Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Call of Cthulhu

This is the best film adaptation of an H. P. Lovercraft story that I've ever seen. The director, Andrew Leman, made two major decisions that ultimately made the film so effective. One, he chose to use the original narrative technique of the story- several first person accounts of events- giving it a shifting point of view. Secondly, he chose to make the film as a film would have been made in the period that the story takes place, the mid-1920s. This means the film is silent, shoot in black and white, and both the art direction, (expressionistic) and the style of acting are contemporary to the setting. He also employed special effects contemporary to the time- I thoroughly enjoyed his use of stop-motion animation for the monster at the end. My only complaint was that the film was shot digitally instead of on film which undercut its otherwise perfect look. I believe that the decision not to use film was financial rather than artistic.


  1. I overheard the following conversation on the 'Call of Cthulhu' line:
    --So, who was Lovecraft?
    --He was this guy who wrote stories in the 30's that influenced a lot of heavy metal bands in the 80's. He's got his own fanbase now, kind of like Buffy.
    --Oh, I never got that show.

  2. Heheh. That is one of the most awesome things ever overheard in a SIFF line. :)