Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Whisperer in Darkness Available for Pre-Order

At long last, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's movie adaptation of "The Whisperer in Darkness" is available for pre-order. I absolutely adore the silent movie version of "The Call of Cthulhu," which I purchased years ago and still consider the most faithful direct adaptation of a Lovecraft story ever put to film, so I've been eagerly anticipating The Whisperer in Darkness for a long time now.

Whisperer is a much more ambitious project by the HPLHS, being more than twice as long as its predecessor and being a talkie rather than a silent film. Reviews at the time of its limited release during this year's convention season were mixed. There was a lot of praise for the film's period production values, but some reviewers weren't happy with the pacing (or the CGI mi-go). If you think the pacing issues owe to its being too faithful to HPL, then you'd be wrong, as some reviews have also noted that this movie deviates considerably from the text, particularly in its final act.

This disappoints me a little bit. A big part of the appeal of these fan films is that they hew fairly closely to their source material, but, not having seen the movie, it's hard to know whether or not the deviations are nevertheless in the spirit of Lovecraft. Even if they aren't, I have a hard time imagining that they'll be as deviant as most Hollywood efforts to bring HPL to the silver screen to date. Once my copy arrives -- and I have no idea when that'll be -- I'll post my own review here.

8 comments:

  1. I saw Whisperer at the film fest her in Calgary and it was pretty good. I thought the CGI mi-go were well done, particularly after the directors Q&A afterwards when he explained that the 'stop motion' attributes that they had were a deliberate style choice.

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  2. I agree completely about The Call of Cthulhu; it was really wonderful. I'm a bit dubious about this one if it deviates from the original as much as you say, but I'll still give it a try.

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  3. loved first and eagerly awaiting this one.

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  4. "Once my copy arrives -- and I have no idea when that'll be -- I'll post my own review here."

    The website says it'll be shipped out before the solstice, so unless something goes wrong it'll be a Merry Mi-Go Christmas!

    Normally I'm dubious about ship date claims by small outfits/presses, but I've dealt with the Cthulhu Lives folks in the past, and they do good work.

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  5. I am happy about this - there version of CoC was quite good. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt in terms of the ending.

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  6. Saw it at the cinema and the only really obvious CGI shot comes right near the end, but its such a creepily good one I'll forgive them. The mucking about with the plot - well they kind of had to gee bits of it up given the slowness of the bits that do closely follow the story. They do it in good old pulpy 30's B movie style, not a tone HPL ever used himself, but in this context it works.

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  7. I was lucky enough to see this on the BIG screen at the Lovecraft film festival in Portland and take part in the filmmakers' Q&A afterward. It doesn't really deviate from the original plot. Rather, it picks up where Lovecraft left off and continues the story. That was really the only way this very brief but compelling story could have been filmed. I don't agree with all the plot elements they introduced--it hews more toward a Call of Cthulhu adventure than Lovecraft's writing--but it's a ripping yarn and well worth seeing and owning.

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  8. There is a Hollywood version of ;The Case of Charles Dexter Ward that I saw on late-night tv years ago that I'm fairly sure was called 'The Ressurected' that was as fine an adaptation of Lovecraft as I have ever seen. I haven't found it since but I'll admit I haven't looked very hard. I do highly recommend it to any Lovecraft fan though.

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