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The Inspirations Behind The Freshman Experience: Hereditary

Everything in art is connected. It is like the cycle of life that surrounds us every day. If it be the air we breath or the water that surrounds us, everything is a cycle. Art is very similar, the birth of a new artist stems from the life of another. These branches that connect each artist create a intricate web, linking each artist to one another in some form or fashion. I am no different from any of these artists. I drew inspiration from many films that hold a special place in his heart. In this first episode we look at how the film Hereditary inspired me, Anthony Piragnoli to write The Freshman Experience.

Film has always been a close and personal friend of mine. Film has always been there for me, through all the ups and downs in life. I feel like it is only natural that I give back to it. I wrote The Freshman Experience during his Junior Year at Florida State University. It is a psychological horror film that follows a Freshman college student who struggles to maintain her sanity during her Freshman year of college. It was very important for this film to feel real. I wanted to make something people could relate to. The scarier elements of the film are things that I find scary. They are things that I know scare other people. There's a lot of subtleness to this film, and it's not an in your face horror flick. It's much deeper, and much more psychological.

One of the most inspirational film for me while writing this was the movie Hereditary. Ari Aster was a huge inspiration, and what I loved about his movies were just how unsettling they made me feel. Aster didn't write the film to be a good horror movie, he wrote it to be a great movie, and the horror comes naturally. That was my goal while writing this, the movie and characters had to be grounded. They have flaws, they have tendencies, there are small details within the script that keep this movie grounded in realism. When I first saw Hereditary I was floored by not only how horrifying it was, but how realistic the movie treated the characters. How they deal with loss, regret, and search for different ways to find comfort.

Within the movie there are some subtle nods to Hereditary, because I felt as though that movie played a huge roll in me writing the script. Before watching Hereditary, I was really focused on scaring people. I wanted to make a horror movie and I wanted the audience to feel fear. After watching Hereditary I took a step back to look at the script, and found it was more important to write a quality movie than to write a scary one. The way that this film is written, the way that it is shot, it is meant to get the audience to feel as though they are stepping in the shoes of our main character. We want the audience to understand what the character is going through. I feel as though Ari Aster has perfected this, and his work inspired me in many different ways.

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