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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behold this movie ye budget filmmakers and despair
It is a strange tradition that indie filmmakers with shoestring budgets inevitably want to make science fiction films. One has trouble discerning why; dramas and comedies are far cheaper and period pieces are just as exotic without the need for special effects. Yet the small film maker continues to pound out high-concept science fiction films regardless of their obvious...
Published on March 6, 2012 by Moviedude

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You cannot escape us...
H.P. Lovecraft's story from 1930, is brought to life in a fairly faithful manner, involving some of the folks from the HPLHS, who also brought to life (albeit in a silent manner) the authors most famous story, 'The Call of Cthulhu', a few years ago.

'The Whisperer in Darkness' is one of the best of Lovecraft's stories and one of the best known too and this low...
Published 19 months ago by Anthony Hand


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behold this movie ye budget filmmakers and despair, March 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
It is a strange tradition that indie filmmakers with shoestring budgets inevitably want to make science fiction films. One has trouble discerning why; dramas and comedies are far cheaper and period pieces are just as exotic without the need for special effects. Yet the small film maker continues to pound out high-concept science fiction films regardless of their obvious limitations in this regard.

Then sometimes one of them knocks it out of the park.

The HPLHS already struck gold with Call of Cthulhu, a tremendously faithful 30s expressionist film based on the short story of the same name. With Whisperer they attempt to give a similar treatment to a more narrative Lovecraft story, this time in the trappings of a 1940s talkie. Success in this area is mixed- the feel starts off on target but quickly migrates to the atmosphere of a 60s creature feature... Not that there is anything wrong with that. If anything gives away the film's truly modern nature it is that the photography is a little too clean- again not a problem, and it left me wishing this movie was available on BD as well. The soundtrack is tremendously well done and moody, just like in Call.

Without giving too much away, Whisperer follows the short story faithfully until the end at which point it concludes with an action setpiece not present in the original plot. As if by way of apology, the new ending is actually much more grim than the original, placing the protagonist in a much dimmer situation.

Just as with Call of Cthulhu, the effects here are far better than the film's small scale would suggest. The alien Mi-go in particular are a wonderfully steampunk mashup of creature and clockwork, realized with a very effective mix of models, costuming and CG. Locations are beautifully shot, and the actors fairly douse the production in character- in particular Daniel Kaemon, who plays the cult leader Mr. Noyse, lapses into a fantastic Mid-Atlantic radio presenter accent when he is (unknowingly?) recorded during his dark rituals- it sounds like it should be corny, yet it is eerily effective.

Purists may gape at the liberties taken with the source material, but this is a fantastically solid sci-fi horror flick that is true to the spirit of its source material and for my money far outstrips Lovecraft films with much costlier productions. A must buy if you enjoyed Call, or if you are a fan of old-school horror literature and cinema. This movie proves that epic sci-fi is possible in a small-scale production, and one is left wondering how so many other filmmakers drop the ball.

NOTE: buy with confidence, packaging and shipping are prompt and thorough. Even the invoice that comes with this movie is fun.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shall I tell you? Come closer...Let me Whisper it to You...., December 22, 2011
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
A stunning adaptation of a Lovecraft classic! I am not sure how they pulled it off, but this is straight out of the Golden Age of 1930s horror films even though it is brand new! Filmed in "Mythoscope" a style which strives to make it look true to a 1930s Black and White Noir film, they've taken what was a good Lovecraft story and made it a brilliant piece of film making. They kept true to the spirit of the plot and turned it up to eleven. If you are unfamiliar with Lovecraft's stories or style, this is a perfect start as you don't need any background - it is all self-explanatory. It is a mystery, sci fi and horror all wrapping into one ball of goodness and takes you on a roller coaster ride from start to finish. It kind of reminds me of Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits, because much of Lovecraft eventually became many plots in those shows. Filmed on location in Vermont, set during the Vermont Floods of 1927, the film's release coincidentally came during the Vermont Floods of 2011. The filmmakers pitched in to help the great people of Vermont recover from the disaster. This is the second effort of the filmmakers, the first being The Call of Cthulhu. It was a new, old-style silent film and won critical acclaim. This is on the same track, winning awards and acclaim, and in my opinion, is a much more engaging film.

