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Plot: Based on the H. P. Lovecraft story of the same name, a folklorist investigates reports of unusual creatures in Vermont only to uncover more than he bargained for Runtime: 103 min Release Date: 19 May 2011
Entertaining modernized adaptation of an old Lovecraft story, but still faithful enough to its original source (by JvH48)
I saw this film as part of the "Imagine" film festival 2011 in Amsterdam. I booked it out of curiosity, wondering how a modern film maker would treat the 1930's source. I must confess that I'm not fond of most Lovecraft's stories. Though not having read any within more than 30 years, I'm still stuck with an impression of adjective-overloaded descriptions of monsters and their attributes. Many alternative books and stories in this same genre that I've read, attracted me much more. I'm prepared to accept that my reading sample was wrong and my bad impression is <more>
just as wrong.The film makers decided to run the film in black&white, which did not hinder me at all. It even seemed the natural way after some minutes. I'm very glad that we got sound with the film. I hate intervening text boards showing the dialog, known from silent movies. In anticipation I was a bit afraid that parts of the film would develop slowly, not unexpected given the original material, but my fear proved completely unjustified.The director was present at the screening and answered several questions during the final Q&A. We learned about the 350K$ budget, financed by the film makers out of their own pockets. They did the same for their previous 47 min short "The Call of Cthulhu", which paid itself back eventually. Understandably that several corners were cut for reasons of costs, but their love for Lovecraft did make up the rest. The editing of the material, as well as the pace in which the story develops, were adapted to match current speed expectations. Nowadays we cannot bear to watch 15 minutes of people reading letter fragments to each other, and this part of the original story was visualized differently for good reason. The finale shows a lot of action, and even some monsters. What these aliens look like, has been described by Lovecraft in much detail. These monsters could not be left out, or it would have left us strongly disappointed said the director .Back at home I discovered the original story in my own book collection. It was bought a long time ago 1978 , and I completely forgot having it. When re-reading the story, I saw some changes by the hands of the film makers in order to liven up the original. As mentioned above, the exchange of letters between Akeley and Wilmarth has been dramatized considerably. And with good reason, otherwise we certainly would have dozed off. Further, the final outdoor scenes don't appear as such in the original story, and has been invented by the film makers, if only to show a few alien monsters and to introduce some action scenes. Maybe somewhat detached from the original, especially the plane scene, but such liberties occur often enough when turning a static book into a motion picture.When leaving the theater, I gave an "excellent" score for the public prize competition. I can only applaud the design decisions by the film makers, choosing for black and white no problem but with sound very good , and properly pacing the story to maintain a modern tempo throughout its duration. In other words, to a reasonable extent truthful to the 1930's style of film making, but not to such an extreme that it would be tedious for viewers A.D. 2011.
Sandy Petersen likes this movie (by spetersen-79-962044)
I'm Sandy Petersen, and some people know me as a game designer I wrote the original game Call of Cthulhu, for instance . I helped fund The Whisperer in Darkness, though I had no creative input and expected none . The movie is, in my obviously prejudiced opinion, a masterwork of taking an unfilmable Lovecraft story, and getting it not only on film, but in such a way to make it accessible to those who have not yet read the tale. I don't understand the reviewer who says it seems like a mishmash of Lovecraft - has he even read the original tale? This movie was taken straight from it. <more>
Some characters are added to dramatize events which, in the story, are in the form of posted letters, but that certainly doesn't hurt the film. Yes there is a lot of dialog, but the camera is not static - things move, shadows lurk, and the dialog itself is terrifically ominous. It does not follow the near-standard Hollywood 3-act-play sequence, to its everlasting credit. Instead the sinister elements keep building steadily until they reach a climax and even feature an artsy epilogic montage. Just as with the story, the evidence before Albert Wilmarth the main character keeps growing until he can no longer deny his eyes. Even the revelation of the alien horrors is done bit by bit. First we see a footprint, then a blurred photo, then a shadow on a wall, then on a curtain, then a single leg, then a brief shot of one walking offscreen behind some humans. Ultimately we see them fully and they are worth the wait. But it's not just the aliens - every element of the story grows in this manner. As you learn the alien plan bit by bit, the horror and tension mounts. Every death in the movie was unexpected to me. As a long-term expert in horror films, I'm used to being able to peg who lives and who dies often in the opening credits, so this was a nice surprise. The movie has subtlety and class. One good example is the scene with the young girl, Hannah. Albert Wilmarth is hiding out with her in a barn, trying to avoid detection. He converses with her, and tells her of his own daughter, who died of influenza years ago. The scene is touching, but just before it degenerates into bathos, he offers to sing Hannah a song which he once sang to his own child, and Hannah shakes her head, and says, "No". Just in the nick of time! I saw an early version of the film, and this scene with the child is what convinced me to invest my money in this movie. The whole thing is very professional. It is not an action film, though it contains action. It is a cerebral horror film. There are no "boo" moments, and every moment segues logically into every other. It is a tightly knit coherent hole.
