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The Whisperer in Darkness [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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(Jul 31, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Celebrated author H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of alien horror bursts onto the screen in the style of the classic horror films of the 1930s. Professor Albert Wilmarth investigates legends of strange creatures in the remote hills of Vermont. His inquiry reveals a terrifying glimpse of the truth that lurks behind the legends. Filmed in the style of the classic 1930s films such as Frankenstein and King Kong, The Whisperer in Darkness is a thrilling adventure of supernatural horror.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Barry Lynch, Stephen Blackehart, Annie Abrams, Matt Lagan, Andrew Leman
  • Directors: Sean Branney
  • Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Microcinema
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007W4MUUU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,344 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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