The biggest shock in Hereditary was almost much worse

Most movie audiences think of miniature work in terms of special effects, like the scale models Industrial Light & Magic built to create the Death Star trench run in Star Wars or the model of Helm’s Deep used in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. In Ari Aster’s Hereditary, however, they’re actually part of the story. Annie Graham (Toni Collette) is a diorama artist, and the detailed reproductions she makes of traumatic events in her life initially serve as a catharsis, then eventually document the decaying state of her fragile mind.

The person responsible for creating those pieces was model and miniature designer Steve Newburn. A visual effects veteran who’s done model work for movies like Inception and The Dark Knight, Newburn is a…

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