Rachel (Mia Ford) is a young girl with a terrifying secret. She can see evil spirits within others. After witnessing the brutal killing of her mother, she and her father (Sam Jaeger) move to a small town hoping to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together. Although Rachel continues to be haunted by images from her past, she manages to forge a strong bond with her teacher (Lori Heuring) and becomes best friends with a peculiar classmate named Michelle (Sammi Hanratty).
Soon, things aren’t quite how they appear when Michelle’s seemingly innocent pranks turn potentially deadly, forcing Rachel to fear their friendship while looking right in the face of the malevolent spirits she sees.
In a world where bad spirits never leave – they just find somewhere else to go – Rachel’s visions may be the key to stopping a string of violent attacks against the town’s children and unlocking the puzzle behind a devastating secret harbored by Michelle’s parents (Stacy Haiduk and Brent Sexton) and a decade-old disappearance.
Within is set against the backdrop of small town USA after the Weiss family relocates from Los Angeles. Shot in and around the City of Angels, the opening of the film (set in Silverlake) captures Rachel's seemingly unexplained reluctance in entering an otherwise inviting Italian deli. Despite her initial reaction, Rachel finds herself in the deli and subject to a series of unsettling events leading to the disturbing death of her mother.
With an overall budget of under $1 million and shot in just 20 days, the production proved to have its more challenging moments. Producers encountered everything from injured cast members to finding the perfect balance between budget and resources for filming. At one point, actress Janet Rotblatt (Mrs. Stanton) suffered a broken wrist before arriving on set. At another point during filming, it was unclear whether fluctuating production resources would even allow for the crucial fire scene to be shot near the end of the film!
To prepare for the film, Director Hanelle M. Culpepper conducted research even by consulting with a psychic who warned her to beware of bad spirits trying to enter her life while she did the film . The warning was against bad sprits being around the set, she says. "It did freak me out a little bit."
However, for as many obstacles that were overcome on set, there were also plenty of laughs supplied by the young cast. Both Mia Ford (Rachel) and Sammi Hanratty (Michelle Lowe) were best of friends from the first audition and quickly became known as daft pranksters, often targeting producer Jerry Jacobs.
Mia Ford (Rachel Weiss)
Sammi Hanratty (Michelle Lowe)
Lori Heuring (Abby Miller)
Sam Jaeger (Nathan Weiss)
Brent Sexton (Steven Lowe)
Stacey Haiduk (Berenice Lowe)
Director: Hanelle M. Culpepper
Producers: Liam Finn, Jacques Thelemaque
Executive Producer: Michael Gleissner, Kacy Andrews
Line producer: Jerry Jacobs
Director of photography: Keith J. Duggan
Editor: Tirsa Hackshaw
Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine
Production coordinator: John Shafter
Production designer: Craig Siebels
Costume designer: Lisa Norcia
Music supervisor/Composer: Jeffrey Toyne
Casting: Valerie McCaffrey, Pam Giles