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    23 Secrets Hidden In "Hereditary" You May Have Missed

    The actor who plays Peter ACTUALLY did his head-slamming-on-desk stunt himself.

    🚨Fair warning: Spoilers ahead!🚨

    1. The film is meant to be a "meditation on grief and trauma."


    "It begins as a family tragedy, and then continues down that path, but gradually curdles into a full-bore nightmare — in the same way that life can really feel like a nightmare, like everything is falling apart," director Ari Aster told Vanity Fair.

    2. And if you feel like the film is "two different movies" in one, that was done on purpose.


    Aster also told Vanity Fair, "There was certainly a conscious decision to separate the film into two halves that are also completely inextricable from each other, where the two parts actually are the same movie."

    3. We never really *see* Charlie in the film — she is Paimon the entire time.


    According to Aster's interview with Variety, she is Paimon from the moment she was born. He explained, "There’s a girl that was displaced, but she was displaced from the very beginning."

    4. The "dolls" Charlie makes, in particular the one with the pigeon head, end up on the table shrine in Joan's apartment.

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / A24

    And with a crown just like in her drawing. (Because, ya know, Paimon wears a crown!)

    5. Historically, chocolate is often associated with sin and temptation — which explains why Charlie (really, Paimon) is obsessed with it.


    There's a reason they call it devil's food cake. ;-)

    6. And the evil symbol you see throughout the film really IS the symbol of the demon king Paimon.


    According to demonology, "His Character is this which must be worn as a Lamen before thee, etc." — a Lamen, in magical terms, being a symbolic breastplate or necklace.

    7. In art history, ants are symbolic of death, decay, and decomposition — which makes sense in the context of Hereditary, too.

    A24, Salvador Dalí

    Kinda like the ants in Dali's famous "The Persistence of Memory" painting.

    8. And pigeons are used as messengers who sometimes carry warnings.


    Poor pigeon.

    9. The house was actually built entirely on a sound stage in Utah...

    A24 / Via

    Yep — the whole first and second floors, the attic, and TWO versions of Charlie's treehouse were all sets.

    10. ...and the miniatures were created back in California by artist Steve Newburn.

    A24 / Via

    Newburn also made miniatures for Team America: World Police.

    11. Toni Collette's blood-curdling scream when she sees Steve burst into flames was done in one take.


    “It was the last shot of the movie,” said Aster.

    12. Also, Collette was not actually looking to do another "heavy" film when the script for Hereditary came along.


    She told Time, "I had specifically said, 'I’m sick of heavy, I don’t want to cry all the time at work anymore. I want to make some funny movies.' My agent called and said, 'I know what you said, but you need to read this.' And he was right. I loved it."

    13. Alex Wolff, who portrayed son Peter, went "method" with his acting for the role...


    He told Vulture, "I basically decided for this movie I was going to, from the second I got to Utah, I was going to just be Peter for three months."

    14. ...and now thinks he may be actually going through some PTSD since filming.


    “I don’t think you can go through something like this and not have some sort of PTSD afterward," he told Vice.

    15. In fact, Wolff says he's actually forgotten a shot or two from filming.



    16. Wolff ACTUALLY did his head-slamming-on-desk stunt himself.


    Speaking with Vulture, Wolff explained, "We had one (desk) that was made out of a sort of soft mat, but under it was hard so it hurt really bad. There was a hardness under it so I was just slamming my face against that thing."

    17. And he WANTED to do the stunt throwing himself out of the attic window...but the filmmakers wouldn't let him.


    Ya know, for legal reasons and all.

    18. Before her turn as Charlie in Hereditary, Milly Shapiro originated the role of Matilda on Broadway...

    Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

    Along with three other actors: Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, and Bailey Ryon.

    19. ...and she even received a Tony Award for Excellence for the role!

    Gary Gershoff

    Not bad for a 10-year-old (at the time, she's 15 now!).

    20. There was a special "doll maker" hired to make Charlie's creepy half dead animal, half whatever toys.

    Twitter: @A24

    A24, the film distributor, even had creepy replica dolls made to help promote the film.

    21. Because this was her first big screen experience, Millie admitted she "fangirled" pretty hard over her co-stars.

    Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

    "But I hid it very well," she said.

    22. Although the weather *looks* cold in the movie, they filmed the in the summer — which meant that the actors would actually be sweltering under their winter costumes.

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / A24

    Shapiro said to Vulture, "I just remember it was very hot, and I was wearing this — I don’t know how to describe it. It looked like a sheep, basically. I was wearing winter pants and a winter shirt underneath that, under the covers, and it was just so hot, because they couldn’t have air on or you would hear it."

    23. And finally, the entire sequence of Peter accidentally killing his sister is actually Aster's favorite.


    He told Vanity Fair, “That’s probably my favorite sequence in the film, everything that’s happening around those 15 minutes.”