Is Caitlin Cronenberg Entering the Family Business with ‘Humane’?: ‘We Would Need a Therapist to Weigh in’

Does darkness run in the family? Caitlin Cronenberg isn’t quite sure, but with her new horror drama “Humane”, she earns her place in the pantheon of the macabre like her father David and brother Brandon before her. Starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, and Peter Gallagher, the film centers on a post-ecological disaster future and a family whose patriarch has decided to enlist in a new euthanasia program designed to deplete the population of the planet.

“I enjoyed the fact that it was a family drama set within this strange and chaotic world,” Cronenberg said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought that it was an interesting way to tell a family story, and that’s the thing that struck me the most, especially with a very unique premise. I hadn’t come across anything even close to this premise. The characters were also these very detailed and despicable people yet also kind of likable.”

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A taste for the despicable would seem to be a common thread amongst the Cronenberg clan — and yet, Caitlin doesn’t feel this was something she was necessarily born with. “We would need a therapist to weigh in on if I’m drawn to this level of darkness because it’s what I grew up with,” she said. “But I also didn’t grow up watching those films. I was a total scaredy cat, and I didn’t watch horror films growing up. So, is it that I was given permission by my upbringing and by the art of my predecessors in my family to do something and to take it that extra mile? Maybe.” Caitlin later added, “Do we have an unspoken heart connection to darkness? Maybe. I mean, I used to be a goth, so I don’t know.”

Along with the contributions of her bloodline, Cronenberg found a great amount of solace in her fellow collaborators, saying there’s “a certain amount of trust that you put into your cinematographer [Douglas Koch] and your camera operators, and discussions ahead of time are incredibly helpful in ensuring that you’re on the same page, compositionally. Thankfully, I had an incredible crew who understood what I was trying to achieve, and it was a very collaborative experience to lens each shot and decide together what we wanted.”

“Humane” is now playing in select theaters.

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