Friday, August 4, 2017

The Call of Cthulhu (2005)

The Call of Cthulhu (2005) dir. Andrew Leman, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society

We've seen the Great Old portrayed a few times before, but they were usually not so great. Here though makes up for everything, and honestly might be the best Lovecraft adaptation around. The film was the brainchild of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, a group of LARPers who went to the next level. 
A man is on his deathbed. He hasn't long, so he's been telling his life story to his great nephew the Man (Matt Foyer). Before he dies he presses into the younger man's hands a strange key, a key which opens a locked box. 

Inside the Listener finds newspaper clippings detailing various odd events, including earthquakes that shook the East coast, a wave of madness that stuck various people, and most of it seems to date back to 1925.

We flashback when the Old Man was slightly younger and in the company of a young artist named Wilcox (Chad Fifer). Wilcox has with him a piece of art that the Old Man dismisses. Ignoring the strange tentacle figure on the base, he says the art is new and his line is antiques. 

Wilcox knows this, as he sculpted it the previous night after suffering terrible visions of a sunken city. Visions which seem to grow worse and more vivid every passing night...

We flash back to 1908, when the Man's great-uncle encountered Inspector Legrasse (David Mersault) at a scientific convention in New Orleans. It seems quite a few of the bayou people have been disappearing and it seems like a cult might be behind it. A cult that at least one of the members recalls meeting in Greenland, judging from his eyepatch and scar. As the police draw closer to their quarry, will they be able to stop the cult in time?

The Man, now plagued by dreams of a strange inhuman city, continues his research into his uncle's research, now going back to the time when a derelict ship was found, most of its crew dead save for two, one of whom was incurably mad. It seems the ship encountered something on the ocean, something that never belonged to this world...

As I said, this might be the best take on any Lovecraft story I've ever seen. Shot as a silent film (keeping with the 1926 feel to go with the story), the HPLHS captures the feel and look of a Lovecraft story almost perfectly. Well worth the effort to see.  

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