"I say "Lovecraftian" because I don't feel that this movie is a direct adaptation of any Lovecraft story; it has a passing resemblance to "Shadow Over Innsmouth", but it is not a movie treatment of this material. Instead, I found this film has a wonderful Lovecraft "feel" to it. The plot is a bit choppy in places, but the tension builds nicely throughout the film; there are also several genuine jolts, which rather suprised me. When I found that the lead character was gay, I was pleased to find that it fit right in with the story rather than standing out in any glaring sort of way. For the most part, the writing and acting were quite good, and the movie as a whole is beautifully filmed. I would recommend "Cthulhu" for those who prefer a more sedate, stylish horror movie as opposed to one with graphic gore."
Spock | PDX | 05/28/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
As a longtime fan of H.P. Lovecraft's work, I was excited when I heard about Cthulhu. The film is kind of an art house horror flick that modernizes Lovecraft (his themes, at least) to address major contemporary issues. Unfortunately, it's marred by terrible editing and several huge missteps in story direction.
*Possible Spoiler Alert* In one scene, for example, Russ, the protagonist runs into a couple with whom he previously had a profoundly unpleasant experience. They drug him and the scene shifts to a dreamlike sequence in a bar, where the bartender tells Russ something about how he's always belonged in the town. Then it cuts back to the alleyway where they drugged him, and Russ is being dragged through a dark doorway by some unseen thing. He basically justgets up and continues on his way, rendering the whole second encounter with the couple totally inconsequential. The conversation in the bar was fine, but the director's decision to shoot it as such deflates all dramatic tension and alienates the audience (and not in a good way!) **
Cthulhu's only saving grace is the cinematography. Beyond that, this wasn't any better than the usual direct-to-dvd horror movie. If you really want to see this one (like I did), maybe you can borrow a copy from someone or find a cheap rental. You might end up regretting that you didn't choose something -- anything -- else, but at least you'll have satisfied your curiosity."
One of the more Lovecraftian adaptations
Mitchell Harding | Austin, TX, USA | 03/18/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a huge Lovecraft fan and movie buff, I end up seeing most movies which make any claims to be inspired by or based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft. I don't care if the plot of these movies follow any particular Lovecraft story -- what's more important to me is that they seem to convey the same themes and qualities of the stories. For example, the movie In The Mouth Of Madness is one of my favorite Lovecraftian movies even though it is in no way based on a specific Lovecraft story.
All of that said, I was pleased by many things about this movie. First, I feel it did a great job of being true to the Lovecraft themes. The atmosphere of the movie was pitch-perfect, and I think the overall plot was good. My main complaint, and the reason I am only giving the movie three stars, is that there are a lot of things which aren't really explained and don't seem to make any sense. I don't want to give any specific spoilers, but there were points in the movie where I wasn't sure why some things were happening. And not in a good, Lovecraftian mystery sort of way. Although now that I think about it, I guess it could be that sort of a mystery -- we're just accustomed as movie viewers to be presented with enough information to make sense of what we're seeing. I suppose there's a chance some of this confusion was a deliberate choice on the part of the filmmakers.
Anyway, I in no way regret seeing this film, even if it could have been better. I'm on the fence about buying it, but probably will end up doing so. It's a movie I'd enjoy rewatching from time to time. If you like Lovecraft, I recommend it.
One other note -- a lot of the other reviewers seem bothered by the fact that the main character is gay. Some seem to view the film as geared toward a gay audience, with the fact that he is gay having no relation to the rest of the movie. I very much disagree. The fact that he is gay is important for a number of reasons in terms of the plot. It helps explain his extreme alienation from his father, and it also explains why he has not produced (and isn't willing to produce) a biological child. I'm sure the filmmakers could have come up with other ways to accomplish that same thing, but why bother? I thought his being gay worked very well with the plot and didn't really stand out. If anything it made him a more complex character -- rather than just say he is alienated from his family, it gives it some context.
Oh, and I thought the acting was pretty strong for a low budget movie. I was never taken out of the moment by poor acting, anyway, with the possible exception of a drunk fisherman who seemed to yell dialog bit more than was realistic."
Waste of time....
Joshua A. Spencer | Fort Hood, TX | 01/12/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this from Net Flix, skeptical because of the reviews I have read. Frankly it was a waste of my time and and brain power. I spent the entire moving movie trying to piece the events together and how they related to the plot. I came up with nothing. None of the events were really even relative to the ending. To some it up quickly, guy's mom dies...guy gets involved in this sinister plot of the cult his father runs...weird stuff happens...irrelevant weird stuff...bad twist ending that is in no way relevant to the way the character has acted the entire movie. The most ridiculous part is the previews were all gay dramas, but the fact that the character is gay has nothing to do with anything, nothing at all. Its mind boggling how any of this movie works. It fails as a horror suspense, it fails as a Mythos movie, and it fails as a gay drama."
H.P. Lovecraft Rolling In His Grave
Daniel A. Costello | Minnetonka, MN United States | 03/27/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. I read some other reviews done on this movie and Wow. I rented this film through Netflix expecting some deeper look into Cthulu Mythos only to have my mind scraped along pavement and blended into a fine pulp. I really, really want people to know how AWFUL this movie is. AWFUL. I would love to curse and yell but that won't do any good. I am holding back in my speech, believe me. So here is the part I just don't understand; if you are making a movie based on a story of one of the most brilliant writers of the 20th Century, shouldn't it have SOMETHING to do with the story? I mean really, WTF? There are B-grade actors, in a B-grade movie about NOTHING. The movie was about nothing. Seriously, there is no true ending, point or understanding of the story. In case you were wondering, Cthulu is nowhere to be found in this movie. How do you mess up something that simple? Why even WASTE the money producing this movie? All that happened was:
1. Royally pissed off ALL H.P. Lovecraft fans, guaranteed.
2. People who don't know anything about Lovecraft thought it was just stupid.
Wow. Do not rent/buy or ever ever ever watch this movie. Waste of time."