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Don’t call Caitlin Cronenberg a horrormeister

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Caitlin Cronenberg has no problem being described as a member of the “family firm,” as she jokingly describes her Toronto filmmaking brood that includes her father David and brother Brandon.

Brandon visibly flinched in 2012 during interviews for his first feature, “Antiviral,” whenever journalists mentioned his horror legend dad, maker of such creepy classics as “The Fly,” “Videodrome” and “Shivers.”

Caitlin’s not like that. She’s perfectly at ease talking about herself, her family and her expanding career, which now includes directing her first feature film. Her conviviality and high-fashion look — photo shoot makeup, coloured hair and artistically painted nails — seem at odds with her self-description as being “a real hermit” with a lifelong struggle with panic attacks during public appearances.

“I think being the second one out (with a film) is harder. So being the third, I’m old news now,” Cronenberg mused in an interview in the downtown offices of distributor Elevation Pictures.

“Everyone’s over it. Everyone’s here to just have a good time now.”

Cronenberg’s worried that people will think her debut feature, “Humane,” is a horror film. Opening in theatres on Friday, it’s actually more of a dark satire and thriller about how humans behave in extreme circumstances. Starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Peter Gallagher, Sebastian Chacon, Alanna Bale and Enrico Colantoni,

“Humane” is set in a dystopian near future where a global climate crisis necessitates a mass population cull, prompting “Succession”-style power plays within a wealthy, dysfunctional family named the Yorks.


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