söndag 7 april 2013

The Whisperer in darkness (2011)

2005 faux silent movie Call of Cthulhu stands as one of the best adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft, if not actually the best. It worked around the pitfalls of presenting material that really cant be "shown" as if it was made during the heyday of silent cinema and did an exceptionally good job of it with surrealistic miniatures and a strong set design. Now comes the next production from the very same filmmakers and this time we move forward in time with an adaptation of the short story The Whispererer in darkness as a 1930-1940ish horrormovie. My expectations were sky high.

The original short story deals with strange and alien creatures haunting a farmer in the forests of Vermont and the revelation of their purpose as the main character travels to the remote house to meet the besieged man. However, the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society has decided to expand upon the story and actually managed to lessen the horror content. The original story itself is about half of the movie now, going in an entirely different and more "action-oriented" direction after the events of the story has played out. I suppose I could bitch about this, but it is actually quite in tone with the filmmakers intent of it being a 40s movie with some dashing and running around, ending in a rather good and authentically cheap looking actionsequence. In fact, the movie really does an excellent job in the look and feel of that very era. The actors are wildly uneven, either risibly stern or overacting like their lives depend on it and I'm pretty damn sure that it is all on purpose. It doesnt really matter, it works perfectly. Sure, there are a few instances of the cinematography being a bit too obviously digital but these never distract from the overall feeling. The only thing that does not work is the special effects of some of the creatures that look more like they came straight out of a Starship troopers sequel shot for Syfy but they are redeemed by a couple of truly wonderful and inspired flying beasties towards the end of the movie that bring a smile on my face just when thinking about them. I'd like a miniature of one of them on my shelf.

Yes, I was not disappointed with The Whisperer in darkness. The storyextensions doesnt really feel that much Lovecraft but within the context of the movie they are excellent and invokes a cool atmosphere of fun, spunky black & white horror. If you liked Call of Cthulhu you should check this out.

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