Is it possible to agree that Howard Phillips Lovecraft is one of the greatest horror writers the world has ever known? He would have continued to fascinate us with his intriguing stories about the subtleties and fallacies of human psychology, as well as the natural and supernatural forces that aimed to destroy the human mind, if it hadn’t been for his untimely demise.
Lovecraft was a true product of his time, someone who was so good at what he accomplished that writers and filmmakers are still drawing inspiration from his work more than seven decades after his death. Lovecraft’s work was primarily concerned with fusing the science fiction and horror genres, frequently containing cosmic horror aspects.
Lovecraft’s work has been adapted by a number of movies around the world, and even later horror writers like Stephen King owe a debt to him. We’ll look at thirty of the best Lovecraftian adaptations from the early 1980s to the early 2020s in this video. Are you ready to feel both delighted and terrified?
After returning as the sole survivor of an expedition in a zone known as the Shimmer, which was afflicted by different anomalies, an army vet and cellular biology professor named Lena is interrogated. When a meteorite hit on the shore of the Southern United States three years ago, the Shimmer arose.
It gradually grew in size and started to cover larger and larger territories. Right after the inception of the Shimmer, the government started sending various expeditions, but only one man returned—Lena’s husband Kane. He was soon taken into custody by the agencies and put under critical observation.
Soon Lena took it to herself to uncover the mystery and joined a team of experts to go to the other side of the Shimmer. Upon entering, Lena learns that the place has mutated all flora and fauna, and the laws of nature don’t apply. There are strange and dangerous creatures, but that’s not all. The Shimmer also messes up with people psychologically, often driving them murderous. Would she ever make it back?
Alex Garland wrote and directed the picture, which has all the ingredients for a deliciously terrifying cosmic horror feast. ‘Annihilation’ manages to incorporate more features and themes, such as jungle survival, environmental disasters, and violent mutated life forms, among others.
The film is led by an almost all-women cast and stars the likes of Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson. Oscar Isaac played Kane, who also did an amazing job as Duke Leto Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’. If you want to shake your night up with some dread and awe, ‘Annihilation’ is your go-to film.
Mad scientists are never immune to the unintended consequences of their experiments. Herbert West creates a reanimating chemical and uses it to resurrect Hans Gruber, a deceased professor at the University of Zurich. Hans Gruber’s reanimated body turned pale, and his eyes burst out, spilling blood, and he eventually died. Again.
After this event, West went to Arkham, Massachusetts, to continue his research at the Miskatonic University. He starts living with Dan Cain and turns their basement into a personal lab. They created a reagent that could successfully reanimate corpses, but those corpses came back as zombies.
As fate would have it, Dan and Cain eventually give birth to an elegant mess when they go around injecting corpses, including that of Dr. Halsey, the Dean and Dan’s fiance’s father Megan Halsey. All hell breaks loose when Carl, Megan’s jilted lover and her father’s colleague, gets reanimated and starts to control all other reanimated zombies. How would the young scientists control the situation?
The story ‘Herbert West: Reanimator’ was written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1922, and Stuart Gordon adapted it into a humorous science-gone-wrong picture starring scream queen Barbara Crampton a few years later. Several titles from the film, like Hans Gruber and Arkham, were later used to depict antagonists and related notions.
You do remember Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber from ‘Die Hard’, right? What a villain he was! Stuart Gordon received a positive response from critics and fans alike for his film and will always be considered an inspiration for future horror comedies like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’.
Color Out of Space (2019)
The plot centres around an unknown alien creature that arrived on Earth and began to alter all living things in the area, including plants. A shimmering meteorite crashed on the secluded estate of an ordinary family, bringing the alien to Earth. It was only detected because of the colour it emitted—magenta, which does not exist as a distinct wavelength in the visible light spectrum when scattered via a prism.
They soon became the central victims of this malignant force that seemed to take gradual and steady but extreme psychological and physiological tolls on them. Time started to dilate, the environment and nature assumed an otherworldly hue, and all things that were once beautiful and bright started to mutate and corrupt under the influence of this unseen monster and its magenta hue. Furthermore, the magenta hue started to impact the local flora and fauna, much on the lines of the 2018 film ‘Annihilation’.
Although there are some parallels between Richard Stanley’s ‘Color Out of Space’ and Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation,’ both films are poles apart in their fundamental themes and stand as excellent Lovecraftian horror adaptations. Stanley’s film gradually gets under your skin, making you feel uneasy about the happenings on screen.
Nicolas Cage, as the patriarch of the family, has done a fantastic job to say the least. With some vibrantly engaging music, great cinematography, horrifying special effects, and excellent performances, ‘Color Out of Space’ is both a horror film and a drama that seeks to study the fragility of familial bonds when faced with an external crisis. For an in-depth analysis of the film and its monster, check out our video titled, Body Mutating Psychadellic Color Monster – Color Out Of Space Explained In Detail.
