Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Call of Cthulhu

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As with adaptations in general, I'd normally have next to no interest in watching a Lovecraft story filmed today, however highly it was praised. But when reading all his stories this month, I did sometimes wonder what they would have looked like if they'd been filmed back in the day, in an alternate universe where he didn't have to wait until he was dead to be appreciated.

Since that didn't happen, this tender faux-vintage tribute by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society is the next best thing, and it's a pretty remarkable achievement. No idle dreamers, they actually went out and made it, and since they are fans, you can expect it to adhere closer to the source material than interfering Hollywood suits would have done. Closer than is probably wise, if we did have to worry about a pesky fictional casual audience and this wasn't an indulgence for aficionados.

They've made all the stories-within-stories a little less complicated, but in the spirit of the original, it's still a meandering puzzle until that climactic awakening scene – which is pretty damned close to how I imagined it from the page, even if my mental Cthulhu looked a little less wriggly and a lot less cool.

There are a few modern niggles if you're looking for them (like some reverse videophile, I could have done with the picture being a bit more scratched and wobbly), but you could still probably pass this off as an authentic relic. I'd watch more.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate its contents."

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