Monday, September 22, 2014

"The Whisperer in Darkness" DVD Review

"The Whisperer in Darkness" DVD Review

Title card for the movie.

This time around, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society chose a more ambitious story to adapt: "The Whisperer in Darkness". The original story was written in 1931 so the film makers, Andrew Leman, Sean Branney & David Robinson, decided to keep the motif going from their first Lovecraft adaptation "The Call of Cthulhu" (written in the 20's & filmed as a film from the 20's)  by making the film in the style of a 1930's era motion picture. 

This time around, although still in black & white, the film has sound. What a difference it makes!
Lovecraft fans will really enjoy this film, even though it does stray a little from the source material.

Mysterious people, cultists, strange rituals, spacetime portals, monsters, aliens, brains surgically removed and integrated into machinery...this Lovecraft film has a it all! Armed with what comes across as a larger budget, the HPLHS has created a visually stunning piece of horror story telling. The visual effects in some cases are CGI, but are animated in such a way as they blend into the 1930's aesthetic seamlessly. 


2011 DVD 2 Disc Set Cover.

The 2 disc deluxe DVD is packed with features. The film, also filmed in "Mythoscope", now has a 5.1 surround musical score that is just wonderful. The feature itself runs in at 104 minutes long. The action and creepy suspension is built in a steady pace leading to one of the more shocking moments in Lovecraft's stories.

A second DVD contains two and a half hours of featurettes showcasing the monsters, miniatures, make-up and other optical effects; deleted & extended some surprises!

As with their first release "The Call of Cthulhu", actor Matt Foyer returns to play the main character, Albert WIlmarth- a folklorist from Miskatonic University. He's a fine actor and has cemented his place in Lovecraftian films right next to others such as Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, From Beyond, The Dunwich Horror) & Ezra Godden (Dagon, Dreams in the Witch House). Barry Lynch is also a credit to this film. His performance is both chilling and creepily delightful in it's execution.

Protagonist Albert N. Wilmarth.

I won't go into detail, as most of you reading this are probably familiar with Lovecraft's work, regarding the plot of the film itself. However, a short synopsis will suffice the curious and the Lovecraft noobs.

Miskatonic University folklore expert, Albert Wilmarth receives reports of strange body parts being discovered along the banks of recently flooded rivers. Mysterious letters, sent from Henry Akeley in Vermont regarding creatures in the mountains.

Wilmarth goes to investigate these reports and ultimately discovers an ages old co-operative of hellish creatures and local residents whose motives are horrific in their implications.

I highly recommend watching "The Whisperer in Darkness" to any Lovecraft fan and any casual watcher of horror films in general. Again, if you're expecting a mega-millions movie, you'll be disappointed. However, this film as a stand alone piece of a visual representation of Lovecraft's work cannot be ignored for any reason.

Go read the original story, then watch the movie! 

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