“Caelum Vatnsdal approaches the cheapjack shudders and sordid pleasures ladled out by Canada’s ‘balladeers of blood’ with a lover’s ardor.”
“No horror film is truly mainstream,” David Cronenberg has said, and it is for this reason that even the lowliest of them may be worth consideration. In this tenth anniversary revised and updated edition of They Came From Within, Caelum Vatnsdal adjusts the focus in Canadian horror films, and unwinds the history of this neglected genre to learn “why we fear what we fear and how it came to be that way.”
From the early Canadian infiltration of Hollywood in the thirties to the flowering of Canuck horror films in the sixties and seventies, to the surreal products of the “tax-shelter” eighties and beyond, Vatnsdal shows how the Canadian horror film industry has, unwittingly or not, created a complex social, economic, and political portrait of a nation.
Engagingly written, extensively researched, and lavishly illustrated with rare stills and poster art, They Came From Within is an invaluable addition to Canadian film criticism.
Caelum Vatnsdal not only loves horror movies, he’s fond of them. Love can be blind, but fond sees both the potential and the flaws. Fond enjoys, and that enjoyment is evident in every world of They Came From Within. Enjoyment and enthusiasm and a sense of humour that is, like all good humour, as truthful as it is funny… This Canadian book is damn good. — Tanya Huff, Globe and Mail
They Came From Within is a revelatory and informative study of a previously under-explored area of horror history. — Michael Gingold
Caelum Vatnsdal approaches the cheapjack shudders and sordid pleasures ladled out by Canada’s ‘balladeers of blood’ with a lover’s ardor. His account of our B-movie past-so rich in dreams and embarrassment-combines first-rate storytelling with a steady downpour of inspired comedy. — George Toles, author of A House Made of Light–Essays on the Art of Film and co-screenwriter of The Saddest Music in the World