[BLOG] Are Lovecraft’s stories too (love)crafty for movies?

Yes, it’s a terrible joke….

…but not as terrible as seeing between the veil and dealing with The Old Ones and the Elder Gods and non-euclidian geometry….

I love me some Lovecraft.  Yes, Howard Philip was an amazingly troubled individual whose views on politics, class, and race were questionable, but this blog isn’t here to dissect the man.. more the medium of his works.

I recently watched “Color Out Of Space” and… two things struck me…

1) Nicholas Cage will say “yes” to anything.

2) Lovecraftian movies just… aren’t that great.

The closest thing I’ve seen to a TRUE “Lovecraftian Movie” was “In the Mouth of Madness”.  It conveyed not only the weird waking-dream-slash-blurring-the-line-of-perceived-reality-and-what-really-the-fuck-might-be-going-on but the slowly seeping in horror/madness of many of Lovecraft’s works.

Unfortunately, movies like “From Beyond”, “Dagon”, and “The Void” are the usual offerings which either feel like they’re dancing around the edges of the story, or diving in with such gusto that a 5 page short story is turned into a 2 hour movie adding so much more than the original story did, that it’s just as ‘different’ but from the other side of the coin.

I think the problem with many Lovecraft translations stems from the fact that, through writings and notes… Lovecraft himself stated he wasn’t very good at writing action sequences.. so he largely avoided them… which.. makes for slow-paced movies.  Also, his descriptions were either fringe and minimal to let your imagination fill in the blanks (which oft-times can be far more horrifying) , or such a psychedelic fever-dream of description that it’s not something that translates well to film.

I know Alan Moore often complained that he wished people would stop making movies out of his works as they were intended to best be told correctly on in the medium he presented them in (I think he’s wrong…), but from what we’ve seen in movie adaptations from the works of H.P. Lovecraft…  Moore might be right.  Just.. not about his own works.


Author: Podcast Rob