‘The Library,’ ‘The Drowned,’ ‘The Cold,’ and ‘Whispers’ are four short films that make up this anthology. H. P. Lovecraft traveled to a monastery to continue his research and take notes from the Alchemical Encyclopedia Vol. III in ‘The Library.’ But he knows that the monks have been protecting and hiding the Necronomicon or the Book of the Dead. So, he manages to steal the keys to a cellar where Necronomicon was kept and finds the book.
As he begins to read, we are taken through a series of rather unrelated stories. In ‘The Drowned’, a man had lost his wife and child, and in order to get them back, he wished to use the Book of the Dead, but we all know how things turn out when you resurrect someone. The other two stories are equally menacing and relate to a series of murders and a serial killer, respectively.
As the stories progress, they become scarier while also becoming campier. ‘Necronomicon,’ directed by three different people, appears to be a squandered opportunity because the premise had a lot of potentials. You can observe the problems of a man who stops functioning when he gets hot but still wants to play mattress macarena with his attractive lady in this video.
Also, there’s an interesting take about two cops trying to catch a serial killer named The Butcher but end up being victims of a subterranean nightmare in downtown Los Angeles. In the end though, H. P. Lovecraft himself fights a demonic entity with a sword. Although this film spreads more cheese than a cheese burst pizza, it successfully builds an atmosphere of fear, thanks to the special effects and gore.
The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
On his deathbed, a professor passes a trove of notes and records about the Cthulu Cult to his grandnephew, Matt Foyer. Matt begins to research the records and discovers Cthulhu, a vaguely anthropoid monster with an octopus-like head, massive hind claws, and long, narrow wings at its back. It was like an amalgamation of a gigantic octopus, a dragon, and a human.
Matt starts getting more and more involved with the monster and the cult that was worshipping it. In fact, he almost made it a personal crusade to uncover the mysteries and secrets about Cthulhu. But in doing so, Matt starts to compromise his own sanity. The more he learned, the more things became horrifying for him. As a last resort, he passes the baton to someone unexpected.
‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ directed by Andrew Lema, is a silent film that employs a variety of modern and vintage filmmaking techniques to get the look of a 1920s picture. The picture is based on H. P. Lovecraft’s story of the same name, in which Cthulhu is depicted as an Old One or an old alien creature capable of driving anyone insane with a single glance.
Often considered as one of the best adaptations of Lovecraft’s work, the film is both enjoyable and eerie. It manages to remain fluid and uncompromised in terms of story and the depiction of various aspects, such as the dream sequences. It’s definitely a solid recommendation for all Lovecraft fans in particular and movie buffs in general.
On the Spanish coast, Paul Marsh, his girlfriend Barbara, and two other friends, Vicki and Howard, went boating. However, a severe storm causes their boat to capsize on a rocky outcropping. While Howard and Vicki become trapped beneath their boat’s deck, Paul and Barbara board a lifeboat to a nearby fishing island in search of assistance.
Paul finds that the island is full of strange people, and their activities only get more suspicious as time passes. However, Paul manages to meet a priest in a weird church, who agrees to help the friends. But when Paul reaches the wreckage with two fishermen, Vicki and Howard are nowhere to be found.
Paul returns to the island for Barbara, but even she has disappeared. He soon learns that the island is full of people who are half-fish and half-human. It all started when the community started to worship the sea god Dagon who gave them wealth but demanded women to mate with so that he could produce these monstrosities.
This Spanish film may appear to be based on Lovecraft’s short story Dagon, but it is actually a remake of his novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth. There are a few jump scares, but the film is primarily intended to be a slow burn. Maybe the film would have performed better if they didn’t use the hand-held camera for the majority of the film. Although the film falls short on acting and direction, Lovecraft fans would be tolerant because Dagon pays homage and respects the source material.
The Thing (1982)
‘The Thing,’ directed by John Carpenter, doesn’t need an introduction, but for the uninformed, let’s speak about it, eh? The staff of US Outpost 31, which was stationed in the midst of Antarctica, is the focus of the film. After a Norwegian helicopter showed up on their site, strange things started to happen. They soon realized that they had encountered an extraterrestrial parasite that assimilated and then imitated all life forms.
As the film proceeds, claustrophobia and paranoia engulfs the atmosphere because no one knows for sure who among them is infected and who is not. To make the situation worse, they lose contact with the outside world, and the crew of US Outpost 31 will have to contain and destroy the parasite and everyone it has infected, or else the world will collapse within the next 27000 hours.
Despite the fact that John Carpenter’s classic is based on John W. Campbell Jr.’s novella Who Goes There, the tale and qualities presented by the eponymous creature share a striking resemblance to Lovecraft’s creatures. Lovecraft’s monsters are essentially old, inhuman creatures who have no qualms about destroying humans while also causing mental degradation.
People lose their sense and sensibilities when faced with these monsters, and that’s exactly the kind of effect that John Carpenter intended his creature to produce. Lovecraft left his monsters undefined and undescribed, and such is the case with The Thing. We do not know for sure what the creature is, so much so that it is beyond the human mind to even begin to comprehend it. All one can do is ensure its destruction. To learn more about The Thing, do check out our other videos where we explore interesting facts like its anatomy and real form—link in the description.