The actors are also top notch. Matt Foyer is an amazingly expressive actor and does a perfect job portraying Albert Wilmarth. He brings such a real human element (which you rarely if ever see in horror) you can't help but get drawn in. Barry Lynch creates both one of the creepiest scenes in horror history without blood, gore or anything but his voice and yet also manages to create one of the most heart-wrenching and human scenes I've seen in the genre.

If you at all love great classic horror films, ones that don't rely on grossing you out, but give a great ride with your mind like Dracula, Frankenstein or the Mummy, then do yourself a HUGE favor and pick this one up.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adaptation of Lovecraft's story, December 19, 2011
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
High quality Lovecraftian movies are in short supply. Most of us agree that The Thing by John Carpenter is the best overall Lovecraftian movie. Straight up adaptations of HPL are even rarer. Not surprising, as most of HPL's works are rather wordy and cerebral, with little in the way of action or human interaction to hold interest on the screen, and all those unfortunately indescribable creatures. Previously, with The Call of Cthulhu, The HP Lovecraft Historical Society showed that this is an art best left to those who are true fans of these stories (I include Mr. del Toro and regret the shelving of At the Mountains of Madness as much as anyone). Well now the bar has been set even higher. The Whisperer in Darkness is by any account a resounding triumph. I would even say it deserves a nod at the Oscars for adapted screenplay, although that will never happen. A larger studio may have had a bigger budget or marquee stars, but there is no way anyone could have made a better film.

Of course this movie is an *adaptation* so it is not exactly the same as the novella/short story on which it was based. I think the changes and compromises wrought by the screen play authors Sean Branney and Andrew Leman do a superb job of conveying the Lovecraftian cosmicism and the important aspects of the story, while allowing the film to work as a piece of cinema. They added some human interest, by introducing a young girl, the daughter of one of Akeley's neighbors, and also gave the work some thrilling action sequences.

The creature effects by Jason Shulman, Chris Peterson and Jon Gourley merit special praise. On a shoestring budget they developed Mi-Go that are terrible to look at and fascinating to watch. Wisely the director does not tip his hand by revealing the Mi-Go too soon. The use of black and white photography allows for lighting and cinematography with a period feel. Atmospheric music by Troy Sterling Nies marvelously enhances the tension.

I think all of the performers were wonderful.Too bad Matt Foyer won't receive any special awards for his incredible and believable performance as Wilmarth. I think child actress Autumn Wendell as Hannah deserves particular kudos, as does Caspar Marsh as Hannah's father and Andrew Leman as Charles Fort (in fact the entire sequence in Arkham had me shaking my head in appreciation for the talents of the entire cast and crew).

I have read HPL's story countless times and yet I was absorbed from the opening sequence to the ending credits. I think anyone who loves thoughtful horror or science fiction could find much to appreciate here, even those who are unfamiliar with Lovecraft or who have never heard of HPL's story.

As I said, this is a resounding triumph, an achievement for the ages. All of us are in debt to the HPLHS. I cannot wait to see what they do next. I only regret there was no widespread distribution on the big screen. Maybe this can gets run on an adventurous cable channel to give it the exposure it so richly deserves. Bravo to all.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ia Shub-Niggurath !!!, December 24, 2011
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
Just finished watching. I'm a huge HPL fan, and while many of the movie adaptations are less than great, I was looking forward to this one. The HPLHS's previous movie, 'The Call of Cthulhu' was good on so many levels. And they do not disappoint here. There is additions to the story, to well, make a movie out of a story that's mostly letters back and forth, but it's not forced. Each bit makes sense in the overall story. Plus, they did a great job in making the movie feel like a 30's talkie. So yes, if you like HPL, you will enjoy this movie.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unmatched masterpiece and tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, January 4, 2012
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
If you are a H.P. Lovecraft fan, get this. You are committing a crime against yourself if you don't. The Whisperer in Darkness and HPLHS last movie, Call of Cthulhu, are the best H.P. Lovecraft adaptations to date. Where a lot of other attempts failed, this black and white (now with voices!) movie really got that "Lovecraft" feeling of dread and terror to it. The actors are awesome, especially Matt Foyer and Barry Lynch. The story was modified a bit there and there to make it a more enjoyable film experience, but I assure you no undescriptible blasphemies were done. I won't go further into it, I don't want to spoil anything.

