The feature, which is a follow up to the Vang Brothers’ 2016 feature Bedeviled, will be produced by Carr Lee and Stephen Stanley and also feature Ellen Wroe (Final Destination 5). It is slated to shoot in Los Angeles and Orange County.
The story follows social worker Claire Yang, who has been haunted for years by visions that she is only just beginning to understand as a connection to the spirit world. When she is assigned a new domestic abuse case, she discovers that the problem is being caused by a supernatural entity and must use her clairvoyance to help save the family.
“The spiritual medium, often a female, is a horror archetype that has appeared in almost every film where a family is faced with a supernatural haunting and she usually enters the story in the third act to save that hopeless family,” said the Vang brothers in a joint statement. “It is never about her story – she is simply reduced to a plot device. In our film, we’re re-inventing this character as if we’re telling an origin story. We explore her backstory, and all the barriers she must struggle through in order for her to find her place in the world.”
With The Uncanny, the Vang Brothers were committed to casting actors from underrepresented groups in principal roles. Specifically, they wanted to have Asian actors cast in the lead role of Claire and her husband Peter. It’s taken over three years to bring the film to fruition, and the Vang Brothers were surprised to find substantial resistance to a film with Asian leads even in the current Hollywood climate.
The Vang Brothers pointed out that there were many studios interested in the film but asked them to cast white leads. “Too often, Asian actors are cast in only supporting roles, thus they are hardly ever given the role of the main hero or heroine,” they said. “The film is never about their story or their struggle. Why is it that a film must explore Asian culture and themes in order to even consider an Asian actor in the lead role? The Uncanny, like films such as Searching or Always Be My Maybe, never explores anything specifically Asian. It simply is just a film whose main protagonists happen to be Asian. This is really how we can end racial and ethnic stereotypes on the screen.”
Beyond its leads and directors, The Uncanny also features multiple cast and crew members who are of Asian descent as well as an overall inclusive crew and cast with people of color, women, and LGBTQ collaborators.
In addition to the Freeform series Good Trouble, Kirby can currently be seen on ABC’s new series Grand Hotel from Executive Producer Eva Longoria Bastón. He can be seen next in the James Sweeney feature Straight Up alongside Katie Findlay, Betsy Brandt and Randall Park. He is repped by Gersh and McKeon/Myones Entertainment
Krusiec has appeared in many films, TV series and stage plays. In addition to the aforementioned The Invitation, she starred in the critically acclaimed Saving Face opposite Joan Chen. Her TV credits include Hawaii Five-0, Nice Girls Crew, Getting On, Shooter and others. She also wrote her hit solo show Made in Taiwan, which played at the 2001 HBO Aspen Comedy Festival. Krusiec recently starred in Wild Goose Dreams at The Public Theatre, King of Hell’s Palace (Goodman Theatre New Stages), Chinglish international Broadway Tour. Krusiec also created and directed the digital short series Scenes From A Real Marriage. She is currently shooting The Gift directed by Anna Chi. Krusiec is repped by Global Artists Agency and THRULINE.