You’re aware that desperate times necessitate desperate methods, aren’t you? So, with the help of a Russian mystic named Grigori Rasputin, two Nazi officials named Karl Ruprecht Kroenen and Ilsa Haupstein determined to shift the tide of World War II by summoning the armies of Hell to summon Ogdru Jahad by opening a portal.
However, the Allied forces destroyed the portal, and Rasputin got absorbed into it. Surprisingly, from the portal came out a demon baby whom Professor Trevor Bruttenholm adopted to raise as his child, and the child was named Hellboy. Trevor would go on to lead a secret wing of the CIA called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence.
It wasn’t before long that Hellboy and others would uncover a secret that could threaten the existence of humanity. Would Hellboy, a demon baby, become the guardian angel that the world needs but doesn’t deserve?
The film, which was co-written and directed by Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro, garnered mostly excellent reviews from critics, who praised the fantastic spectacular effects and the way del Toro tied the characters together to create a cohesive plot.
Although it isn’t the best comic book adaptation, the film has its own charm and is strong enough to stand on its own as an independent film. The primary antagonists of the film are the Sammael creatures that double in number each time they die. Now, these creatures and much of the demonology of the film were borrowed from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep mythos.
From Beyond (1986)
Crawford Tillinghast and Dr. Edward Pretorius invented Resonator, a contraption that activates the pineal gland in the brain to stimulate the sixth sense in humans. When Crawford turned on the machine, he was greeted by bizarre beings from distant worlds. He became scared and rushed to Dr. Pretorius for assistance in shutting down the machine.
However, Pretorius had other things in mind and got killed. Crawford is later taken to an asylum on suspicions of schizophrenia. Dr. Katherine takes Crawford’s custody and tries to uncover the mystery with the help of Detective Bubba. Dr. Katherine finds Crawford’s accounts intriguing and goes with him to turn the machine on once again. However, Dr. Pretorius comes back to life as a grotesque Frankenstein-styled Lovecraftian tentacled beast, who is not only hell-bent on killing people but is also extremely hedonistic and hungry for brains.
Stuart Gordon adapted H. P. Lovecraft’s short story ‘From Beyond’ after Re-Animator, and the picture proved to be more faithful to the source material. It starred Barbara Crampton once again, but it wasn’t just her who was screaming in the film, but also the audience who screamed along with her. The film packed a little something for both young and adult viewers and pleased the genre fans back in the day. Interestingly Dr. Pretorius is named after the protagonist of Bride of Frankenstein and Dr. Roberta Boch after the author of Psycho.
Evan is a young man from California who has recently lost his father to cancer and is soon to lose his mother. He flees to Italy aimlessly when she passes away. He meets Louise, a scientist, in a small and charming village in Italy. Louise is funny, smart, sexy, and Evan immediately gets smitten by her.
However, Louise has a dark secret. She is secretly a 2000-year-old mutant who gets pregnant every twenty years. But if she falls in love, her body would produce oxytocin that would ultimately stop her from being an immortal. Both Evan and Louise will have to make tough decisions if they wish to stay together.
A man, a lady, and a Lovecraftian horror of the highest order. The film ‘Spring,’ directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead and starring Lou Taylor Pucci as Evan and Nadia Hilker as Louise, has this as its topic. The picture is a mix of horror and romance. ‘Spring’ is generally not a scary film, but the creature effects and special effects are noteworthy.
The horror elements are not the focus of the film, and they are there only to help the story and build a tense and emotional relationship between Evan and Louise. The chemistry Taylor and Hilker share on the screen adds to the film’s charm and sensuality.
At certain points, the film seems to overexpress itself, and the plentiful dialogues tend to kill the interest, but the indie-romance with its cosmic horror elements merge together to make ‘Spring’ a must-watch for a horror fan.
The Mist (2007)
David Drayton and his son Billy head to the grocery to get supplies one fateful day. A storm had recently wrecked their village, leaving them without power. But, bizarrely, the supermarket and the entire town were engulfed in a peculiar mist. Before anyone could understand what was happening, the town’s police and the emergency siren alerted them that something terrifying was up.
Turns out that extraterrestrial creatures had appeared in the town and were killing people. Giant bugs, spiders, dinosaur-sized tentacle monsters were ravaging the town in the mist. All of this was the result of an uncontrollable military operation that opened a portal to aliens. To make things worse, the population inside the supermarket got divided into two groups, with David and Mrs. Carmody as their respective leaders.
While David attempts to work out plans to save everyone, Mrs. Carmody gathers the more conservative followers by telling them that it is an apocalypse and the town is paying for its sins. How would the calamity end?
‘The Mist,’ based on a Stephen King novel and directed by the acclaimed Frank Darabont, depicts the narrative of humanity’s flaws. Humanity’s opponent is not simply terrible beasts, but humanity itself, in the form of people like Mrs. Carmody. With a shockingly sad and compelling climax, Darabont’s film will stay with you for days after you’ve watched it. After all, Darabont is the guy who made classics like ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘The Green Mile’.
