed to coincide with the family’s trauma of losing the daughter to decapitation, but upon further reflection, I think there’s more to it than that.
You see, certain cultures once believed that the head was “the seat of the soul” and the second half of the movie is about King Paimon’s soul being transferred from the daughter into the son.
There’s also a part of the head called “the crown” located on the back.
Who is known for wearing a crown? That’s right. King Paimon.
In the finale, there’s a shot where the cultists made a mannequin using the daughter’s head and put a crown on her.
(What’s that? You want another horrifying picture? Certainly!)
(If you look closely, you’ll notice that the crown is also yellow)
…Okay, I’m really stretching with the crown thing, but let me have this please?
Anyway, one of the things that caught my attention the most, was this line:
While King Paimon is associated with the west, he is also mentioned with being associated with the northwest.
Speaking of the cultists, in the movie, there’s a character who is revealed to be the leader of the cult and a former friend of the grandmother. The woman manipulates the mother into enacting their plans by pretending to be a mourning mother and grandmother herself.
What else does King Paimon specialize in? That’s right. Manipulation. He’s a skillful charmer and can easily bend minds to his will.
King Paimon’s name translates to “a tingling sound”; this movie also loves to use chimes and other “tingling” sounds.
I now wonder how much of this movie was influenced by King Paimon himself. The more I review this movie, the more I realize the subtle nods to demonology. I think (and I could be wrong) that the reason King Paimon doesn’t mind his portrayal isn’t just because of the recognition (and luring more people into the occult), but because of the amount of effort was put in to studying his correspondences.
And we all know that spirits love it when we take the time to research them.
TL;DR - Hereditary is secretly a pop quiz on King Paimon. (Or I’m overthinking stuff and I’m really just crazy)
EDIT: There will be more additions to this, because I think there’s a bunch I’ve missed.