I'm sorry to say that I have seen summer's most talked-about horror movie, Hereditary and can confirm everything you've read is true: It is an extremely upsetting film. In fact, the Ari Aster-directed flickmight be one of the scariest, most uncomfortable movies I've ever seen. (Warning: there are spoilers for Hereditary throughout this story) I mean, there's an accidental decapitation, ghosts, creepy doll houses, witch cults, demons, and a particularly gruesome death-by-piano wire that I will probably think about daily for the rest of the my life.
But underlying the horror and gore are very real, very human issues that will resonate with many viewers who perhaps haven't had first-hand experience with, uh, dark witch covens. Aster brilliantly and poignantly explores the tenuous line between grief and breakdown and the impact that death and PTSD can have not just upon oneself but upon an entire family and community.
Horror, in my opinion, is one of the most effective mediums for exploring the uncomfortable sides of humanity, but very few storytellers are able to gracefully utilize the genre to such ends. The books below all share some of the same themes of Hereditary and use horror to explore broader issues — and they're all so terrifying you might as well resign yourself to a few sleepless nights with the lights on.