Also included is a "Making of" that is really well done and interesting. It is amazing to see how they did some of the shots with their very low budget.
At the end of it some of the guys talks about making "Shadow over Innsmouth" next. Please, I mean, I BEG YOU, DO IT!!! (SoI is my favorite HPL story)

There is a Blu-ray version coming soon, and I will buy it too just to support these guys.
Look, I could go on and on praising this truly epic masterpiece. Just make yourself a favor and get it.

The man from Providence would be very, VERY proud.

Cheers,
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing HPL Adaptation, June 4, 2012
It's amazing in itself the cast and crew are a bunch of LARPers. If you don't know what that means, go Google it, and make sure you watch the "Lightning Bolt" video that is floating around. Now that you're in on the joke, watch the movie.

While not as true to the original HPL tale of horrible science fiction, the Whisperer in Darkness does a wonderful job of presenting the Old Man's story to modern film buffs. On BD, the first thing you notice is an enchanting score in 5.1 surround and a hauntingly lit stage that is frightfully stark in contrast and detail. The images are almost "too real". The original story ends abruptly, and so the HPLHS took it upon themselves to make the story a bit longer with a bit more of an emotional, dare I say, 'heroic' ending (something that never happens in a HP Lovecraft story).

For the uninitiated, the plot involves a linguistics and folklore scholar taking a trip into rural Vermont on a quest to find definitive truth behind what amounts to a rash of 'alien sightings'. Over the course of the tale, the protagonist begins to uncover bit by bit, mostly due to a shut-in farmer who has seen a bit too much of the truth. For the fans, the ending is FAR removed from the original while remaining very much in vein and intent as possible. No spoilers here. Sorry. But the Mi-Go... pretty well done, and afforded a lot more on-screen time than the high priest of R'lyeh.

The BD itself has a tonne of extras, most of which are frikkin' hilarious. Lots of behind the scenes and technical details - a lot more than on their previous Call of Cthulhu picture. But there is one glaring omission that I can't forgive:

No subtitles at all. And this is after their first film that had 24 languages.

The sheer effort in the production is incredible and fans anywhere will likely be driven insane from their own enjoyment (unless of course they don't understand English, and then the whole motion picture is lost on them). It leaves us wondering what the crew will try to produce next - the crew comments specifically on Shadow over Innsmouth and the Dunwich Horror, but these suggestions seem more of a wish list. Whatever their effort, they have proven the impossible: Lovecraft's works are indeed film-able.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood take notice...., December 25, 2011
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
Although a small, independent production, HPLHS has given us a second film (the first being CALL OF CTHUHLU, done as a silent film from the 1920's) shot in the style and look of a 1930's Universal horror film that is marvelous on every conceivable level. The film has amazing production values and is FAR better than anything being churned out for the movie-plexes. These guys are pros, and they are not fooling around. But most important, they have, for the second time, done what others can't seem to do...they have made a film that is utterly faithful to HPL without falling into the pratfalls of pretentiousness OR camp that others seem to inevitably do. And as is the norm from HPLHS, the second disc is LOADED with extras, making it a bargain. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. Wonderful!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Cylinder number sixty seven, will you please stand up., December 27, 2011
This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
After experiencing the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Societies cinematic take on "The Call Of Cthulhu" (2005) I could only have extremely high expectations for their sophomore effort and a few years ago I was enthralled with the teaser trailer and very pleased that their followup choice would be "The Whisperer In Darkness" a story rich with mystery, intrigue, suspense and of course bat winged creatures from Pluto. Since a majority of the original story is told through the correspondence in written letters a certain amount of padding had to be utilized to create a working finished product as a film and I have not one single complaint from a fans standpoint, sure they removed Akeley's guard dogs and added a biplane replete with aerial Mi-Go's but it all works splendidly and befitting (through the magic of Mythoscope) of a picture from 1931.

