The Call of Cthulhu
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In spite of Lovecraft's unquestionable influence on the genre, few filmmakers have been able to accurately or faithfully translate the writer's works to either the small or large screen. At best, most attempts to adapt Lovecraft either vaguely evoke the nihilistic subtext of the author's work (e.g., Stuart Gordon's 1985 classic RE-ANIMATOR) or pay simple homage by making a reference or two (as Raimi does by building his EVIL DEAD stories around Lovecraft's ubiquitous fictional book of the occult, the Necronomicon). Until now, that is. Under the guidance of director Andrew Leman and screenwriter Sean Branney, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has filmed and released a little film entitled THE CALL OF CTHULHU (2005), based on the author's story of the same name. And it is being praised by critics and fans alike as being one of the most faithful Lovecraft cinematic adaptations ever.
The film follows the three-part narrative construction of Lovecraft's original story, using flashbacks and similar devices to shift back and forth to various time frames. The story centers on a young man who has inherited his late great-uncle's research documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult.Read more ›
The Call of Cthulhu faithfully recreates the look of 1920s silent films complete with a slightly scratchy, artifact-laden print. The rich, black and white cinematography (filmed in Mythoscope no less) of David Robertson is fantastic. It has a texture to it that looks just as good as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow's retro-sepia tone look but for a fraction of the budget and with no CGI anywhere to be found. The cinematography also gives the movie the atmosphere and mood of a classic horror film and creates believable and very authentic feelings of dread.
The special visual effects by Dan Novy - especially the dream sequences - are well done and totally believable within the context of the movie. A trip to a foreboding, unearthly land is something right out of Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with a dash of Ray Harryhausen for good measure. There are a few moments where the effects take on a slightly fake quality but it only adds to the charm of the movie. In this day and age it is so refreshing to see a film that does not rely on CGI but opts for real, tangible effects that are still as effective as ever.Read more ›
In 'The Call of Cthulhu' we finally have an honest and trustworthy attempt to capture the true indescrible horror and nature of Lovecraft's work. Leave it to his true fans, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society to do what the large Hollywood studios have refused, or been afraid to do. It is filmed in old-fashioned silent movie fashion, which is not only perfect for the time period being depicted, but also perfectly done. There is a haunting, dream-like quality to this film that is absolutely mesmerizing. One is ultimately left to ponder whether the images being viewed are on the television screen or within the inner recesses of your mind. Truly a one-of-a-kind production!
Let's be honest, the horrific images and happenings that Lovecraft's writings inspire could never be matched on film. The human imagination will always be far superior to the images that can be provided on celloid. This film made in old fashioned silent film format comes as close as anything I have seen so far. I still hold out the hope that sometime in the near future a large studio with a big budget and an inspired director will do justice to this tale like Peter Jackson did with 'Lord of the Rings.' But until then, this is the consumate work!
My Highest Recommendation!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great adaptation of an HP Lovecraft classic. I love how they captured the era with this B&W silent film. Very creative and well worth the watch.Published 3 months ago by Riley Cook
Don't fall for the retro silent film cover art!
This is not a classic silent movie. This looks like a student film that looks like it was shot on video in black and... Read more
I really enjoyed this movie and felt it was true to the story with minor changes. I would not have thought that this story would translate into a movie. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barbara Rambow
This gem of a movie is brilliantly conceived and executed. In fact, watching The Call of Cthulhu lead me to read H.P. Lovecraft's work, and I'll always be grateful for that. Read morePublished 4 months ago by RA Meeks
Good movie. Not for everybody but still lots of fun. They did a great job of giving it the feel if a silent movie and the claymation was awesome. Read morePublished 5 months ago by grrblah
I am truly astonished that so many people seem to have actually enjoyed this hopelessly inept (literally) back-yard production of a great supernatural story. Read morePublished 7 months ago by RANDEL
Great film, for all lovers of CTHULHU it's a wonderful treatPublished 8 months ago by Brendan Devlin
Fantastic Silent Film,Of Unspeakable Horror. This Is An Amazing Silent Rendition,Of Incredible Horror,That Comes To Life,In An Ages-Old,Sunken City;In The Form Of The Monster... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Yukon Jack