Event Horizon (1997)
In the year 2040, a spaceship known as Event Horizon set sail for the first time. It was sent as part of a test to see if it was possible to travel faster than light. The ship, on the other hand, completely left our reality, only to return seven years later, in 2047.
Humans picked up the distress signal, and a rescue mission was launched to retrieve the survivors, if any. However, Event Horizon had returned only because a malevolent alien force had taken over it. The rescue crew soon started experiencing hallucinations and apparitions that only the individual experiencing them could see. Naturally, the fate of everyone on board was uncertain, and home was millions of kilometers away. Would they survive?
‘Event Horizon,’ directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, written by Philip Eisner, was pushed by Paramount Pictures due to the delay in the release of ‘Titanic.’ The picture was obviously heavily edited, and it tanked at the box office. Although it later gained the status of a cult classic, Anderson’s film had great strength and potential to be something more.
The undescribed and undisclosed malevolent force from the film depicted a Lovecraftian monster that hunted and haunted people using their own minds and memories. Laurence Fishburne as Capt. S.J. Miller and Sam Neill as Dr. William G. Weir were excellent in their performances and saved the film from ultimate doom.
Evil Dead (1981)
A bunch of young men and women go to a wooded cabin. From the minute they enter the cottage, supernatural events begin to occur, but they all assume that ignorance is bliss. Soon, a tape recorder and the Sumerian version of the Egyptian Book of The Dead or Necronomicon are discovered.
Of course, the tape recorder with incantations is played, and it releases flesh-possessing demons that start possessing the young vacationers one by one until only one survives, but will he live to see the following day?
Cheryl Williams, played by Ellen Sandweiss, hears weird noises in one scene and, as is customary in horror films, ventures out into the dark woods to investigate! She is engulfed by the branches of a demonic tree, which hold her down and immobilize her. The scene feels as if Groot lost his mind and began molesting Cheryl. It’s only one of the many celebrated scenes of the film that gained Sam Raimi the status he enjoys today.
‘Evil Dead’ remains a classic and an inspiration for many future horror films. Having been shot on 16mm and with a miniscule budget of $50000, the film gave way more than it promised with the visceral wounds, diabolic howls, and plethora of grotesque gore. The film was initially supposed to be named ‘The Book of The Dead’, but later, Raimi settled for the title ‘Evil Dead’.
After his mother’s death, a professor named Russ is summoned to his childhood home. When he returns home, he encounters his homophobic, cultish father, who runs a cult dedicated to the underground fish-god Cthulhu. It wasn’t before long that Russ started experiencing strange things happening around him, but the more he tried to uncover the mystery, the more unhinged he got.
He soon discovers that the cult led by his father was trying to awaken Cthulhu so that they could take control of the world. Meanwhile, Russ has to ensure the safety of his childhood love interest, whom Russ’s evil father hates to the core.
Despite the fact that the film contains no new material, it works effectively as an adaptation of Lovecraft’s book The Shadow over Innsmouth. The film’s setting was relocated from New England to the Pacific Northwest by director Dan Gildark, which helped to create a more creepy and claustrophobic feel. But there is enough Lovecraftian imagery and symbolism to please the author’s fans.
The Void (2016)
The movie begins with a man named James fleeing from a farmhouse and a wounded woman being burned to death on a farm. James is found injured and crawling on the road by Deputy Sheriff Daniel Carter, who promptly transports him to an understaffed local hospital where Daniel’s divorced wife also works.
Later at the hospital, a woman murders another man, and Daniel shoots her down. This was the first of many strange and unfortunate things that Daniel witnessed, and it was going to be a long night for him. As soon as he shoots her, he falls into a seizure and sees some cosmic and supernatural images of a dystopian world, with a giant black pyramid floating in the sky. After coming back to his senses, he headed out to his car to report the shooting but got attacked by a robed cultist.
It wasn’t before long that many cultists surrounded the hospital on all sides. On the other hand, the dead woman’s body has transformed into a monster with tentacles. It becomes clear that the events unfolding at the hospital were a part of an elaborate plan to bridge the gap between the worlds of the dead and the living.
‘The Void,’ directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, is a visual classic merely because of the incredible special effects. The picture has an extraterrestrial cosmic planet theme in the vein of H. P. Lovecraft, as well as a Fulci-styled direction and writing.
Watching ‘The Void’ will surely bring back memories of films like John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’, especially in the scenes where a woman named Beverly transforms into a grotesque tentacled monster. In another scene, the stomach of another character explodes outwards with extensively long tentacles while she is lying on a hospital bed. This one’s definitely not for everyone, so watch it at your own risk.
Castle Freak (1995)
After the death of its owner, an Italian duchess, John Reilly gained a twelfth-century castle in an unusual turn of events. To liquidate the property, John travelled to Italy with his wife Susan and their blind daughter Rebecca. As the liquidation would take time, the castle’s caretaker offered the family to stay at the castle until the process was completed.
John agreed, but what he didn’t know was that something sinister and dangerous was kept confined in the castle’s basement. In reality, it was the Duchess’s son Giorgio, whom she kept locked since childhood because her husband had left her for her own sister, who was actually John’s mother, making the Dutchess his half-mother.
