What I'm Watching: The Whisperer in Darkness
This is going to be a big WIW week, as I've got a handful of movies to talk about, but for now we'll just start with this one, The Whisperer in Darkness.
If you're familiar with the Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos, then you are likely familiar with this story from the 1930s.
If not, then here is the short version: A sceptical college professor has been conversing with a man in Vermont, and learning about strange creatures and the strange things they're doing. He travels to my home state, and is dragged kicking and screaming into a world of alien monsters, looming insanity, and disembodied brains.
This movie was amazing.
The people behind the movie, members of the HPL Historical Society, decided to take the idea of making a movie as if it was made when the story was written, like happens so often these days. So, the movie was made in the style of a 1930s black and white 'talkie'.
And it TOTALLY works. SO many Lovecraft movie adaptations end up being pretty damned terrible, if entertainingly so. But doing in that slightly stilted style, where you can be overly dramatic, and not really blink...totally works. Sure, it's very much a 1930s movie (With the exception of some CGI for the Mi-go), but if you're willing to take that and run with it, this is a very fun ride.
This may well be the best Lovecraft movie I've ever seen. The style, the story, the acting actually isn't terrible, and having this modern day throwback, and yet made with modern sensibilities so it doesn't have to be completely bad and dated...just makes everything click.
The ending has a few odd moments for me, but overall, this is one of the most fun and unique movies I've seen in awhile, and it really tickled my Lovecraft loving heart with a drippy, glistening tentacle.
If you love Lovecraft, this is an absolute must see movie. If the experiment of a 1930s movie being done today intrigues you, then you won't be disappointed. The pace is a little slow at times, but that's to be expected, since this is not a big action movie, and more thought provoking and thinking. Which is just fine.
These guys need to make more movies, now. And I need to check out Call of Cthulhu, although I'm not sure how much I'll like that as a silent film.