The acting is top notch and I do not use this term lightly, in most cases the heart is in the right place (the lost skeleton of cadavra comes to mind) but falls a little short in the thespian arena when it comes to fans making movies for the fans. Barry Lynch (Henry Akeley) and Matt Foyer (Albert Wilmarth) play their roles flawlessly and convincingly. Will Masterson (Caspar Marsh) and new favorite Daniel Kaemon (P.F. Noyes) also get special kudos for their performances but everyone just did an amazing job right down to Brain Cylinder B-67 (portrayed by producer & director Sean Branney).

Horror Fans, Sci-Fi Fans, Strange Fiction Fans, Fans of the Fantastique and H.P. Lovecraft Fans should all be most pleased with this proper adaptation to the screen of the twentieth centuries greatest, most important writer and architect of All the genres mentioned above.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great independent film production, January 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
Stories by H.P. Lovecraft have been subjected to many screen adaptations, including "The Haunted Palace" from American International (a somewhat faithful but not too great production with a disappointing ending), "Dunwich Horror" starring Gig Young in a 70s style horror film that was not even remotely Lovecraftian, "The Resurrected" (based on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward) directed by Dan O'Bannon that modernized the time period and invented new characters, ignoring most of the plot, but did manage to create some excellent Lovecraftian scenes especially in the exploration of the monster-infested catacombs under the old house, and probably most notoriously, "Reanimator" and "From Beyond" by Stuart Gordon which were ultra-gory and more faithful to Davin Cronenberg than Lovecraft. Essentially throughout movie history, Lovecraft has been ransacked for horror story ideas, rather than carefully and respectfully represented on the screen.

But the H.P Lovecraft Historical Society has done something completely different with their two independent productions, "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Whisperer in Darkness." The producer, director and writer have immense respect and love for Lovecraft's style and have gone further than any other filmmakers in creating authentic translations into cinema of the stories. "Whisperer" has some changes and additions, particularly in the ending, but captures the bizarre and vivid imagination of Lovecraft's weird combination of brains in jars, ancient mythic evil, and intelligent insectoid aliens to near perfection. Despite having a budget that would barely pay for lunch on a Tom Cruise film, the money the producers did have is all on the screen with great use of 1930s period props, authentic costumes, nicely detailed sets, atmospheric black and white lighting, imaginative FX and especially the large ensemble cast of fine actors enthusiastically sinking their teeth into their roles - something rarely found in independent films.

If there were any justice in the world of filmmaking, these guys would have at least $100 million for their next production, perhaps the epic "The Shadow out of Time." Or maybe "At the Mountains of Madness" (a production recently attempted and shelved elsewhere). I, as a long-time Lovecraft fan, hope they continue making more of the true canon of this great writer's work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HPLHS Scores Once Again!!, March 15, 2012
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L. Cabos (planet earth) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Whisperer in Darkness (DVD)
Leave it to a small devoted group -- as they did with THE CALL OF CTHULHU -- bring Lovecraft's story to life in a way no major studio has ever been able to do. I won't go into goofy spoilers and detail it all. Leave to other idiots who seem to think this is a venue for being critics. Leave it to say, if you love Lovecraft then you WILL enjoy this. Done with TLC, as only those truly devoted to Uncle Theobald can, it does justice to this tale and is incredibly well done. You don't need a mega-million dollar budget to do these things right. I look forward to the HPLHS next venture ... THE DUNWICH HORROR, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, hint, hint...
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The Whisperer in Darkness
The Whisperer in Darkness by Sean Branney (DVD - 2012)
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