A very surprisingly effective rendition of a 'talky' HPL story (by Rabh17)
I've seen the other Mythoscope offerings and while I found them 'entertaining', I didn't have too high a bar of expectation.This movie blew that bar away. The producers chose good actors, made judicious use of current tech FX and CGI and wedded it to the true strengths of Black & White Media.Color is wonderful in its own way: It explodes across the screen and fills the eye. The Movie will do all the Imagination for you. The viewer just sits back and enjoys the ride.Black & White, however, is the true suitor to Horror & Suspense. It doesn't fill the eye-- <more>
instead B&W subconsciously invites the imagination to fill in the blanks-- to populate the shadows, to imagine the colors, to wonder what it would REALLY look like. This is why so many of us still prize the Old Outer Limits over its newer color cousin. Or as another example-- even in color, the scariest monster moments occur in the semi-Dark.The movie took liberties with the story-- as other reviewers have noted-- but HPL would have approved, I think. The story picks up speed and becomes more adventurous and action-oriented towards the end.The sights of the Alien/MiGo are carefully and sparingly dispensed-- and even when fully revealed are exceedingly well done. Creepily NOT-human and NOT-of-this-earth.And underneath it all, the imagined alien technology was well researched. Creepy, Dark and Unpleasant. In HPL's world, WWII had not happened yet. Dreams of technology were still running along the old Pulp adventure storyline we see in old series like "Tales of Tomorrow". And if anything, their view of technology was cold, outré and alienating.This movie is a MUST for HPL lovers. For those who've never read HPL, it can seem a bit...slow.But if you're willing to give this flick a chance-- play it late at night...when it's raining. Mood is everything.
Best HP Lovecraft adaptation to date! (by Raimar_Lunardi)
First you need to know that they made this film to look like it was made in the 30's or so... even credits, music, etc. Also, if you put budget in perspective the Effects and the Acting is very good. Some complain of over-acting... but in the 30's they all over-acted... if you seen one, or just a little bit of an old movie you will know...OK, now the story: I thought it would be impossible to make an adaptation to Whisperer in Darkess, one of my favorite HPL... I was wrong... This movie gets very good the intention, but lacks something I don't know what... Maybe the dialog by <more>
letters was better and kept me on the edge of my seat... but the movie don't have it, it is like the movie starts after they exchanged letters and all...Also, I think in the HPL story they don't tell much what the aliens are doing or purpose... in this movie it is very well explained. The ending run away too far from original, could be a car instead of a plane... would be more realistic. But I liked, in a way this ending is more "lovecraft" than the original story...The only way it could be better was if they could get the "mood", the creepy atmosphere from description in the letters of the places, situations and all... the only way I know to do it is by flashbacks, that would get too boring after the second letter and would have the fate of "The Resurrected" movie has. In the end I give it 9, can't get any better for the budget and I dislike the little girl part...
That's how Lovecraftian movie should be done (by zwitek)
I saw almost everything whats's been done in term of so called "Lovecraft Cinema". From '63 The Haunted Palace , through '85 Re-Animator and 2005 Call Of Cthulhu. This is by far one of the best Lovcraftian adaptations. It really holds the right spirit of both his books and early 50-ties sci-fi cinema. If you're looking for speedy CGI action - forget about this one. If you're into Edgar Allan Poe books, '31 Frankenstein or '56 Forbidden Planet and know at least who Lovecraft is you should definitely see this. Decent acting, good script filmed with the <more>
right pace and an old-school production. A perfect alternative for these days cinema. Highly recommended!
Twilight meets HP Lovecraft (by mohammadumairkhan)
First off, this is my first review I have ever bothered to write on IMDb. And the reason is simply this...This is a pretty damn good movie. I loved "Dagon" the movie, my first exposer to HP Lovecraft freshman year of college and then started reading his stuff. 8 years later, I keep all his work proudly displayed on my book shelf so my daughter does not have to wait till freshmen year to hear about HP Lovecraft. As people who have read his work already know, the stories are impossible to translate into a movie, hence, terrible movies. I kept coming across weird horror movies that <more>
advertised themselves as "From the mind of HP Lovecraft" one that is just called Lovecraft and found them to be entirely lame, cheesy and an insult to the awesomeness that is Lovecraft. This movie however was a lot of fun. So fun in fact that around 20 min in, i decided to pause it and get myself a drink and change of cloths and turned my phone to vibrate which is kind of my ritual for movies that I get into and a nod that the movie truly has caught my attention and no more distractions will be tolerated. The acting is pretty good and the whole black and white deal gives it more of a "Twilight Zone special written by HP Lovecraft" feel. The creatures aren't Avatar standard CGI but honestly, Lovecraft monsters live in your head and to manifest them and visualize them only ends up diminishing the true horror of it all. All is all, I highly recommend this movie...HP Lovecraft fan or not.p.s. "From Beyond" isn't too bad either.
An adaptation of Lovecraft's story of the same name, which I have read. Within seconds, I pegged this as the work of the people who made The Call of Cthulu director Brannery wrote and produced that film . I liked that one, but felt it was perhaps too slavish to a short story which didn't really lend itself that well to such a literal adaptation. The Whisperer in Darkness perhaps lends itself a lot better to such a treatment, and this adaptation is therefore quite good. It's been probably ten or eleven months since I read the story, so I don't remember it perfectly, but I <more>
think this is very faithful the ending seems different, but I can't recall how the story ended that well . This is very creepy, with nice black and white photography. I don't much care for CGI monsters, but, for some reason, I think they look quite good in black and white, and the flying crab aliens look very good. The acting is amateurish throughout, but I did like Matt Foyer a lot in the lead. He has a great look for this movie. Highly recommended.