MONKEY REVIEW: The Call Of Cthulu

March 27, 2008

This isn’t exactly a new release, but hey, it’s new to me: This is an inspired 2005 version of the H.P. Lovecraft story, The Call Of Cthulu, done as a silent movie to suggest what a adaptation would have looked like had it been released in 1926, the year the story was published. (The decision was also a rather ingenious way to get around the limitations of a low budget.) I can’t honestly say my acquaintance with Lovecraft’s writing goes much beyond the various movies I’ve seen before that were based on his work, most notably The Dunwich Horror and Stuart Gordon’s classic movies, Re-Animator and From Beyond. This adaptation, directed by Andrew Leman and written by Sean Branney, is reportedly the most faithful yet, and certainly can’t be accused of padding the running time with extraneous material, as the movie only runs 47 minutes. Once you accept the style it’s done in, The Call Of Cthulu is pretty effective and creepy, and perhaps best of all for silent film fans, it’s a lot of fun to just look at, as it features some impressive visuals that recall German Expressionism and M.C. Escher drawings, among other influences. The first appearance of Cthulu, which involves some nicely done stop-motion animation, even gave me a bit of a start. If you like your horror old school, like really old school, The Call Of Cthulu is the movie for you.

MONKEY RATING: ONE (MANY TENTACLED) MONKEY

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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