Giorgio soon broke out of his restraints by breaking his own thumb and killed a woman whom John had called to the castle. John got arrested on charges of murder, but he knew that Susan and Rebecca were not safe. John must now fight his addiction to prove his innocence and save his family from a relentless beast.
Another horror film starring Barbara Crampton is ‘Castle Freak.’ Despite not being a direct adaptation, the film is heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider, in which a man escapes a dungeon after years of confinement and is startled to see his reflection in a mirror.
‘Castle Freak’ is nothing like Stuart Gordon’s ‘Re-Animator’ or ‘From Beyond’ because it’s a very serious film that’s focused on a mature audience. Furthermore, it was released direct to video, and that makes it something of a hidden gem, waiting to be explored by many horror fans. In 2020, Barbara Crampton co-produced a reboot of this film.
The crew of the Kepler 822 drilling and research facility is five thousand miles from land and seven miles below the surface of the water at the Mariana Trench, the planet’s deepest point. Kepler 822 was built in an earthquake-prone area, and it wasn’t long before it was wrecked by a large earthquake.
The other crew members had already taken all the escape pods, and only a handful who remained decided to walk a mile on the sea bed to another base named Roebuck 641 to find a way to reach the surface. The one-mile walk soon started to turn into a walk down an underwater hell as they got ambushed by several unknown humanoid creatures. To repel these creatures, the survivors used flare guns, but this was a grave mistake as they had awakened Cthulhu, the ancient titanic beast.
The film, directed by William Eubank, is about a stroll through an underwater theme park millions of years ago, filled with animals that would kill anyone that moved. The Cthulhu presented in this film was unlike any other we’d seen before, and the CGI was effective in bringing to life this gigantic creature that was so large that only the upper humanoid half could be seen, while the lower half was hidden beneath the sea bed.
It had an octopus-like head, four pale eyes, scores of razor-sharp teeth, and tentacled appendages floating in the water. But what was more fascinating was that it had bony wings, which meant that it could maybe even fly. It certainly reminds us of a Titan from the Godzilla universe. Would it be too much to ask for a crossover film?
In The Mouth of Madness (1995)
The movie begins in an asylum, when an ex-insurance investigator named John Trent tells Dr. Wrenn his narrative. Trent was recruited to look into the odd disappearance of Sutter Cane, a horror author. Cane’s work was unusual in that his readers were constantly afflicted with mental illnesses and hallucinations, and some of them even constituted a danger to themselves and others.
While investigating, Trent came across a map that directed towards a town named Hobb’s End, which served as a fictional location of several of Cane’s works. Being a skeptic, Trent met with Cane’s editor Linda, and the two of them began their journey towards Hobb’s End to uncover the truth.
However, they suddenly found themselves in the middle of Hobb’s End, and it turned out that everything from Cane’s fictional world was, in fact, true. Things get more perilous when Trent encounters monsters and learns about Cane’s plan of unleashing the demonic beings into the world. He did manage to escape the fictional world that Cane created, but is that the end?
John Carpenter adapted Lovecraft’s story ‘At the Mountains of Madness as the final piece of his Apocalypse Trilogy. As one might imagine, the film is a smart and unique take on the horror genre that is both cerebral and terrifying. Sam Neill as John Trent has given a terrific performance of a man who transforms from a skeptic to a believer after he witnesses monsters and the darkest of things the human mind could comprehend.
As far as Jürgen Prochnow’s character of Sutter Cane is concerned, it is aimed at portraying another celebrated horror author, Stephen King. So, if you ever wish to watch a thinking person’s horror film, ‘In The Mouth of Madness is the way to go.
Pickman’s Muse (2010)
The film ‘Pickman’s Muse’ depicts the narrative of Robert Pickman, a bankrupt and impoverished painter who becomes captivated with an old, abandoned chapel visible from his dilapidated and run-down apartment window. Pickman, on the other hand, finds the preoccupation and meditations to be a blessing in disguise, as his output skyrockets.
He starts to paint several pieces of art, but the productivity soon turns into a mania after Pickman discovers the existence of an ancient relic that is kept hidden at the church. The first sign of something unnatural is picked up by Pickman’s friend and psychiatrist, Dr. Ambrose Dexter.
He notices that there is an uncanny resemblance between Pickman’s work and that of a serial killer named Goodie Hines who was under Dexter’s care. Certain that he must help his friend, Dexter begins to investigate the church and learns that there are ominous forces at work.
P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Haunter of the Dark’ and ‘Pickman’s Model’ were combined by writer and director Robert Cappelletto. The tale and setting came from the first, while the names and people came from the second. We all know that Lovecraftian stories are rather difficult to adapt, much like Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’.
Speaking of which, have you checked out our video exploring the burning questions in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’? Anyway, Cappalletto not only delivered a fairly decent adaptation of Lovecraft’s work, but he also painted the film with colors of a detective story. The only drawback seems to be that it’s pretty slow for its genre, and we wouldn’t have complained if the film was fifteen minutes shorter.
