"...the second-best straight-up Lovecraft adaptation in cinema history." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
In 1931, H.P. Lovecraft wrote his classic tale of alien horror, "The Whisperer in Darkness." Lovecraft is now considered one of America's foremost writers of horror fiction, standing alongside the likes of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. His story, which blends horror and science fiction, relates the adventure of Albert Wilmarth, a folklore professor at Miskatonic University, as he investigates legends of strange creatures rumored to dwell in the most remote mountains of Vermont. Wilmarth's investigation leads him to a discovery of horrors quite beyond anything he ever imagined and ends in a desperate attempt to escape the remote New England hills with his life and sanity intact. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adapted Lovecraft's story as a feature-length motion picture, shooting it in the style of the classic horror films of the early 1930s (such as DRACULA, KING KONG and FRANKENSTEIN). As with their previous silent movie adaptation of Lovecraft's THE CALL OF CTHULHU, the HPLHS used their Mythoscope™ technique to evoke the look and feel of early cinema. This production was shot on location in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to authentically capture the actual locations depicted in the story. A cast of Los Angeles actors, including Matt Foyer and Barry Lynch, bring the sweeping period tale to dramatic life. The result is a motion picture (a talkie, no less) that expands Lovecraft's short story into the kind of thrilling cinematic experience that Lovecraft himself might have enjoyed in 1931.
Cast & Crew
- Annie Abrams - Starlet
- Stephen Blackehart - Charlie Tower
- Sean Branney - B-67
- Michael Dalager - Black Pharaoh
- Matt Foyer - Albert Wilmarth
- Zack Gold - Astronomy Colleague
- Lance J. Holt - Davis Bradbury
- Daniel Kaemon - P.F. Noyes
- P.J. King - Workman
- Casey Kramer - Fort Admirer
- Matt Lagan - Nathaniel Ward
- Andrew Leman - Charles Fort
- Barry Lynch - Henry Akeley
- Caspar Marsh - Will Masterson
- David Pavao - Jordan Lowell
- Ed Ruffin - Superintendent
- Joe Sofranko - George Akeley
- Conor Timmis - Porter
- Autumn Wendel - Hannah Masterson
- Don Yanan - Dean Hayes
Reviews(see the best reviews)
If Universal Pictures had discovered Lovecraft and realized what they had, it would have changed the history of cinema. I once had a chance to ask the late Vincent Price a question at the end of a lecture he gave at Birmingham-Southern College in the early 1970s. I asked him why more of the vast body of material left by Lovecraft had not been filmed. He replied that most of Lovecraft's work was un-filmable. This film is proof that this was not in the 1930s and is even less true today.
A really well done film. Efforts like this reveal the paucity of vision that Hollywood has when it comes to Lovecraft...or science fiction/horror in general. I like that this is given the patina of "old-fashioned" filmmaking without devolving into silliness or irony such as in THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA (apples and oranges, I know...). The filmmakers take their jobs seriously, and the love they have for their subject really shines through. I want more films like this one!
This second Lovecraft Historical Society adaptation, a talkie, does not quite have the atmosphere of their silent first effort, but it is a creditable homage. The film faithfully reproduces the characters (plus a Charles Fort cameo) and events of the short story up to the story's shocking, if too-generously foreshadowed, revelation -- and appends an action-packed extrapolation which comes to a satisfyingly Lovecraftian end.
Though the HPLHS hasn't yet quite adjusted to the talkie form -- there are a few too many frames of hangdog Wilmarth not sure what to do or say -- the art direction and effects are good, the new material is convincing, and, once we get past the long, slow lead-in and the truth begins to become clear, the film is gripping to the finish.
I am an H.P Lovecraft fan from my teenage years (and that is a long time ago indeed), so I have followed any adaptions of Lovecraft's works in cinema or television. This adaptation is from the same production team that did the Call of Cthulhu. They have upped their game, as the length, film quality, and effects are definitely better in this story. I like the black and white approach, and they tell the story in a 1920-1930s style that fits with Lovecraft's time period. The film is not horrific or frightening, but captures Lovecraft's air of mystery and the unknown nicely. One of the better Lovecraft efforts seen on film, my favorite being Dagon.
I liked it. Compared to a lot of the B movies of apparently that era, this one is quite good. Action, adventure, danger, and H.P. Also, a very nice use of Charles Fort.
Stylistically really a wonderful treat. Elements like the black & white photography, a score that plays across multiple scenes, and a plot full of dark rituals and sci-fi technologies against a rural backdrop make this a fun film from beginning to end. Best enjoyed late at night with all the lights off. I could use a film like this at the end of every week.
...from the creatures that brought you the silent adaptation of "The Call of Cthulu"; an inspired follow-up to that film. Macabre!
Very well done. I am not sure if I had a bad connection or there is a purposeful mis-synching of voice and picture to capture a kind of atmosphere. Whatever the reason, it worked well being a bit more spooky than annoying. They stayed true to the author, had some great effects, and the acting was just right for what they were trying to achieve. Altogether, a solid recommend especially to anybody who loves to read and imagine Lovecraft's world.
totally cool. used it in an undergraduate class about theatrical style and genre
Great great great!!
I never read the books so I have no opinion about comparing books to movies. I did believe the movie was made in 1931. Great Old-School Sci-Fi ! Movie was good about setting mood. Not camp The real deal.
wow...films usually go back to the 50's look, this one took inspiration from 1930's and 40's films..I won't spoil your fun and just say this movie was excellent in every way !! One of the best I've viewed on Fandor....4 stars !!
Lovecraft would be satisfied with this version of his tale. Very involving! Liked the black and white fifties vibe that the movie gives off with occasional glimpses of very modern horror. Creates an interesting effect. The monsters were obviously the cheap side of CGI but still very effective. Ultimately, it's what's IMPLIED in Lovecraft's stories that's the most terrifying.
Really great movie that delivered in the end. I hadn't read the story, but I knew the end would be gruesome since it was HP Lovecraft, all the while hoping for a nice ending! At first the faux noir look and 1930s stiff acting got on my nerves, but it slowly grew on me, and like I said the ending had me chewing the inside of my mouth nervously the whole time. It's amazing how much you can do with so little in terms of story and production. A little really can go a LONG way!
This is a brilliant, wonderfully done neo-noir sci-fi/horror follow-up to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's production Call of the Cthulhu. The film is artistically rendered, grippingly suspenseful and very scary and disturbing. Unlike the former film, it is a talkie, but in black and white and successfully evokes the style of the best early thirties movie you might ever see.