Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Call of Cthulhu (2005)

After a week or so traveling, it was nice to get home and enjoy some good entertainment. Having the house to myself, it was also nice to be able to enjoy something a little more artsy than usual, with the quiet allowing my to enjoy one of my favorite elements in filmmaking, the silent film. While, I could have chosen a time tested classic, I decided to take on a modern entry, with the 2005 adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhlu.

Plot/ The Call of Cthulhu is HP Lovecraft's most famous story. It is the only story to feature the celebrated monster Cthulhu and in many ways it encapsulates the ideas that went on to permeated Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. The film follows the story's three-part narrative construction, and it moves from the 1920s to 1908 to the1870s and back, as the story does. The story embodies Lovecraft’s nihilistic world view, his cosmic perspective, and his sense that mankind is doomed by its own insignificance. In the story, a dying professor leaves his great-nephew a collection of documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. The nephew begins to learn why the study of the cult so fascinated his grandfather. Bit-by-bit he begins piecing together the dread implications of his grandfather's inquiries, and soon he takes on investigating the Cthulhu cult as a crusade of his own. As he pieces together the dreadful and disturbing reality of the situation, his own sanity begins to crumble. In the end, he passes the torch to his psychiatrist, who in turn hears Cthulhu's call.

I have to admit that this movie blew me away. As a fan of black and white silent films and H. P. Lovecraft, this flick came together as a perfect entry for me. It is clear that the director has many of those same feelings because the care and respect that went into this film is visible from the start. While roughly only 45 minutes, the atmosphere created by the 1920s cinematography is incredible. The acting is solid complete with the over-the-top expressions required by the project and the soundtrack is the perfect glue to bring everything together. Do not get me wrong, there are a few flaws (especially the stop motion sequences with Cthulhu), but in the end, it does not matter. If you are a fan on Lovecraft, this is a must see! However, if you are looking for gore and a modern take on his work, this may not be for you.

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