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The Call of Cthulhu 2005

  • 4.0
THE CALL OF CTHULHU is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous story. It is the only story to feature the celebrated monster Cthulhu and in many ways it encapsulates the ideas that went on to permeated Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos." The film follows the story's three-part narrative construction and it moves from the 1920s to 1908 to the 1870s and back, as the story does. The story embodies HPL's nihilistic world view, his cosmic perspective and his sense that mankind is doomed by its own insignificance. And it's a pretty good globe-trotting adventure story. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society adapted the classic story in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie with an original symphonic score. Using the "Mythoscope" process (a mix of modern and vintage techniques), the HPLHS worked to create the most authentic and faithful screen adaptation of a Lovecraft story yet attempted.

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2 members like this review

Our impoverished age, having explored space and every corner of the earth, can only imagine sordid little horrors perpetrated by the psychopath next door. How much more thrilling to return to a time when the cosmos was still vast and unknown and could be a source of unimaginable terror! "Call of Cthulhu" captures very well the mixture of excitement and dread that animates Lovecraft's stories. The silence heightens the mysteriousness of the events, and the excellent score amplifies the suspense and the action.

Lovecraft fans will notice that the deaths attributed to human conspirators in the original are here the direct consequence of evil forces, but this is, if not true to the immediate source, perfectly representative of Lovecraft's later and more polished works. Fans will appreciate the chance to revisit Lovecraft's unique vision, and those new to the stories may well be inspired to see what the originals are all about.

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Member Reviews (14)

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top reviewer

Our impoverished age, having explored space and every corner of the earth, can only imagine sordid little horrors perpetrated by the psychopath next door. How much more thrilling to return to a time when the cosmos was still vast and unknown and could be a source of unimaginable terror! "Call of Cthulhu" captures very well the mixture of excitement and dread that animates Lovecraft's stories. The silence heightens the mysteriousness of the events, and the excellent score amplifies the suspense and the action.

Lovecraft fans will notice that the deaths attributed to human conspirators in the original are here the direct consequence of evil forces, but this is, if not true to the immediate source, perfectly representative of Lovecraft's later and more polished works. Fans will appreciate the chance to revisit Lovecraft's unique vision, and those new to the stories may well be inspired to see what the originals are all about.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

I've watched this movie a number of times over the years, and I continue to marvel at the creativity of this small, independent film There is an aesthetic aura that make this less of a straight thriller and more of strange and horrible dream...we want to avert our eyes, but we can't! It is both a horror film and an art film.

It's also more than a movie about a legendary monster, it is a movie about movies. 21st century technology is utilized to re-capture the shadow world of the Silent era. For these reasons, this film is truly a labor of love.

1 member likes this review

Excellent retelling of the Lovecraft story of Cthulhu! Even though it was created in 2005, it gives one the sense of the old silent films with the stop action photography and great story line! It gets a 5 star recommend from me to all those Lovecraft fans who have longed for a taste of this tale on film! Wonderful!

1 member likes this review

Visually beautiful and shot, just lovely. Other than the main character's ridiculously persistent and unimaginative over acted upset look. That brought the movie way down for me.

I haven't read Lovecraft so can't say if this is a proper adaptation. It's slow, to fit the timing of old movies, I suppose. It's weird to have them talk so much without knowing what they're saying. Alienating.

The story didn't grab me, though I know it does a lot of people. The visual elements make it worthwhile, and for me, the chance to finally see what the story was, in a short time period. Was hard to stick with it, though. Didn't seem like a very compelling plot personally, and it seems it could have been shorter.

1 member likes this review

What an interesting project. It was a brave choice in this modern era to turn the tools of digital filmmaking to producing a 1920s style silent film. It works - and particularly given the source material, it works far better than a "talkie" would have. Lovecraft is more about the written word and the emotions, and both are captured here to great effect.

This is a film that begs to be viewed in a darkened room, and the absence of voice track makes attention to it even more imperative. You can't "half watch" a silent film very effectively.

My only gripe was that a couple of the green-screen shots (characters in the distance climbing over rocks) seem unfinished -- the character masks have much sharper edges than the rest of the beautifully shaded and defocused shots.

All in all, a magnificently evocative capturing of Lovecraft.

1 member likes this review
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The visual style is great and although I love that the movie pays homage to the silent movie era, the style feels more like a crutch, rather than a storytelling element.

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This is a really fine adaptation, because it doesn't try to do more than the source story. It keeps close to Lovecraft's ideas and does a very fine job of it. A real labor of love...and it shows it in every scene and special effect and prop.

Very well done. Loved the way the disjointed geometry referred to in the original story was captured in the island segment. Economy in storytelling and style appreciated.

Well made silent film. Worth seeing.

A wonderful film! It is amazing to consider how much money is spent on mediocrity in Hollywood, then one sees a film like this and realizes the potential for good art. This makes me want to re-read everything by Lovecraft.

The interspersing of still shots gave a feel of authenticity. It was much like watching a restored relic.

Very good short film. Shows a good familiarity with the subject matter. With integration of elements from other Lovecraft stories, it ties together very well in the story telling. The filming, however, was very stiff and too modern. The style was also fairly elementary. The acting too soft for a silent film. I appreciate the attempt and encourage more of the like, but nothing silent as this, for it is subject matter befitting language and voice.

very well done.suspense,horror,the sshock of a world unknown to us waiting...

I thought it was very well done and the story and effects were excellent.

 

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