The Lighthouse (2019)
A contractual lighthouse keeper Ephraim Winslow and his master and keeper of a lonely and perennially dismal islet, Thomas Jake, spend a month taking care of the lighthouse with the sound of foghorns filling the air. Winslow is forced to perform back-breaking labour such as emptying chamber pots and lifting heavy items by Jake.
The conditions in the lighthouse islets were never favorable, and the two tight-lipped men only had each other for company. The four weeks that Winslow spent with Jake turned out to be one of his most gruesome four weeks, but a ferry set out to take him away was on its way. However, Winslow killed a one-eyed seagull in a fit of rage; it was something that Jake had categorically forbidden Winslow from doing—and then began a series of bad omens that were designed to test the two men.
It wasn’t before long that a sudden storm ravaged the island and halted Winslow’s ferry from reaching. The supplies dwindled, and in the name of consumables, they only had booze. Winslow and Jake spent the next few days in isolation, alcohol-induced hallucinations, while they offered each other resentment and hatred. Soon, they started losing their minds, and escape seemed improbable.
The film is a spectacular and deadly drama of frightening terror directed by Robert Eggers. The picture succeeds as a horror while remaining ominously and ridiculously funny. Robert Pattinson as Ephraim Winslow and Willem Dafoe as Thomas Wake have provided one of their best performances, but the on-screen relationship they had is perhaps more important.
While the horror element of the films seems to have been borrowed from the works of Lovecraft, the two men displayed traits straight from the works of several authors like Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick, and Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Treasure Island. All in all, ‘The Lighthouse’ is one of those few films that are cunningly comical and brilliantly scary.
The Endless (2017)
Justin and Aaron Smith, brothers, used to be members of a cult in Camp Arcadia. While Justin thought it was a UFO death cult, Aaron has a different, happier memory of the group. The brothers ran away from the cult a decade ago and never returned, but Aaron resented Justin for forcing him to leave.
One day, they receive a cryptic message from Camp Arcadia, and Aaron manages to convince Justin into checking out the place once again. Upon reaching Camp Arcadia, they receive a warm welcome from the cultists who haven’t aged even a day. However, it wasn’t before long that mysterious things started to happen to Justin.
With each passing minute, he became convinced that an ominous and omnipresent force had taken over Camp Arcadia. Convinced that the cultists wanted to submit themselves to ritualistic sacrifice, Justin tells Aaron that they should leave, but their differences are at a peak now. It was only after a while that Aaron saw reason, but it seems that the two brothers are trapped in Camp Arcadia forever. Would they manage to escape?
Directors in this beautiful cosmic horror movie, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead featured as Justin and Aaron. While keeping the film primarily Lovecraftian, Benson and Moorehead have merged not just numerous genres but also the working styles of directors such as Stuard Gordon, Don Coscarelli, and David Lynch.
The antagonist of the film or the entity is never fully revealed, but they’ve elaborated on how it works, and that’s totally crazy. Watch it to know it! Whether it was the intelligent editing or illuminating brotherly conversation that made the film so enriching and gripping is for you to decide, but it goes beyond doubt that one would drown in the unfathomable and endless depth of the film.
What does it feel like to lose a loved one or a close friend before their time? Well, it appears that the world is coming to an end. For little Aubrey, though, that could be more physical than symbolic. After her best and oldest friend Grace passes away, Aubrey comes to her hometown to witness the funeral. Soon, she starts to feel an inexplicable attraction to Grace’s apartment.
After the funeral, she goes to the apartment with no particular cause. In there, Aubrey lets grief and remorse engulf her entirely as she explores the empty apartment, opens the drawers, and plays Grace’s records. While she was trying to learn more about her lost friend, she was oblivious to the fact that an eldritch fate was awaiting her and the world around her. She sleeps the night in the apartment with Grace’s memories, only to wake up the next morning and find that the town has been abandoned and monsters are chasing her, and a grisly fate awaits her.
White, the film’s first writer and director, clearly drew inspiration from his own personal experiences of losing a loved one, as evidenced by Aubrey’s actions throughout the film. White, on the other hand, understands that grief can either destroy us or strengthen us, and he chose the latter, the path less travelled.
Instead of dwelling in the equations of grief and becoming something like a river that disappears upon entering a jungle, White’s film rises from the shadows, and his heroine comes out as a stronger figure in the face of calamities. Virginia Gardner as Aubrey has done stunning work, and we can not help but wait for more from White and Gardner.
Dark Waters (1993)
Following her father’s death, Elizabeth travels to a remote island to consider if she should continue her father’s payments to the island convent. Elizabeth encounters the blind Mother Superior in the monastery. A girl named Sarah is to accompany Elizabeth as her guide. Sarah seems innocent and naïve, but Elizabeth starts to sense something sinister and mysterious about the entire place, including Sarah.
Soon, she discovers hidden catacombs and pits and also gets attacked by nuns. When Elizabeth goes to her childhood house to meet her old caretaker and find out more about the strange sequence of events, an assembly of nuns burn the house down. Elizabeth is about to learn some dirty secrets about her past and her mother, who seemingly died at childbirth. The convent is hiding something sinister, the knowledge of which will change Elizabeth’s life forever.
