Directed By: Andrew Leman
Starring: Matt Foyer, John Bolen, Ralph Lucas
Tag Line: "This Spring, the Stars Will at Last Be Right"
Trivia: Named an official selection of the feature competition at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name, The Call of Cthulhu is an oddity in that, despite being produced in 2005, it’s a black and white silent film, designed to look as if it was released in the 1920’s. Aside from making the movie something of a novelty, this approach also proved the most effective way to relate its unusual story.
While browsing through papers that belonged to his recently deceased great-uncle (Ralph Lucas), a man (Matt Foyer), whose name we never learn, becomes obsessed with a strange cult centered on a supposedly mythical creature named Cthulhu. But the deeper he delves into the mystery, the more confused he gets, realizing all the while his attempts to piece it all together might ultimately cost him his sanity.
Stylistically, The Call of Cthulhu is an impressive picture, one that successfully captures the look and feel of a silent-era motion picture. Featuring a bombastic score composed by, among others, Chad Fifer and Ben Holbrook, the movie pays homage to such classics as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, notably in the scenes dealing with the disturbing nightmares of Henry Wilcox (Chad Fifer), a man interviewed by the lead’s great uncle several years earlier. With their sharp angles and surreal atmosphere, these dream sequences are among the most creative the movie has to offer. Yet as strong as these moments are, it’s the grand finale, in which a group of sailors are attacked by Cthulhu himself, that’ll stay with you.
To be honest, I have very little experience with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. In fact, I’ve never read the short story that The Call of Cthulhu is based on. Being a horror fan, I realize at some point I’ll have to make time to check out the author's work, and if it’s anywhere near as interesting as this movie, I’ve got something to look forward to.