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Exclusive: Canadian horror documentary “THEY CAME FROM WITHIN” is getting underway

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | Exclusives, News


A director has been signed for the project based on Caelum Vatnsdal’s seminal book.

RUE MORGUE got the first word that Justin McConnell, who helmed LIFECHANGER (review) and the independent filmmaking documentary CLAPBOARD JUNGLE (review), will adapt Vatnsdal’s THEY CAME FROM WITHIN into a feature. The book is an exhaustive study of Canadian horror cinema from its early days through modern times, covering the work of David Cronenberg, William Fruet (THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE), Bob Clark (BLACK CHRISTMAS), MY BLOODY VALENTINE’s George Mihalka (who serves as consulting producer on this project) and many others. The doc will be produced by McConnell’s Unstable Ground and Avi Federgreen’s Federgreen Entertainment; production will begin later this year, following the completion of CLAPBOARD JUNGLE’s eight-episode companion series.

“I’m excited to start working on THEY CAME FROM WITHIN,” McConnell tells us. “Canada has a rich history of horror cinema and unique circumstances that have brought that cinema to life. I was looking for a new project I could make safely ‘in these uncertain times,’ and this fits the bill nicely while waiting for the world to spool back up. Other countries have had their genre cinema showcased in an entertaining way with films like NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD and MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED, and Canada is long overdue for this kind of treatment. Caelum’s book is the definitive text on this, and a great resource to build a good documentary around, especially considering we have a brand new wave of unique talent currently producing genre cinema in Canada, influenced by and building on the work of the generations before them. It is still very early days for the project, but I believe the film will serve as a valuable historical resource while also being a fun watch. We make some crazy horror cinema here.”

Stay tuned for updates!

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and in addition to his work for RUE MORGUE, he has been a longtime writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. He has also written for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM,, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM, MOVIEMAKER and others. He is the author of the AD NAUSEAM books (1984 Publishing) and THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press), and he has contributed documentaries, featurettes and liner notes to numerous Blu-rays, including the award-winning feature-length doc TWISTED TALE: THE UNMAKING OF "SPOOKIES" (Vinegar Syndrome).