Watch the creepy trailer for ‘2018’s scariest film’

'Hereditary' was one of the hit movies at this year's Sundance Film Festival

The first trailer for Hereditary, a movie critics are saying could be 2018’s scariest film, has been released.

The film, which stars Toni Collette (Annie Graham) and Gabriel Byrne (Steve Graham), follows a family dealing with grief and exploring their ancestry after the death of Annie’s mother.

The movie was one of the hits of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, with it scoring 100 percent on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. Written and directed by Ari Aster, it also features performances from Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro as siblings Peter and Charlie Graham.

In the trailer, Annie gives a eulogy at her mother’s funeral, in which she describes her as a “private” and “secretive” person. Elsewhere, Charlie is seen cutting the head off of a pigeon, while someone else’s body is engulfed in flames.

A synopsis on distributor A24’s site reads: “When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. 

“Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.”

Critics have called the film “a new generation’s The Exorcist” and described it as “pure emotional terrorism“. Watch the trailer above.

Hereditary will be released in the US on June 8. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.