The Call of Cthulhu
the call of cthulhu | cthulhu | based on | novel | h.p. lovecraft | andrew leman | sean branney | matt foyer | john bolen | ralph lucas | fantasy | mystery | thriller | united states | monster | monsters | giant monster | giant monsters | chad fifer | susan zucker
Film: The Call of Cthulhu
Director: Andrew Leman
Writer: Sean Branney
Starring: Matt Foyer, John Bolen and Ralph Lucas
This film begins with a man trying to put a puzzle together; he is played by Matt Foyer. There is another man who is listening to him as he tells the story that has brought him there, this other man played by John Bolen. Foyer discovered upon his Great Uncle’s death, research he had been doing into strange occurrences that had been happening in the world.
His Great-Uncle is played by Ralph Lucas and he met a man who was having strange dreams, this man played by Chad Fifer. Lucas asked Fifer that every time he had a dream to write it down and come to him with what happened. This ends though when the man is in a fever dream and awakes to not remembering anything.
Foyer also learns from the research that Lucas along with four other professors, played by John Klemantaski, Jason Owens, D. Grigsby Poland and Barry Lynch, encountered a police inspector, played by David Mersault, that had a run-in with a cult of people in the swamp worshiping the old Gods, including Cthulhu. One of the professors had a similar encounter with a cult during an expedition as well.
Foyer decides to continue to the research. His goes cold until there is an account in a stray newspaper about a crew of a ship, the Emma, finds an abandoned fishing vessel, the Alert, and a strange statue that was found on board. He goes searching for more information, but it appears the lone survivor discovered a city in the middle of the South Pacific that worshipped Cthulhu as well.
Will Foyer find the answers he is looking for? Or will he go mad like the rest that have tried? Or will he abandoned it before it is too late?
Now I heard about this film from the list of horror films to see that I compiled to start this research. I have heard of Cthulhu through knowing that H.P. Lovecraft is a horror great writer from the past and he influenced a lot of writers even today. Now I personally have not read any of his works, but it is something that I have been meaning to do. I do not recall if I have seen any films based on his work or not as well, but I know that he is a surreal feel to it and the old Gods are a staple of it.
From what I come to understand, the story of this film is pretty faithful to the source material. Some things have been changed to help the story on the film flow, but there wasn’t a lot that was. I am fascinated by the idea that there could be old Gods that are asleep and waiting their time to take back the world. It is a scary idea and some films that I’m a huge fan of introduced this idea. It is definitely something that is terrifying if it is true. We don’t really know the true history of our world or how it started, so why couldn’t it be? I am a person that likes to research things that I’m interested in, so I can feel the plight of characters in this. They want to know the truth and I feel that is something I would do if I was in this position. I loved the climax of the film, seeing the island and the city that is on it. The ending isn’t overly a surprise, but it fits the film.
The acting is interesting to me since the film is placed back in the 1920s. Keeping with the realism, the film is done in black and white as well as in silence. The actors do very well in pretending to be people from the era and acting that way. What you get in silent films is overacting, because you couldn’t hear them so they didn’t have to do dramatics with what they say but with their bodies. Keeping with this as well, some of the action and fight scenes we get in the film are blocky, which keeps with the realism of films from the era.
As stated above, the film is made to be a silent, black and white from the 1920s. They do a great job in mimicking it. It is funny as the film is made to look grainy and scratchy, like the films from the era are, but you can clearly see that it is done with the digital technology since it was really made in 2005. I am actually highly impressed with how great it ends up looking. I also love the sets looking like they would be made back in the era. The effects in this film that I noticed are green screen for some of it, which I could tell was that, but doesn’t overly bother me. There is also Cthulhu that we get glimpses of. It looks to be digital, but the way it is done was pretty solid as well. Finally the score of the film I am a big fan of. At times I don’t notice it so the music goes so well with scene to set the tone. Other times, it is building the tension and helping the scene which I thought was great. This is very important for a film that doesn’t allow the actors to speak.
Now with that said, this is a film that I didn’t know a lot about going in and was surprised in a good way with what I saw. The story of the film is based on a H.P. Lovecraft story and from what I gathered, it is very faithful adaptation. The story is told by a character to another person so we do get moments of a flashback within a flashback. I do like how it ends up and the idea of these cults is creepy. I thought the acting was solid in trying to mimic the silent film era. The film is done to look like it as well, even though we can still see the technology of today used to record what is happening. What little effects used in the film were well done in my opinion. If you are a Lovecraft fan, then I would highly recommend seeing this film. It is interesting even if you aren’t, but keep in mind how it is done. If you are not into the silent films, you probably will not like this one.
My Rating: 8 out of 10