Mariano Baino’s picture contains Lovecraftian elements, but it looks like a work of Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento, two renowned Italian horror directors. Baino uses the setting, which is set on an island, to create a sense of claustrophobia and dread because Elizabeth refuses to put her trust in anyone, not even God’s servants.
And as for her parents, the mystery seems to continually get pitch dark and breathtaking. For the most part of the film, the prime antagonist is not revealed, but when Baino does remove the cloak, the monster behind it is revealed to be terrifying enough to send chills down the spines of most horror lovers.
The Unnamable (1988)
‘The Unnamable’ narrates the story of Alyda Winthrop, a demonic kid who was born in the 18th century. Despite being confined behind impenetrable walls and doors, the demon was able to kill her father, Joshua Winthrop. Two centuries later, Randolph Carter convinces his friends Howard and Joel to spend a night at the haunted house without knowing that it could very well be their last night.
However, Randolph and Howard leave Joel alone at the house. Not before long, two girls and two boys come to the house to get laid, but before they can hit the beds and do anything worth it, they find out that Alyda has started to stalk them and is after their lives.
Meanwhile, Howard tells Randolph that Joel didn’t return from the house, and the two of them go in search of their missing friend. It becomes clear to the youngsters that Alyda Winthrop is an unstoppable force and the only weapon they have against her is the book of the dead or Necronomicon.
The film stars Mark Kinsey Stephenson as Randolph Carter, a well-known character from Lovecraftian writings, and is based on H. P. Lovecraft’s short story of the same name. ‘The Unnamable’ isn’t the best adaptation of Lovecraft’s work, but the film is well aware of that. It doesn’t aspire to be anything more than a campy horror story or even a slasher flick. Yet, credit must be given to decent performances by the lead actors and the special effects that are comparable to other decent adaptations like ‘Re-Animator’.
The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1992)
The sequel to ‘Unnamable’ picks up where the first left off. It begins at the Winthrop haunted house, where we see the children, some of them are dead and others who are severely injured.
Thankfully, there are a large number of cops and medics on the site this time, who are transporting the survivors to safety. Randolph hands over the Necronomicon to Howard and asks him to keep it safe while Randolph goes to the university’s Dean to speak to him about the haunted house and the creature within.
However, the Dean sends Randolph away after advising him to stay away from forces he doesn’t understand. Randolph Carter ultimately gets the help he needs from Professor Warren. Randolph, Howard, and Warren revisit the site and find Alyda Winthrop, the demon daughter. They manage to drive the demon out of Alyda, but the relentless demon starts to hunt Alyda so that they can be together again. Would she survive?
The Statement of Randolph Carter, a novella by H. P. Lovecraft provides the basis for the film. While the concept of a 200-year-old demon attempting to reunite with its host was novel at the time of its release, writer and director Jean-Paul Ouellette failed to deliver the anticipated thrills and tension.
Once again, the film tried to rely heavily on special effects by sacrificing a coherent screenplay and direction. The dialogues seemed a bit stale for a Lovecraftian adaptation, but nevertheless, it can prove to be a decent one-time watch.
Europa Report (2013)
As many of you are aware, one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, is frequently regarded as a celestial body capable of supporting life. As a result, a commercial company gathered a team of astronauts and dispatched them on a human expedition to Europa in the hopes of discovering signs of life and returning them to Earth. However, after six months of travel, their spaceship gets hit by a solar storm that damages the communications system.
When two of the crew members left the spaceship to fix the damages from outside, one of them lost his life. It was only the first of many difficulties that the crew would later face. After a long and arduous journey of around 20 months, the crew reached Europa but missed the targeted landing site. They somehow managed to land on the surface and started to drill, but Europa was inhabited by violent bioluminescent creatures. Let alone returning back home, their survival itself seemed improbable on the alien moon.
This found-footage film, directed by Sebastián Cordero, tells a familiar story in a novel way so that even the found-footage method doesn’t look ordinary. Clearly, a great deal of attention went into capturing the vital elements of dread and despair that one may have been 705 million kilometers from home.
The Europan creature was portrayed as an intelligent predator that was smart enough to act tactfully while dealing with the surface dwellers. Its bioluminescence was another intelligent feature that the special effects guys came up with because it lived underneath a thick ice surface, and no light could reach that deep. Furthermore, it is noted by scientists that even if life exists on Europa, it doesn’t depend on light for photosynthesis or the production of energy.
The Resurrected (1991)
Claire Ward, Charles Dexter Ward’s wife, is concerned about her husband after he withdraws from her after discovering an 18th-century portrait of Joseph Curwen, a guy who looks just like Charles. Following this occurrence, Charles purchased a farmhouse and abandoned Claire. She hired a private investigator named John March as a last resort to find out the truth.
