INFLUENCED BY (MOSTLY) TRUE EVENTS: r/nosleep, Murder City, and “IT”: the film’s backdrop

r/nosleep

The story of Andrew Canton was first formulated when a subreddit post (r/nosleep) detailed an entry from a young couple who had found their house for sale on Craigslist; with the description that the “previous owners” were murdered and that the listing was essentially an “estate sale”. They later found a photograph, marked with a symbol on the back, taped to their door, showing the male homeowner inside.

THE FLATS – EPISODE II- SHOOK ONES
THE FLATS – EPISODE II- SHOOK ONES

MURDER CITY: Rewind to 1959 – the beginning of the child abductions & killings in “The Forest City”.

Growing up in the Old South portion of London, ON (a repeatedly targeted area), we were always made aware of the stories of young children going missing or being killed. At times, we were ushered in at recess from threats of lurking pedophiles near the school yard, while at times, being warned about white vans and the lure of candy from a friendly stranger. A smile, and an innocent question, sometimes they were lost and “just looking for directions”. The Block Parent Program was established in London, ON (aside from its pilot program in Mississippi) due to the unprecedented amount of abductions and murders that occurred from 1959 – 1984.

(abstract: Murder City – M. Arntfield)

From the earliest documented case of homicidal copycatting in Canada, to the fact that at any given time up to six serial killers were operating at once in the deceivingly serene “Forest City,” London was once a place that on the surface presented a veneer of normality when beneath that surface dark things would whisper and stir.

https://www.amazon.ca/Murder-City-Canadas-Capital-1959-1984/dp/1460261828

IT

London, ON presented a town that appears to suffer from a split personality:

On one side, it is a wealthy/white/conservative, mid-sized Canadian city; an important test market for many industries, while also attracting global attention and investments for medical/military/technology developers.

The other side – the underbelly – identifies a darker image of the Forest City and its surrounding area. Similar to the fictitious town of Dairy in Stephen King’s IT, London has had an unprecedented number of cold cases. The graphic nature of the killings pre-date many infamous American serial killers, casting London as a “test” ground for the madness that was soon to sweep over the United States in the 60’s and 70’s. Murder was another product tested in London, ON.

THE FLATS – EPISODE II – SHOOK ONES

Watching IT (although we love the films) was a perversion of nostalgia; a reminder of the violent historical reality, and the subtle and vicious nature of evil. The red balloon serves as a homage to Stephen King’s sleeping/waking evil, but also as a commentary to the similarity of that fantasy narrative to our own tragic reality.

THE FLATS – EPISODE I – A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME
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