Set in a heartland hamlet where the Christian fanatics come to seem as dangerous as the demonic force that's knocking them off, horror opus "From Within" injects some novelty into its standard genre doings.

Set in a heartland hamlet where the Christian fanatics come to seem as dangerous as the demonic force that’s knocking them off, horror opus “From Within” injects some novelty into its standard genre doings. First directorial effort in some time from busy cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (“W.,” “Walk the Line”) is a competent if unremarkable low-budgeter that should have a respectable life in ancillary after brief After Dark Horrorfest playoff.

In picturesque Grove Town, just about everyone is born again — though it seems here the answer to “What would Jesus do?” is “Be intolerant of anyone who’s not.” Thus, the Spindle clan has a very bad rep for allegedly practicing witchcraft. At the pic’s start, a teen in the family kills himself to commence a curse avenging his mother’s suspicious death some years earlier. This leads to a chain reaction of people being slain by their own doppelgangers, in ways that look suicidal or accidental. High schooler Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) tries to protect surviving Spindle son Aidan (Thomas Dekker) from the evangelical mob. Low on gore if not fatalities, this decently crafted pic holds attention despite slow spots and routine scares.

From Within

Production

An After Dark Films release of a Burgundy Films production. Produced by Chris Gibbin, Adrian Butchart. Executive producers, John Moshay, Bumble Ward. Co-producers, Josh Beane, Brad Keene. Directed by Phedon Papamichael. Screenplay, Brad Keene.

Crew

Camera (color, Panavision widescreen), Rafael E. Sanchez; editor, Michael Matzdorff; music, Jason Cooper, Oliver Kraus; production designer, Susan Kessel. Reviewed at Century 20, Daly City, Calif., Jan. 10, 2009. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Elizabeth Rice, Thomas Dekker, Kelly Blatz, Laura Allen, Adam Goldberg, Rumer Willis, Margo Harshman, Brittany Robertson, Jared Harris, Steven Culp, Amanda Babin, Shiloh Fernandez.
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