John soon learns from a diary dated 1771 that Charles’s fifth great grandfather had an affair with Joseph Curwen’s wife, Eliza. However, Joseph used to practice necromancy, and the villagers found out about it. Furthermore, Eliza was pregnant with Joseph’s child, and Charles was probably Joseph’s descendant instead of Ezra Ward’s. Meanwhile, Charles is sent to an asylum, where the doctors find out that he has an inexplicably high rate of metabolism and an unquenchable thirst for blood. Is Charles really Charles, or is he a resurrected necromancer?
The film is an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s novella ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,’ directed by Dan O’Bannon. Dan O’Bannon penned ‘Alien,’ so it’s no surprise that his directorial debut, ‘The Resurrection,’ was a critical success. Despite having been shown at various film festivals, the film couldn’t secure a theatrical release, and that makes it more of a hidden gem for Lovecraftian horror lovers.
The source material was one of the more complicated works of Lovecraft, but O’Bannon managed to depict it into a coherent story without sacrificing the element of surprise and suspense. The film was noted as the best Lovecraftian adaptation when it was released, courtesy of its solid script, inventive direction, and frightening special effects.
After Isaac’s mother passes away, Isaac and his pregnant wife Emma travel to a remote Norwegian island. Because the liquidation of the property he inherited would take time, they had to stay on the island for a few days. The townsfolk initially gave them a warm welcome, but they soon turned hostile towards Isaac and Emma after learning who Isaac’s mother was.
Although Isaac is left clueless about this sudden change of behavior, the town’s sheriff, Renate, certainly knows more than she reveals. However, she does tell Isaac about a macabre history about Isaac’s family and his mother. Renate soon convinces him to participate in a baptism-like ritual, and Isaac agrees, but right after its completion, he starts acting strangely.
His actions become so erratic and hostile that Emma considers running away from him for the sake of their unborn child. It turns out that the townsfolk were worshippers of a sea god. And, of course, a sacrifice is to be made. Who do you think they want?
While jump scares, gore, and a compelling storey are all required ingredients for horror films to pass the critics’ and audience’s scrutiny, all films, regardless of genre, require good performance from their cast to even make it through the first weekend. ‘Sacrifice,’ written and directed by Andy Collier and Tor Mian, demonstrates the value of good performance in a film.
Barbara Crampton as Renate Nygard is probably the most thrilling of all because she’s just so mysterious throughout the film that one fails to figure out which side she’s on. However, Sophie Stevens as Emma Pickman and Ludovic Hughes as Isaac Pickman have done equally tremendous jobs. This one here could be the perfect choice for a Saturday night with a few chilled ones.
City of the Living Dead (1980)
In New York, Mary Woodhouse is participating in a séance with Theresa when she sees pictures of a priest hanging himself in a church graveyard. She couldn’t stand it any longer and left the seance, only to die. This premonition was of the suicide of Father Thomas of Dunwich and that he had somehow managed to open the gates of Hell.
Meanwhile, a local journalist named Peter Bell tries to learn about Mary’s death and visits her grave on the same day that she is buried. It turns out that Mary wasn’t dead and was buried alive. Assured that something was up, the two of them joined forces and left for Dunwich to stop the demonic apocalypse.
They are helped by a psychiatrist Gerry and his patient Sandra. If these four people don’t close the gates of Hell before the All Saints Day, then the dead shall rise from their graves and kill the living.
This picture blends demons and zombies and is directed by Lucio Fulci, a well-known Italian horror director. Fulci is well-known for his aesthetically appealing depictions of blood and guts, and ‘City of the Living Dead’ is no exception. I mean, speaking of guts, there’s a scene in which a woman literally vomits her guts out!
Gross stuff mates! Fulci is noted for his special effects, but the sound effects like babies weeping and wind roaring keep on adding to the horror quotient. The film bears a Lovecraftian overtone and has various symbolisms, such as naming the town Dunwich after Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror. If you are in the mood to explore a Fulci cult classic, then this is your way to go.
The Whisperer In Darkness (2011)
Professor Albert Wilmarth of Miskatonik University ignores reports of unusual, mysterious animals that appear in the green hills of Vermont because he is a skeptic who only believes in modern, genuine phenomena. His buddy and cult investigator Nathaniel Ward, on the other hand, believes that there is grounds to suppose that such reports are true to some extent.
If nothing else, these rumors and popular beliefs are dangerous. However, Wilmarth does take an interest in these matters from a purely academic standpoint and even exchanges letters with a man named Henry Akeley, who lives very close to where the disturbing reports originated. Henry tries to make him believe that Wilmarth shouldn’t discard everything he hears for lack of empirical data.
Yet, to make Wilmarth see reason in the rumors, Henry invites him to come over. Things take a nasty turn as Wilmarth comes to face reality about crustacean-like entities the size of a man called the Mi-Go, worshipping a devilish deity called Shub-Niggurath. Furthermore, there’s a plot to open a portal between another dimension and Earth. Would Wilmarth survive?
The film, directed by Sean Branney, is based on one of Lovecraft’s stories of the same name. To be honest, the film isn’t a visual extravaganza in any way, but it shows a great deal of respect for its source material. And, what it lacks in budget, it makes up for in its love for Lovecraftian tales. Naturally, we get a very authentic and honest adaptation, and that probably reasons enough for anyone to watch this one.